Daniel Lemire's blog

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Improving your intellectual productivity by accepting chaos

One thing I did in 2007 was to ditch my PDA. Instead, I carry a pocket notebook. Almost daily, the best ideas I have jotted down, get organized in document drafts. You must clearly differentiate data and thought gathering from data and thought organization. Organization |Purpose |Entry |Retrieval |Type of support | -------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------|-------------------------| None (chaos) |Gathering |Fast |Recent past |Paper, email, wiki | Good (clean) |Organization |Slow |Reliable |Word processors, LaTeX, HTML |

This may sound naïve. Nevertheless, I have struggled for years trying to keep organized data that should be ephemeral. More importantly, I felt guilty for how messy my notes were. No longer! Just accept chaos once and for all, just not everywhere.