What can we do with all of our great, unwashed and un-rinsed ideas from 2010 as we head into 2011?
Is it a question of ignoring the silt of our lives? Or finding new ways to sift and regroup them at our beck and call?
I recently bought a DVD set from Judy Carter, which gave me some great ideas for 2011. She recently sent an e-newsletter item out about when and how to chase around new ideas. The December 2010 rumblings by Yahoo about closing or selling Delicious.com pushed me into shopping for new solution for this same question:
What should we do with all our ideas throughout the year?
I used to be queen of lists. I hate all my lists – I would write ideas for new projects and creative work down, yet would either consider them “done” or never find them again.
So far, I’m trialing both Evernote
in my search for the perfect cloud computing solution with all of my devices — cell phone, laptop, desktop (for video editing and research), iPad, and computers while at other people’s offices. I like the concept of cloud solutions with my own folksonomy of tagging. I can save and tag ideas from the web or emails, then actually FIND them again later by topic on ANY computer in the “cloud.” I can send them to the cloud from my phone, iPad, or whatever, with tags – so I can actually nurture them and find them when you want them. Each solution has its own quick buttons and macro key clicks to do this quickly, so I’m building new habits.
They don’t help, however, with the 6” stack of idea notes that I’ve assembled and left unnurtured in 2010…
Do I read them all? Highlight? Scan and injest into the cloud?
Big Stuff: I do have another solution for my BIG projects, like books, research, video shows, and classes. For these bigger projects, I’m somewhat addicted to Microsoft’s OneNote on my main computer. I just print to OneNote2010 what I’m working on and have a gigantic archive of searchable items that I can ‘folderize’ and visualize. In any of these tools, I can tag or label things the way MY funky brain works and feed the beast when I’m looking for something cool later. These often are big squishy messes of ideas and details to wrestle with, so I benefit from a big, squishy tool.
Mañan a: What can we do with the “other” stuff? I am blessed with something that Julie Schulman and I coined a decade ago — mañana lists. We would create a mañana list of all the things we knew needed to be done that we agreed could always be done tomorrow. I love to use the tag “mañana.” That’s for the interesting things for “if I have time later.” It’s the “no guilt tag.”
I welcome other suggestions. Productivity software is one of the big growth areas in this time of tsunamis of information. Lots of services will help you filter what comes in from the outside. This challenge is what to do with the gems and silt from the inside…and how to think about re-gifting and sorting them with others.
Have a great 2011 with your new adventures. And may all your ideas be bountiful AND taggable.
Keywords and taxonomies can bite us in the rear end. We spend lots of time making assumptions about what we know, but so much of the time we get tangled up in the unspoken assumptions around the labels.
I am researching and writing on two arenas now. First, I’m writing on how search, Google, and what we create as learning experiences in schools are building up friction for change. That research has delved into the worlds of keywords, natural language, and the politics of taxonomies and knowledge. I’m a big fan of Morgan’s work on organizational metaphor (Images of Organization, 1996), so this examination of taxonomy of words as knowledge drivers resonates strongly with me.
The second project is about how we use narrative in organizational routines. I did not know clearly that this was about “routines” until this week. I had been dwelling and searching on pre-decisional structures, decision making, knowledge management, information bias, politics of information, organizations, and all sorts of other great keywords and concepts. The keywords within those circles all play into each other and lead me into other research papers in other related journals in the same realm.
This week, I delved into a musty library copy of Nelson & Winter’s Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change (1982) to re-think about routines as core structures of narratives of how organizations function. I then tucked into research referring to that work from 2005 until now. A whole world unfolded that interrelated with my second project and that had not unveiled itself as I was not looking for “routines.”
A rose by any other name…might never get found!