The major segments are:
At least, those are the major segments I have hammered out well. There are MORE segments that I would like to practice, formalize:
Something to recognize here is that you can make up whatever you like. However, you don't want to just make up a new thing every time you have a new thought or format. You want to think about your divisions, and create new ones sparingly. If you can fit something into an old one, and nothing suffers, then preserve the old situation. It's only when you have something really ``new'', that is best served by a new category, that you will do well.
I haven't studied and thought out the details of why this is the case; It is just something that I happen to notice. With practice, you can flesh this out. One day, YOU can write a great explanation on how it works, and we can consolidate everything into one huge glorious document.
Now- YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE ALL THESE SEGMENTS. Remember: Late bind, late bind, late bind! Only build what you have to when you need it.
I should add here also that- for many of these, you'll want to make TOC's for them. When you start a subject- you know, you've collected a few pages in the ``Unplaced'', all with the same subject marker. And after it reaches about 5-10 pages, you say, "Well, let's make this into a full-on subject now." So your subject starts with roughly 5-10 pages. You don't have to start writing a POI TOC if you only HAVE 2 actual POI. Wait until you actually could USE a POI, before you write one. After you have about 10 POI, THEN make a POI TOC. Late bind.
So we have segments. What else do we have in the subject?
We have the physical organization to talk about as well- the way papers are physically laid out, from front to back.
It is the shorter topic, so I'll describe it immediately.
(Title Layer) The Subjects Tab Page SMOC - subject map
(Lookup Layer) S - speeds TOCs - tables of contents I - index
(Contents) (Just about Everything Else) (Archival Store)
(Quick Access) Cht - cheat sheets A/S - abbreviations
(Note: The P and P page does NOT go in the subject. The P and P pages, one for each subject, are collected into a grand P and P collection area. More on this in the ``Extra-Subj Architecture''.)
You start with the actual tab page, that delimits the subject in your notebook. You know- it's a big yellow/tan sheet, it has a plastic tab sticking of the edge, and you slip a little paper in. On that little paper you slip in, you place the name of the subject. Simple as that. Your subject starts with that.
Then you have the SMOC- this may be one page, it may be many pages. If you have many pages, the first one should be the page that points to the rest of the MOC pages, or presents your ``super-map'', or whatever.
By the way- SMOC means ``Subject Map of Contents.'' That is, it's a MOC that applies over a subject, rather than a GSMOC, which we'll talk about in ``Extra-Subject Architecture''.
Following the SMOC, you store your Speed Thoughts. Now realize- you WILL be missing some of your speeds- the latest ones, in fact. Because you are carrying those around with you, in your carry-about binder. But most of the time you are dealing with your subjects, you'll be in your common-store binder, or maybe even in an archive binder. But the speeds that are not on the latest page, you will store right after the SMOC.
Why? Because your SMOC will refer intensively to your Speeds. You'll have little ```28'''s and ``33'''s that you are going to want to collapse, by using the Speed lists. You don't want to have to fish around into the middle of your binder, looking for the speeds. So put them RIGHT AFTER the MOC.
If you are in the process of doing a LOT of work with a particular map, you're just going to want to open up the binder, pull out your speeds, close the binder, and work with the pages side by side.
So immediately after the MOC is a convenient place.
THEN, you follow the older speeds with the TOC's- the table of contents for the rest of the stuff.
Again, for similar reasons. You'll have ``(5)'' or ``P5'', however you choose to notate it, on your map. And you're going to not want to go fishing through the contents of your subject. You're going to want to just glance at the TOC, and see that POI5 is about ``Naming'', or whatever.
(BTW, after you perform a lookup on a map, and you are pretty sure the item won't be moving around a bunch, switch your pen into green, and write a 1-3 word description/mnemonic next to the link on the map.)
Ah- there's a very SPECIAL TOC- that is, your references list..!
References can be either ``expanded''- meaning that you've actually gone to the work of analyzing them on paper, or ``not expanded''. Meaning you just keep a reference to it, so that you can write bibliographies, or refer it to friends, and what not. Remember that reference page numbering partially adopts the actual reference's structure. So, the actual reference pages serve double as a TOC.
Sadly, the pages can be in only one place at a given time. I keep them in the carry-about binder, immediately coupled with the latest speed list, so that I have it on hand to cite to friends who are interested in something I am talking about. It also helps in libraries and bookstores when I decide to make good use of my time by looking things up. More on references later. The point is: The References pages are a special form of TOC over your reference analysis, consideration.
Now: What order do you put your TOC's in?
Put them in alphabetical (expanded, not abbreviated) order.
Let's suppose you have 4 research entries, 2 expanded references, 13 POI, and 1 project.
Research Reference Point of Interest Project
After the TOC's, you place your Index.
I'll describe it later, but for now: It's basically an A-Z/123/Symbol mapping from a subject, to ALL of the resources you have on that subject.
It's LATE BOUND- that is, it isn't current. Maintaining a current index would take for ever, and you'd only use some parts of it anyways. Maintaining it would be a constant interruption. Bad Bad Bad!
What you do is- whenever you find yourself flipping through your notebook looking for all occurrences of a subject- a minor subject, since major subjects already appear nicely on your MOC- then you cache your results onto the index page. More on it later.
After the Index, you have pretty much ``Everything Else'' that hasn't been already described.
How do you organize it? The same way you organize the TOC: Alphabetically, by full expansion.
If you have 3 references, say REF3, REF9, and REF21, then they should (obviously) appear in the order REF3, REF9, and REF21- numerically.
After you have placed ``Everything Else'', then you have the ``Archives''.
Archival pages are the ones with the red glyph at the bottom denoting an ``Archival Page''.
You organize ALL archival pages in Alphabetical order, based on Segment.
YES- ALL of them. Even including your Maps, TOC's, and Indexes, A/S's, whatever. It all goes in alphabetical order, when it comes to the archives.
Do remember: When your archival section grows unwieldy, or if you just want to ``get rid of it'', you can pull all those pages out, and merge them into the archival binder's place for the section.
Finally, you have your cheat sheets, and AT THE VERY BACK, your abbreviations/shorthands lists.
Remember that the EASIEST places to reach within your subject are: The VERY FRONT, and, the VERY BACK. So we keep important, frequently used things there. The very front is the most important map of all of your maps, and the very back is your most frequently accessed abbreviation sheet.
You SHOULD be using abbreviations- LOTS of them. Unfortunately, I haven't written much on abbreviations, but there's a reason for that: Many people have already written a lot on the Internet on the subject. Look it up on the Internet. If you want to get really wild, use Chinese/Japanese Kanji, or use Gregg script. Best: Use a visual language's iconography.
So, that, in short, is the paper layout.
Now, let's talk about the individual segments themselves. Then we'll talk about some of the experimental segments.
PURPOSE and PRINCIPLES
The P and P is unique in that it has ZERO presence in the actual subject pages, unless it is an old version in the archival pages.
The purpose of the P and P is to determine what goes IN the subject, and what goes OUT. It describes the BOUNDARY OF THE SUBJECT.
If it turns out that something goes OUT of the subject, the P and P page also gives you some hints on where to send it.
There are two ways that I have denoted P and P pages.
The old way is to take a page in half, make the top have ``INCLUDES'', and the bottom half ``EXCLUDES''.
-------------------------------------------------- (subject name) P and P date INCL * (inclusion) * (inclusion) * (exception) * (inclusion) EXCL * (exclusion) (target) * (exception) * (exclusion) (target) * (exclusion) (target) (subj name) P and P(ver\#) --------------------------------------------------
Here's an example from my books:
-------------------------------------------------- Personal Psychology P and P [no date!] INCL * Clearly Psychological Forces * Self-Image * Motivation * Feelings * Self-Help Techniques EXCL * Non-Mechanical Forces (->MP) * National Forces (->MP?) * Very Broad Modeling of my Life (->MP) * Gender Studies (->SOC?) * Imgn (->IMGN) * Values, Goals (->Values) * A.C.T.S. functional details (->ACTS) * Inter-Personal Psychology (->PPL) * Though Focus Techniques (->MTK) Personal Psychology P and P --------------------------------------------------
Let's note something first though- This page is out of date!
So as a demonstration of Late Binding, let me fix this now.
``MP''- that is, ``Metaphysics'', was blown up a while back. I don't think many of these redirects are correct now.
What is pointing to MP? ``Non-Mechanical Forces'', ``National Forces'', and ``Very Broad Modeling of my Life.''
I know right off that ``Very broad modeling of my life'' should go into ``Personal History.''
Switch the pen to red, cross out ``MP'', and replace it with ``PHist''.
How about ``National Forces'' and ``Non-Mechanical Forces''-? Those DO belong in Metaphysics. Just to be sure, though, I check the GSMOC, and see if the ideas would rather gravitate elsewhere. The GSMOC suggests proximity to Spirit, Values, Imagination, Personal Identity... No, it's none of those. So we'll keep it in MP for now. If there are enough related thoughts in MP, these subjects may ``break out'', be ejected from MP, but for now, they'll live in there. The closest is ``Spirit", the purpose of which is explained in the ''Spirit and Awareness P and P" page, but glancing at the page makes it clear that the ideas don't fit in there. MP it is.
So that's how P and P works. It tells you what to include, and what to exclude. And the things excluded, it tells you where else to put them. (Or maybe not. If there is no such place yet, just leave the target blank.)
There's another way to do P and P-
That is to make a diagram. You put a large circle in the center with the P and P's subject. Then you draw lines out to words representing other subjects. What is included goes center-ward, what is excluded goes to the extremities, to the subjects that are their actual targets.
When inclusion and exclusion are along an axis, the axis takes the form of a line, with subjects at either end. Put the exclusion/inclusion specification at the ends of the line. That way you can visually see how to cut topics.
There is usually only a single P and P page per subject; I have never seen one grow beyond one page.
Now you understand P and P.
Your speed thoughts pages are ideally built by a computer. When I get around to putting this online, I'll also place the Word documents that include my templates.
Remember: We want info density for our speed thoughts. Pack as many onto a page as you can.
The format of a speed thought page looks like this:
-------------------------------------------------- (Subject Name) S__-S__ ___________ V # Hint @ Content _|_|____|_|_______________________________________ _|_|____|_|_______________________________________ _|_|____|_|_______________________________________ _|_|____|_|_______________________________________ |(and so on...) _|_|____|_|_______________________________________ _|_|____|_|_______________________________________  (Subject Name) S__-S__ --------------------------------------------------
A bit of explanation is in order.
The ``V'' is some sort of glyph that means ``checked off''. I use a downward pointing arrow, but you could just as well have a check mark, or just a dot, or whatever.
That column means whether the given speed has been mapped or not.
You'll collect speed thoughts quickly, probably faster than you can map them. Every now and then, you'll go over your speed thoughts and map them- preferably from most recent to oldest (most recent tends to be more immediately relevant, and worthy of thought). You can go in any order that you want. But you want to keep track of what you've mapped, and what you haven't.
The ``#'' column is where you number the speed thought. If it's speed #47, the number ``47'' should appear here. (On the first row line of the speed- a three line speed has the number appear only in the first row- the rest, leave blank.)
Note: When you are mapping speeds onto the map, you're going to want to do it like this: ```47''. Just a single dot, to denote that 47 refers to a SPEED THOUGHT. Speed thoughts will, by far, populate the integrated MOC. It'll look like constellations- lots of little black speed map stars, with blue structural lines and magnet words revealing the underlying structure of your thought.
Believe me- it's beautiful when you see it all done out.
Next comes the ``Hint''. The ``Hint'' is a 1-3 word description of the CONTEXT that the speed thought lives in. This is MAJOR important! Why is it so important?
Because when you are mapping your speed thoughts, you don't want to have to keep recognizing the content of the thought- you want to just put the thought where it goes. Thus the aid of the context hint.
Next comes a funny little ``@'' sign column. Actually, I use the character ``Psi''. You can omit this column if you want.
I use it to provide some information on what type of thought it is. This connects into something I call ``Icons for Thought'', and it's part of my MTK (Mental Technique) notes. I'm not going to describe the system here; This is a book about notebooks. Maybe some day I'll write about it. A brief description will do though: Some thoughts are ``problems'', ``goals'', ``questions'', or ``incentives." Some are ''starting points.`` Some are requests to "analyze'', to pick apart, and some are requests to ``articulate''. Some are notes on ``maps'', some are ``rules'' or principles, some are ``names'' or ``borders''. Some are ``see alsos'' (but NOT references, which go in REF), some are ``quotations'', some are ``hazards'' or ``rebounds''. There are many variety of types of thoughts.
Free free to skip that column.
Lastly, there is the content.
Some times, you'll just put a word in there, or maybe two words. Some times, you'll fill three rows of content.
Put in what you are comfortable with. Lean toward the terse, away from the verbose. Use abbreviations and shorthand.
You can use the speed lists as a ``to-do'' sheet as well- maintenance events that you want to see show up later. Check them off in the first column when you complete them.
Again. There are NO Speed Thought Police. You can lay out whatever you want. Add columns, subtract columns. Whatever you do- let me know about it, or let the world know about it somehow. I want notebook creation to be a creative science, after all..! Your thoughts and experiences MATTER!
Now, I've presented the description of the Speed page, but I also want to talk about some issues connected with Speed thoughts here.
* Pan-Subject speed-thought lists * Growth Process (Memento->Speed->Articulation) * ``Completing'' a speed
Remember that there are Pan-Subject speed thoughts. The page and form for a Pan-Subject speeds page looks exactly the same, except that instead of #, you have ``Subject''- where you tell what subject's speed list is the target. And instead of checking off when you've mapped it, you check off when you've transcribed the speed thought to the appropriate speed list.
Next: When you are recording speed thoughts, there is a sort of ``growth process''- a scale of articulation.
0. the idea 0.2. (repeating in your mind?) 0.5. (paged?) 1. Memento 2. Speed 3. Articulation
First you have an idea in your head. You might repeat it in your mind to not lose it, you might add it to a peg list and review it periodically, until you have access to paper.
There are strategies for holding thoughts in your head. Very briefly- take the thought, reduce it to a short, few-syllable, word. As you pack in thoughts, cycle through the words.
When you UNPACK, unpack only a single word first, for each item, until you have them all out. Then go over the list again, adding a SECOND WORD. After you have two words out, you're pretty safe. Then add a third. Now you're solid. Now go over the list and give a single line description.
Don't start with two words- just go parallel, striping one word first, then the second, then the third, then you are safe.
Your 1-3 word description is what I call a ``memento''. Then if you expand it out a bit, I call it a ``speed''. 1-5 lines, tops. Anything more, and you should probably be writing a POI entry, or some other ``articulation''.
The speed lists should contain memento's and speeds.
So, you have a view of where the speeds fit in the scale of ``an idea'' to ``full on articulation''.
Most thoughts are best left at stage 1 or 2. Just place them on the map, and check them off. Some thoughts, however, you will need to delve into.
Be sure to do so strategically.
When I talk about MOC's, I'll talk about strategy. IF I FORGET TO, MAIL ME AND LET ME KNOW! Using strategy, you can figure out what to articulate and what to leave un-expanded.
Yes, I'd use a speed list to maintain these promises, but hey- I'm going to build that list later. (I am an experienced notekeeper, not an experienced book writer.) I'm aiming for raw content right now. In future book experiments, I'll try other stuff. Right now, I'm just racing to the end.
Ah- Speeds to Completion. You want to eventually be ``DONE'' with a speed thought.
Generally, the speed thought is ``done'' when it's mapped.
What happens when the map is fundamentally changed? You move to a new map version? Well, when you redo maps, you want to lose as little information as you can. You will invariably lose SOME, because your old ways of looking at things are frequently wrong, or deficient in some way. If you like, you can mark a RED check into the speed's box when it is ``retired''. I personally haven't done this. If you put red checks in all of the boxes, check the archive box  at the bottom of the page, and you can safely put the speed list in archive.
I find it best to LOOK FORWARD, rather than LOOK BACKWARD, in the notebooks. (Psychology note!) Thoughts die. That is good. They are reborn, symbolically, in your new map structure.
Is there anything else I want to say about speeds?
I once thought it would be a good idea to take speeds that were taken off a map, and transfer them ``back'' to the speed list. That is, white out it's checked box. As I said above, I think it's best to just let them die. We WANT to forget old thoughts. And as Michael Ende likes to point out, that something has entered our mind and then been forgotten- it still leaves a trace on us, in our unconscious. I agree with Michael Ende. Let it go. That thought HAS helped you, carried you forward. It contributed to helping you recognize a new map, a new order. It's time is done now.
There. I have said what I want about speeds. I'll talk about how they can ``navigate'' over maps in the maps section. Which- is- coming right up!
The Subject Map of Contents. In the ``General Principles'' chapter of this book, I already wrote a lot about SMOC. I want to fill in some holes here, now.
In particular, I want to talk about:
That is, I want to write about how a page is laid out, how to use the SMOC to make strategic decisions, how to trickle speeds (and other entries, but mostly speeds) over the map, icons on the map, and transitioning from an old map structure to a new map structure.
A map has a simple page layout:
-------------------------------------------------- Map Title (creation date) (freeze date, once frozen) (your content here)  (subj) SMOC(v\#)-(page\#) --------------------------------------------------
I'm not going to write about what map content looks like- go back to the ``Maps'' section in ``General Principles'' to learn about that. I'm going to talk about specifics in SMOC pages here.
The creation date- list that first. That's when you make the map. Once you retire a map, you give a ``freeze date''. That's when the map is done. (Check the ``archive box''  at the bottom, too.)
After you accumulate, say, 20 speeds, a POI or two, and a few references, and whatever else you have, it's time to get a good overhead view of your thoughts on your subject. That will both suggest places for thinking to plug in holes, and show you the ``boundaries'' of your thought, so that you can expand those boundaries.
Almost always- when you complete a map, you'll suddenly have an avalanche of thoughts..! Not just immediately, but over the next few days as well. Your mind, upon seeing the structure, will suddenly have a ground to go further from. You've turned on the lights in the present room, and can now find the door to continue to the next.
Now: Your map is 2D, but time flows linearly. You need a path of progress. What you do is this:
You take out all those little sticky tabs that I told you to buy in the materials part. They are about 1/2`` wide, at most, and maybe 1/4'' tall. You pick the subjects and locations that need the MOST work- somewhere between 1-10 of them.
You write red words onto 1-10 of your sticky tabs, describing the work to do. Then you place the red tags onto the map.
THOSE are your options. THOSE are the places where you should likely devote your attention. As discussed in the theory section of this book (next-to-last chapter), the source of input to your notebooks isn't the speed lists- the source of input to your notebooks is your ATTENTION, which THEN produces speedlists.
Now: A note about these strategy tabs.
You don't have to wait for a remapping effort to make these. Any time you have a thought about ``what to work on'', you can make a sticky, and put it on your map. If there IS no place on the map for it, just put it out floating in space on the map. That's just fine. You'll map it out later.
AND: As things become unimportant to you (happens a LOT), just take tabs off. Throw them away.
If you want to remember to put a tab on, but you aren't there at the moment, just put onto your speed list, "#43:blahblah:Remember to work on BlahBlah." Then when you are processing your speeds, and you see that, if it is still important to you, check off the speed, make a red sticky, and put it on the map in the right place.
The speeds don't just catch ideas- they also catch work requests. Remember that.
So, where were we... I want you to leave this strategy session with this in mind:
You have your sticky tabs. You stick them onto the map, to indicate where work needs to be done. You take them off when you they become irrelevant to you, or when you complete whatever issue it is. Then you just throw the little sticky in the trash. It's work is done.
You do NOT want to write priorities on the map. The priorities change VERY frequently. They should be going on and off pretty frequently. You'll mess up your map if you keep writing all over it. No need to replace it that often.
Anything else I need to say here?..
One last thing:
This really belongs in the ``extra-subject architecture'', but it's related, so I will describe it here.
You may take off ONE sticky, the most important one to you at the moment, and stick it on the GSMOC. I haven't described the GSMOC yet, but for now, just know it is a map of all of your subjects.
That way, when you are pouring over all of your subjects, you'll see what is the most important first thing to think about in that subject. At least, what you thought was most important the last time you were in there. (Things change quickly.)
And also: Try to keep only one sticky per strategy idea- try to avoid keeping copies at multiple levels. I tried multiple levels once, and it just became a maintenance nuisance. Whenever you have multiple levels, just take ONE item from the lower level, take it off of the lower level, and stick it onto the higher level. Have only one higher-level item for each lower level island that exists.
Now I'm done talking about strategy.
So, we've talked about the simple page layout, we've talked about strategy- next, we talk about trickling speeds over maps.
Okay: So you have a big list of speeds, and an empty map.
You make a new map version.
Suppose you were on Map #1. But you have 100 speeds, and Map #1's getting old. Now you are making Map #2.
Let's suppose- actually, that you need a ``temporary map"- a ''scratch map." A wise idea- because you might make mistakes, no? And you'll want to correct them.
What should you number the scratch map? (Or should you keep it at all?) I say ``YES!'' You should number it #2! Not 1.5, and don't throw it in the trash. Just call the scratch map ``M2''. Then when you make the ``real'' map, label it ``M3''. That's TOTALLY OKAY.
And besides, I've been surprised by how many times the ``scratch'' map ends up being the ``real'' map. And you are going to be interrupted some times, too. So just treat the scratch map as a real map, and don't be afraid of growing numbers.
We have a versioning system. USE IT!
So you have either no map (you are making the first one), or you have a poor one, and you have a big list of unmapped speeds.
The procedure is as follows:
Here's an example.
Here's a Speed List:
# | Hint | Content --|----------------------|------------------------ 1 | Structured Email | Should people structure their Email? ex name-sys | | f titles, 1 email/topic address. ref to | | ``Struct Considered Harmful.'' --|----------------------|------------------------ 2 | Wiki, Populating | Can't just have wiki, MUST have ppl to | | populate it, or pop yourself. ppl add | | later. note: opposes ``if build, will come.'' | | some will, but few, in my experience. --|----------------------|------------------------ 3 | Map Software | (?) Collab make/chg map of subject. refs: | | pt to webpage, books, individuals, orgs, | | articles, ... diff sizes, colors, fonts... | | also: big changes affect many should be psbl --|----------------------|------------------------ 4 | Wiki, Canonicalizing | ways make changes, harden w/ time --|----------------------|------------------------ 5 | Software Map | keeps research map, 2d collab and maintained. | | ppl submit refs for incl, ] vote, | | pass=good. fail: apply elsewhere, correct | | xyz, mark spam. Book, WP, PPR, PROJ...
Looking at the hints, we see we are talking about email structures, wiki, mapping software. But there are OTHER ways to cut this as well. What structures does this suggest?
First, let's take the obvious ones: Types of software.
wiki map software \ / \ / SOFTWARE | | email
Okay, so there's one map. And we put those thoughts on it, too:
`4 wiki map software `2 \ / `3 `5 \ / SOFTWARE | | email `1
Okay, but, I get the feeling that this is sort of shallow, don't you?
What else can we do with this?
Well, the first was talking about STRUCTURE- structuring people's communication. That's definitely something I want to think about.
And the second- that's about RECRUITING people, and POPULATING your collaboration space, right? We're going to want to keep our eyes on those.
Now, let's look at the third: We're talking about mapping software, but it also has to do with CHANGES, and it suggests VERSIONING to my mind as well. These are concepts we're going to want to have structure for.
S4 is similar. It's also about making changes, and hardening with time. I wouldn't be surprised if I had those ideas at a similar time, in fact. Another idea for ``CHANGES'', maybe versioning as well. ``CHANGES'' and ``VERSIONING'' are pretty close to one another, no? We'll represent that graphicly, in the map.
S5 is smilar to S3, wherever S3 is, we'll have S5 as well. We talk a bit about VOTING, no? And it's connected to changes as well.
So supposing that we wrote those key words we realized on paper, we get the following:
(Note on Topical Deliberation, ``TD'':)
Notice that we've got some ideas that we're capturing as we go over these lists? I used to throw these away. But I think these deliberations actually have some value, after having done these for a while.
I call it ``Topical Deliberation''. My new experimental segment is ``Topical Deliberation'', or TD, and I record it by straight chronology in it's TOC, and on their pages.
Now- before we go on- I want to remind you of something, something I said earlier. I said that THE MAPS WE FORM HERE are MORE IMPORTANT than the ACTUAL CONTENT ITSELF!
Keep your eye on that, and reflect on that, as we move on here.
So, we need to be a map.
After playing around with it, and remembering our connections, we draw the following:
STRUCTURE RECRUITING POPULATING `4 `2 `3 `5 wiki map soft \ / SOFTWARE CHANGES------VOTING | / email VERSIONING `1
How's that? Isn't that neat?
Yes, it'll get better.
Let's note some things here- like, some of the subleties expressed in the map. (Note: Many are missing, because this is on a computer, and not on paper. I only have two levels here: lower case and upper case... But I digress.)
Recruiting and Populating are not DIRECTLY linked, but we can see an implied connection between them, just by proximity.
And look at how CHANGES and VERSIONING are close together, and bound by a line. VOTING and CHANGES are connected by a line too, but we've let ``VOTING'' go out a ways. Isn't that interesting?
In a TOC, you just smash everything together. And you can't express much more than ``above'', ``below'', ``indented in'', and ``further out.'' You can simulate a forest of trees, but your trees can't intermingle (into webs), and you only have so many levels, and you can only place your trees in a row.
But maps are ``alive''. They give you warm fuzzy thoughts and feelings. YAH! Some times they even feel electric. RAH! Pikachuuu!
Okay. Now lets populate the rest. Do we just want to automatically put our speeds on there? No: We want to consider them 1x1. Just because a speed helped SUGGEST some structure, doesn't mean we necessarily want to place it in CONTEXT with that structure.
S1: That was the one about email, and wondering if people should structure their emails. Refered to ``Structure Consider Harmful.''
Let's look in the references- there it is. "Structure Considered Harmful." It's REF#8. Let's put that on our map. (NOTE: Putting references on maps is difficult at times, because a book usually talks about a LOT of stuff. If you want to, you can link in individual chapters of a book, but you'll need to note them on the references section. Generally, references appear at the ``top'' of trees, or by ``key nodes'' in webs, because they refer to so much amidst the children. Sad but true. In this case, we are lucky. The map is new, and so we mostly only have ``tops of trees'', and there is perfect match between the reference, and the top of this tree.)
I think that S1 is fair game for ``Structure''. Same with REF8.
`1 REF8 STRUCTURE RECRUITING POPULATING `4 `2 `3 `5 wiki map soft \ / SOFTWARE CHANGES------VOTING | / email VERSIONING `1
Now we are running into the ugliness of computers. Sorry, I just can't easily make ``REF'' appear in ittie bittie capital letters, above and to the left of the number 8- superscript.
Computers are so frustrating in these primitive days of ours.
Now we'll go through S2-S5 a little quicker.
S2: This says that you can't just make a wiki, you have to get people to populate it as well, or you have to populate it yourself.
Okay, this is very relevant to populating, so we'll put it there.
S3: This says you you want mapping software where people can make changes. It also says that people should be able to make big changes.
Now, I have some reservation here, because it also has a LOT of stuff about the mapping software that doesn't have to do so much with changing in the abstract. To it's grace, it DOES say that big changes should be possible, and that's an idea that abstracts- there is a general idea of big changes, and little detail work.
What I'd probably do if this was on paper is take out my green pen, (green = icons, markup, meta,...), or maybe (tolerate errors!) my blue pen (blue = structure), and put a little letter ``a'' by irrelevent stuff for this purpose, and a ``b" by where it says ''big changes affect many should be possible." So the designation on the page would be ```3b''.
Okay, pretend I made those edits, and we'll put ```3b'' on.
S4: ``ways make changes, harden w/ time.'' Talking about wikis.
If I were using my ``Psi" icons, I would have put the ''This is a starting point for thought; Reflect on this" icon there. But I don't want to go into that system; That's a Mental Techniques thing, not a notebook thing, for my writing purposes. Maybe some other day.
So, we DEFINITELY want to put `4 onto the map, by changes. The idea of hardening with time is interesting.
S5: Now- this is about voting, and what to do with bad votes, and what not, on the subject of Electronic Collaboration. Only a little is really about software maps. This could apply equally well to wikis, say, or any other type of collaborative system. Well, not email, right? Well, maybe so, I can conceive of that. So this definitely attaches to voting.
So this is what the map looks like when we are done:
`1 REF8 STRUCTURE RECRUITING `2 POPULATING `4 `2 `3 `5 wiki map soft \ / `3b `4 `5 SOFTWARE CHANGES------VOTING | / email VERSIONING `1
Ah- Now isn't that interesting?
If it were just a TOC, it would look something like this:
Ref8, as traditionally done, would appear in the back of the book, not associated with ``STRUCTURE''.
The connection between ``RECRUITING'' and ``POPULATING'' is not apparent. I mean, sure, they are next to one another, but so is ``VOTING'' and ``VERSIONING'' and ``RECRUITING''. So you don't go looking for those patterns, with so much nonsense there. (You could put in section delimiters here, but most people don't, and you still have to put those section delimiters in a row- a web isn't possible.)
Isn't that interesting?
But there's so much more! We just have only 6 items here- when it gets much larger- say, 100 items, or 200 items, the differences become much more dramatic and apparent..! The superiority of the MOC becomes far greater.
Now: We've trickled speeds onto the map.
Sometimes, you will become aware that further work is needed, over time.
Consider, that in my notebooks notebook, I used to have, attached to ``New Section Ideas'', about 9 speed thoughts.
Whoah! 9 of them! Gets a bit unwieldy. So what you do, when one part starts to build up, is look up the items, and then further divide them.
As it was, 4 of the ideas were related to chrono/episodes. So I etended a line out from New Section Ideas, put ``Subject Chrono'' on the end of it, crossed out S121, S112, S114, S120, and moved them to orbit ``Subject Chrono''. Great!
Whenever an area is getting congested, grow out.
Going in the other direction: Don't build too much unnecessary structure! If you've got only 2 ideas in a location, don't put 8 magnet words out there. Just park those 2 speed thoughts next to one magnet word, temporarily. As you build more speed thoughts there, THEN build structure AS NECESSARY.
And a note about the strucuture: This isn't supposed to be some ``absolute cosmic eternal perfect ontological structure.'' This is the associations YOU make in YOUR head. It's a map of YOUR mind. I don't even think a good ACEPOS can exist. TOLERATE ERRORS. (If you're having a hard time tolerating errors, again, intentionally fuck things up.)
Anything else about trickling speeds over the map?
Put them on the map. Park them somewhere. Push them out when they get too close.
Um: Push ``Down'' too. If a section of the map gets too dense, start another map page. Draw a big blue or red dashed line around the map section that was dense, and write ``M7'' next to it, if the next map page is Map Page #7.
Oh- and don't try to fit too many maps to a page. You have to balance not-wanting-to-flip-to-the-next-page and not-wanting-to-have-to-replace-the-whole-page because of a big problem on just one map. You have plenty of paper- USE IT. BUT... Information density, information density... It's a natural tension, until we get these maps computerized. (See the ``Killer Easy Notebook App'' in the ``Computer Question'' chapter- the end of the book.)
Ah: HAVE A TEMPORARY SPACE ON YOUR MAPS FOR SPEEDS. You might want to draw a little parking lot ``U'' shape for the hard-to-place thoughts. And you might want to draw a little black hole too- that's for thoughts that should probably go to some other subject somewhere else, and you just aren't taking the time to transcribe them over yet.
YES: You CAN have fun with this. Draw whatever you like. It's OKAY, it's YOUR MIND after all. =^_^=
Of course, if you are not like me, I guess you can do it crystaline, or however you like. If you're a bohemian, you can type it all up on a typewriter, if you like. Whatever floats your boat.
OKAY. I'm feeling ``done'' here. Anything else? No? Going.... Going...
-Let me say something for a moment.
Remember: There are two types of thought- intentional, and incidental. This writing process- this is mostly intentional. The framework I am writing to you is from my INCIDENTAL analysis. I collected speeds (incidental), a few POI's (intentional), mapped them out, and almost the Entire Structure of this book is based on the resulting structure. However, that structure isn't everything. You also have to ``reach out'' with your thought. As I write and expand this, I am also ``reaching out." Thus responsible for all of the ''Um, anything else?"'s.
Yes. When I write a second draft, or whatever, I'll take all this stuff out. (I'll leave this old one around, for those who prefer this, too. God bless your souls.)
Write BIG THOUGHTS BIG. For example, if you have a speed thought that is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than the others, make it's ``dot'' bigger, and make it's number BIGGER. How big? In proper proportion to the neighboring territories..! And the same in reverse. If it's mindbogglingly unimportant, write it so small that you need a magnifying glass to see it.
And another thing. This is what I was fishing my unconscious for.
Your speeds- if you have TWO SPEEDS that are almost COMPLETELY IDENTICAL (happens more than you'd think!), identify them with a SLASH between them.
For example, if speeds 47 and 98 are almost identical, put it on the map like this:
But if S84 and S33 are VERY SIMILAR, but warrent individual attention- put a COMMA between them:
There you are.
Done with talking about how speeds park on the mpa.
Now I can continue.
ICONs? ICONS on the map? What the hell did I mean by ``ICONS'' on the map? Let me go back to my Notebooks notebook... There it is! It says ``icons'' in green, next to ``P7'', right there next to ``maps''. (I'm telling you my process, so that you can see that the notebook system works, and how it works.) So I look up POI 7. Ah-HAH! There it is!
``Subject MOC Icons - Type Recognition Icons.''
OKAY, so this is about how you pin stuff onto the map. Unfortunately, now I am really mad at our primitive computer technology, at this ASCII I am using to write this in.
When I put this in DocBook/HTML, I'll be happy.
Here, briefly, are my link designators, on the map:
REFERENCES: I use the kanji for ``book'', in tiny form, top-left of the ref#, to further denote that this is a ``book''. The letters ``ws'', or a little icon of a web, denotes a website. The kanji for ``person'' means a person, the kanji for ``people'' (3 persons) make an organization (that is a reference.) Make up your own icons, if you don't know kanji! It's fun and easy. :)= Just write them down and keep them somewhere in your notebooks system. I DO believe ever notebook keeper, by this system, should keep a ``notebooks'' subject.
These are just my icons. Make up your own!
But I STRONGLY recommend just `` `# '' for a speed thought, since they are the most common, and the `` (#) '' shorthand for your POIs, because they are 2nd most common.
Now the last part of talking about maps:
Transitioning your maps.
I've already talked about map transition a bit here, I'll try to repeat myself to a minimum.
As I wrote before: Keep your ``scratch maps''. Give them version numbers.
If you are only changing a PAGE of a map- that's a situation I've never run into, but it should be solvable. I'd version off that page number, using letters. ``M3-5c'' would be version 3 of the whole map, version c of page 5. Archive ``M3-5b'' back with where you archived ``M3-5a''.
As you make a new map, you'll find that some old POI and Speed thoughts and other things are now obsolete. They are either notes on an old structure that no longer exists, or they are commentary on things that are no longer important to you.
It's up to you what to do: If you want, you can go to the old thought, and place a note reading, ``Idea obsolete; See XYZ'', where XYZ is whatever is still present, but responsible for putting the old note to sleep. Or, you can just not write anything.
It depends on how much time you have, how important that idea is to you, how frequently you linked to that idea (or a predecessor pointing to it), a number of other factors.
Personally, I think it's healthiest to LOOK FORWARD as you keep your notebook. Let the dead bury the dead.
For stuff that is still on the new map: Just move it on over. If magnet word ``A'' had number 124, 56, and 200 around them before, put them around it now too.
If in doubt, put something on the new map. You can cross it off later, if you like.
And that's it for the SMOC section! Let's recap:
There's a simple page layout. You can use little stickies to keep your strategy in order. Speeds (and other content) build the structure of the map. (More accurately, your attention builds the structure of the map- remember: This is a map of your mind.) There are icons that you use (such as ```55'', ``(12)'', and ``REF5'') that you place on the map. When you transition maps, keep your scratch work, and you can point obsolete entrees to the new structure as you like.
We've talked about P and P, we've talked about Speeds, we've talked about the SMOC; Next up are the POI!
A POI is like a journal entry, but specific to a particular point of interest. The title specifies the point of interest.
I have three things to say about POI:
The first has to do with content within a POI.
What you write in the POI MUST be consistent with the title of the POI.
The title usually outlines a problem that you are trying to solve (``These components are interfering with one another.''), or a goal that you are trying to reach (``A Theory of XYZ''), or something that you want to articulate in greater detail (perhaps you have collected a bunch of speed thoughts that are related, and you want to describe their interrelationship), a question you want to answer, a subject you want to reflect on, whatever.
Then you write. You try to solve what you want to solve, or reflect, or analyze, or whatever.
Anything that doesn't have to do with the title is effectively ``lost''. When you look on the MOC, and are looking for a piece of information, if it's buried away in some POI with a title that doesn't describe it, then you can't find that piece of information.
Thus the great importance of KEEPING THE POI ON TOPIC.
Which takes us to (2): Transgressing the POI boundary.
When you get off topic, you are ``transgressing the boundary.''
If you catch yourself early enough, just get a new page and make it the beginning of a new POI.
Sometimes you catch yourself late, though. In that case, CIRCLE IN RED what has transgressed. Start a new POI page. Put a link from the red circled part in the old POI to the new POI page, and vice versa. Then continue in the new POI as if everything was fine.
If, at a later point, you decide that this particular POI is important enough, and the link annoying enough, you can always make a new version of the POI page, which brings us to the next subject.
(3) Interlinking POI
POI can be linked topically, or by version.
Topical links are easy- you just say, ``See also: XYZ'', where XYZ is the id of the other resource. For example, if you are referring to POI#25, you just write ``See also P25'', and maybe a little note on what P25 is about.
If you are linking beyond the subject, include the subject as well: ``See also GKI P25'', were GKI your target subject.
(I personally use an icon in place of ``See Also''; I recommend doing the same. Just make one up. Mine looks like O---O with a circle around it.)
How do you version POI? Not the same way as maps are versioned.
To make a new version of a POI, just start a new POI entry. Then link the new version back to the old, and vice versa.
If you ever follow a link to the old version, update the link to point to the new version, wherever the link's source is.
If you get a long chain of versions, you can put additional navigation information by the links- you can write "First version, P4; Last version, P14; Latest version, P46". However you like.
And that's it for POI! They are very simple, really.
``RS'' - RESEARCH
Research pages are like POI, but they are particularly about researching some problem using other people's comments.
POI are ALWAYS ORIGINAL to YOU. RS is ALWAYS BASED on OUTSIDE RESEARCH.
There is a bit of a blur between them. You will have to exercise your own judgement. There are better guidelines I could write, but I'm in a hurry, dammit.
I should distinguish RS from REF (reference).
REF is your own notes, attached to ONE, and ONE ONLY, REFERENCE.
Furthermore, REF comes out of attempts to UNDERSTAND A GIVEN REFERENCE.
Abstract models that form in your mind because of a REF should be in a POI (as an articulation of your thoughts). But the attempt to decypher the reference itself goes into REF.
But RS is for when you are bouncing back and forth between multiple references, and you have a train of thought going.
The title of the RS reflects the train of thought going on.
Inside of an RS, you refer to several REF's.
It can be as formal or informal as your needs meet.
If you are writing an RS, but don't want to take the time to cite your references, that's okay. You realize that you can only lookup later what you write. But sometimes, that's not your purpose. You're just trying to establish a line of thought, citations be damned.
You STILL want to KEEP that paper. It is a valid RS, though rough.
If you later care about it more, and want to add the full citations, you can just write them on the paper, or make a new version of the RS. Whatever you like.
REF - references
Reference pagination is something I've already talked about. Remember that it works basically like this:
(subject) REF(reference #)-(reference page scheme)-(page number)
So for example, if you wrote three pages of notes while reading a book on the Noosphere, your three page numbers might look like:
GKI REF13-II.4.A-1 GKI REF13-II.4.A-2 GKI REF13-II.4.A-3
That is ``GKI" for ``Global Knowledge Infrastructure'', ``REF13'' being the 13th reference in you references list, ``II.4.A'' meaning ``part 2, chapter 4, section A'', and 1 (or ``2'' or ``3'') being your personal page number.
I want to say something important here:
IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, JUST KEEP YOUR NOTES IN YOUR BOOKS!
If your book belongs to you, and it has a granger, then by all means, grangerize it! It's your book! It'll be worth MORE to you if you put YOUR thoughts in it. That's what a granger is THERE for: So that you can write in it. So do so. Write in your books, whenever you can get away with it. No need to keep paper in your binders when you've already got it between your book covers. AND you don't have to do any expensive linking operation. So there you go, those are my thoughts on the matter. I've said it.
(Some people are religious about their books. Ah well.)
Keep your notes on whatever isn't original to you in here. Books, interviews, notes on people, the backs of bubble gum wrappers, letters, whatever.
Okay, REF is done. The hardest part about REF is the page numbering. After that, it's obvious what to do.
PJ - Project
The PJ segment is where you keep notes that have to do with your projects, if they aren't complete subjects in themselves!
If you are going to be working on a project for some time, make it it's own subject. (It'll probably be predominantly POI, with a Chrono segment, and many strategy notes, as well.)
But if you have a small project that, won't take more than 3-5 sequences, just keep the notes for it within your subject, and label them with the PJ segment identifier.
I - index
Some times, you'll be looking for ALL of your thoughts on a particular subject.
If you do that, you may repeat the search again in the future. Why go to all that work, AGAIN?
So what you do is you cache the results of your lookup. The Index is the place to do it.
I recommend making a printer template for index pages, keep the template printouts in an informal ``blank papers'' or ``templates'' section in your common-store binder. That way, you don't have to keep making these things over and over. (Note: This is something that I have NOT done myself, but believe would be a good idea. Perhaps when I put this online, along with accompanying format pages, I'll make an index as well, in both 1-page and 3-page format.)
To start an index for a small subject, just do this:
Now, whenever you start a search for a subject, pull out the index sheet. Write, IN BLUE (because your search word is a ``key''), the search word, NEXT to the letter that the word starts with.
So for example, if I'm looking in my Social Ideology subject for everything having to do with ``Anarcho-Socialism'', I'm going to put that word next to the letter ``A''.
Then start your search, beginning over the MOC. If you don't find what you are looking for (MOC miss), then you may have to start going page by page (generally happens when your MOC isn't up to date.) Write the results (the ``hits'') as you find them. Then put the index page back.
Sometimes the page you were looking for, wasn't even in the subject! That's okay. When you find the page, link to it from the same index you started the search from. Your brain is messy. The notebook system is messy. It's GOOD, it's USEFUL, it WORKS, but part of the reason it works so well is because it TOLERATES ERRORS. (If you don't tolerate errors, you are going nowhere with this all.)
By the way- in case I forget to mention it later: It's good to have an index like this for YOUR ENTIRE Notebook system, as well. Keep the Index at the front of your common-store binder. Link words to subjects that they are featured in.
You can start with one page, but as you search, and as your subject grows, you may need to expand to a 3-page index.
Just give each letter three lines.
Symbols and numbers: I put numbers after Z. I also put all symbols after the numbers. Depending on your symbol system, you may be able to find a way to form a hash key (perhaps a circle, if half your symbols involve a circle), you may not. Just part of the trick of dealing with symbols.
That's it for indexes.
Cht - CHEAT SHEETS!
Cheat sheets are great!
I do this a lot in my computer notebooks.
You take your most commonly used pieces of information, and fit them all onto a single cheat sheet. You use it to work with. It will probably be highly abbreviated. Good organization is important. Information density to the max.
The cheat sheet goes near the VERY END of the subject, so you can find it quickly.
If you have several cheat sheets, you may need a TOC for them. You can put the TOC in front of the cheat sheets (that is, near the back of the subject), or with the rest of the TOCs near the front of the subject- it's up to you, really.
The cheet sheets are followed by:
A/S - abbreviations, shorthand
The A/S is placed at the far end of the subject, because you will want quick and ready access to it. You will probably want to even take it out of the binder, if you will be writing a lot.
As you invoke abbreviations, or create symbols or shorthand, record them on the A/S. That way, in a year, you can figure out what in the world you were talking about.
DATE YOUR A/S sheets. It's important, so that if you stumble across an old POI, and you find a symbol that's not on the present version of the A/S, you can go back into the archives and find which A/S was relevant at the time. If you can remember to, FREEZE your A/S sheets as well: Write the date that you stop using the particular A/S sheet.
A/S sheets frequently look like index pages- you have the letters on the left, and you write keys in blue and values in black.
You will probably want a ``global A/S sheet'', that you keep in your carry-about binder, and that applies over all notebooks. Mine personally is 4 pages long, with different sections.
It has entries like ``t: To'' and ``f: Of'' and ``w: With", ''WO: Without``, as well as a person table ''NH: Napoleon Hill NC: Noam Chomsky ME: Michael Ende".
By the way- I should probably put this somewhere else, but when you are dealing with English names, you get good packing with the following division:
AB C DEF GHI J KL MNO PQR ST UVWXYZ
Don't believe me? Try it! You'll be amazed how evenly names fill into it.
Now. I've described the major segments that I use:
I now want to describe segments that I am EXPERIMENTING WITH. That is, what MIGHT WORK.
Remember: There's NO BINDER POLICE. And there's NO ENORMOUS INSTITUTION telling you what is cutting edge and what is not, what you can research and what you can't, and who will ignore you without proper credentials. Nothing of the sort. (And if there were, you may have good reason to ignore it or no.)
So make shit up, and post to the web the results of your experiments. At the very least, email me. I'm interested.
The FIRST experimental segment is ``X''.
That enables you to experiment within a segment, without worrying that the rest of your notebook system will fail.
The special thing about ``X'' pages is that they are temporary, and it signals to you: ``DO NOT LINK TO THIS PAGE!'' Because it might be gone later. It's extra-volatile. BOOM! Your notebook just went up in flames! AUGH!!!
If you find that you are relying on your experimental pages later on, than that's pretty good. That means it isn't really experimental any more. Just white out your X's, or cover them up with a big blob of ink, or turn the X into a star, or something like that.
Now, there are four particular experimental segments I am working out, lately:
We'll go over each in turn:
CEP Chronological Episodes
I've always had subjects that were NOTHING but your traditional
But we can standardize the concept for other subjects that need it, and we can make it stronger as well.
For example, the events in our lives aren't just individual frames; They frequently belong to threads, or ``episodes.''
So I have been experimenting with creating GANTT style charts that map out episodes. You write the ``TOC'' (no, not a MOC, because time is intrinsicly linear) side-ways, and ``up-down'' identify threads, ``across'' identifies time.
Your first thread should be ``unthreaded'' or ``non-episodic.'' Anything that is not episodic, or theme bound (``how I feel today'') goes in that top band.
For your themed entrees, or progression in episodes, you use the lower bands.
So that's something I think is worth looking at more.
(Presently, I am in a mobilization phase, not a vision phase, and am thus NOT working my binder system, so I don't have a chance to try it out right now. Let me know how it works and how it doesn't work.)
TD - Topical Deliberation
Remember how- when we're constructing a new version of a map, or we are focusing on where to place something-
We're making a bunch of judgements. Some times we even use paper to help us form those judgements. I would call those things "topical deliberation."
I'd store 4-6 topical deliberations to a page. This is sort of like speeds- we can keep 45 speeds on a single page, and id them individually. Similary, I'd put TD1, TD2, TD3, TD4, and TD5 on a single page (they are usually brief). These are our hard-earned ``judgements'', so we can refer back to them in the future.
Then mark them on your MOC. They don't need a single ``spot'' though- the topical deliberation usually applies to a REGION or an AREA. So I think it'd be best to put a dashed line around the region of controversy, that the TD clears up, and then label it with the TD. I'd put it in blue or green (since the magnet words and structure lines are already blue). Not red- it attracts to much attention. And it's not normal content- definitely not black. Green is nice and easily ignored. You can consider it GREEN as in ``markup for the map.'' Which it is.
DD - Data Dictionary
If you do this long enough, you'll find yourself making up words. And the meaning of those words may change (sigh), or spawn off new words (better).
(Confucious thought our problems came from shifting language- words meaning something other than they meant. Ted Nelson experimented with interpreting this literally, but ran into some problems with it- too many new words constantly springing into existance, I believe it was.)
I'd keep track of this in a data dictionary. It would probably not be A-Z, since definitions are BIG, and we don't want to partition one page per letter- that's 26 pages, of which you may only use a few.
Probably best would be to just add entries as you think them
up. Then, periodicly, type it all into a computer, alphabetize it,
print it out, and then stick it back in your notebooks. Keep additions
on new pages, and modifications in red. Then go back to the computer
when the time comes, and lather, rinse, repeat.
You can also link to the DD's from the SMOC wherever it would be helpful to be reminded of particular terminology. Yah!
This is the way! (Yes; It's FF Tactics.)
L/T - Lists and Tables
I frequently find myself maintaining lists and tables within POI entrees. These are things I access frequently, and would probably best go near the end of the subjects, to share space with cheat sheets.
At the very least, they just don't ``feel like'' POI. So I want another section for them.
L/T is my answer to this tugging feeling.
I have not tried it yet.
There you go! Those are the segments of the intra-subject architecture!
We've talked about physical pages layout (may want to reread, now that you've seen the segments logicly described), and we've talked about the segments themselves.
We're half-way through the book! Woo Hoo!
Coming up next, is the Extra-Subject architecture.
After you understand that, you have everything you need to start working this system..!
Then if you want to keep reading, you can read the "Theory of Notebooks``, and "The Question of Computers.''