Pile of Index Cards System

Pile of Index Cards System (PoIC)

This is a note taking system using index cards.  I’m copying this down because the original website and wiki for the PoIC system are gone and most other sites just refer to it with a now dead link.

How it works
Hawk describes four types of cards in his system:

The Record Card. He describes it as “a diary, note, account, health, weather, cook, any kind of records about us belongs to this class.” I’d say this is the incoming “stuff” of the day: appointments, notes to follow up on, etc.
The Discover Card. Hawk describes the Discover Card as “Things from my brain, mind, spirit, anything emerge from inside me, are classified into this class.” This is the result of a mind dump. Don’t worry about classifying when filling out a Discover Card. Just get whatever is on your mind out and onto paper.
The GTD Card. Here he combines the title of a project and several actions that pertain to it (here’s a look at the template in English). This reminds me of the “Hipstper PDA Template” I used religiously about 10 years ago.
The Cite Card captures other people’s ideas that warrant attention. He says, “Important here is distinguishing ‘your idea (Discovery Card)’ and ‘someone else’s idea (Cite Card).’ Source of the information must be included in the Cite Card. A book, for example, author, year, page(s) are recorded for later use.”

In essence this is a Commonplace book broken up into card sized chunks.

Speculation:  You could probably make a digital version of this system much like Cyberzettel.com using Wordpress.


Ideas for using wiki scripts in websites

  1. Wiki’s are often used to build digital gardens or commonplace book.
  2. Wiki’s can be used as a knowledge base or instruction manual.
  3. You could use a wiki to make a directory that is less hierarchical than a traditional directory.
  4. You could use a wiki to make a local guide or a local tourist guide or travel guide or bike/hike trail guide.
  5. Wiki would work for a local restaurant review site.
  6. Recipe site.
  7. Product review site.
  8. Memoir – so many of our memories are incident by incident.  You could use a wiki as sort of a non-linear memoir.  (A zettelkasten would also work.)

Add other ideas.


Stand alone wiki scripts:

I only have a little experience with 2:  Doku wiki and Media Wiki.  For a wiki by an individual I think Doku is a better choice, because Doku uses a flat file database which will be way more durable over the long run.

MediaWiki (used by Wikipedia and Indieweb.org)  can scale very large.  Good for a membership editied wiki,  but most individuals do not need that kinda scale.

Plugins for WordPress.

There are many wiki plugins for *Press.  If you are already using Wordpress/ClassicPress (*Press) then adding a  wiki plugin might be the easiest way to establish a wiki as opposed to installing a stand alone script.

Yada Wiki is the plugin that always catches my eye, although I have no experience with it.

Need to Add Note Keeping Schemes to Indieseek.xyz

10 August 2022

I need to add categories for different Note Keeping schemes to Indieseek.xyz directory.   Have to figure out where this fits in taxonomy.

Should include:

Both how to’s, definitions and real life examples.

Digital and analog paper.

Commonplace book, digital garden, zettelkasten, journals, logs, others.  (Name more others. )

Taxonomy could be tricky.  I don’t think I will split digital vs analog into subcats.  Must look at existing taxo.

(Side note: One could create whole section of what I call “stationary p*rn” (ie. writing paper, fountain pens, ink, ball points, journals, note books, blotters, etc. and/or “office p*rn” staplers, paper clip holders, card file cabinets, file folders, filing cabinets, postage stamp roll holders, stamp pads, …)

Digital Garden

I’m not really sure what a digital garden is.  I think it is a place for notes to grow ideas or projects.

Most that I have seen have been in outline format.  I am terrible at outlines.  Worse on paper, slightly better on digital.  Still bad, me.

However, if you are good at making outlines I can see where this would be very powerful.

Plus it’s a cool name.

Added 10 August 2022:

See comments below for excellent links defining and explaining digital gardens.

How This Works: Zettelkasten



Zettel = slip of paper. (Like an index card.)

kasten = box

So notes on slips of paper stored in a box.

How this is supposed to work.

The idea is that each post represents one note.  In the dirt world each note would be on one index card.

A note can be any length.  Most are short but others will be longer.

There is no rulebook for this so I’m going to use:

Categories for broad topics:  (ie. search engines, computers, social networks)

Tags will be more specific:  (ie. Google, Amiga, Twitter)

At least that is how I’m going to try it at start.  Between categories, tags and site search I should be able to find notes.

The second point of this is through categories and tags you will find relationships between things, concepts and ideas that you didn’t think were related.  But for this to start happening you need a certain critical mass of notes.

In the meantime,  you have your notes all in one place AND you can find them.