Indexing

Trailhead: Austin Kleon. "Indexing, filling systems, and the art of finding what you have". austinkleon.com (2021-05-20).

I love the idea of indexing the things I have—the words, the photos, the audio files, the things—but I've never loved the idea so hard that I actually something about it. I type quite a bit into Evernote, so I can search for what I want if I happened to write it down there. (And Evernote used to have this fantastic context feature that showed similar notes to the one you had open, which often showed that you had once written down thing you were writing down at that moment. I fill my photos with EXIF data so that I could, nominally, index and search them.

I guess that's not really an index. It's just a lazypile to be sorted through under duress when something needs to be done.

The reason I love the idea of indexing is that it's so easy to forget what I've written—not in the far past even, but more recently. Words blur together. Thoughts drift into the air and dissipate like smoke. Ideas—good or bad or neutral—wither and die if they aren't retrieved. Revisiting old words and thoughts is often like seeing them for the first time.

The block to doing it? It takes time to revisit and that time feels like a waste. Why do the same thing again? Why not try something new? Move forward not backward, eh?

I don't believe it. But I also still fall into that trap. A novelty bias, I guess. So: that's my mission to think about this week—what do I have and where do I have it and how will I know what I have and how do I retrieve it? Those great ideas aren't that great if they disappear.

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