- - Absolute Cosmic Eternal Perfect Ontological
Structure. Something we try to avoid in this notebook system. The
structure maps YOUR brain, not the universe. Don't even try. Madness
that way lies. Leave it to the standards comittees- it's not your job
here. (Unless you are using your notebooks to engineer a standard. In
which case, you already know about the madness.) A term I made up on
the fly, while writing this. I kind of like it now. ``ACEPOS.'' Heh! At
least it's not as cheesy as ``Universal Cosmic Habit Force.''
- - Act-Communication-Thought System. My own personal hybrid
between GTD, and the notebook system described in this book. I do not
describe the interface between the two; It isn't all that complicated,
and is of little interest to most readers of this book, I
suspect. Keep in mind that the notebook system here is anti-ethical to
GTD: GTD promotes action, this system DE-motes action. If you DO
maintain GTD as you perform this system, you will have to realize that
you are going to VASTLY reign in the GTD. Your action pages will
dramatically dwindle. On the other hand, your Someday/Maybe's will
baloon out vastly- no small wonder than that as part of the interface,
I've absorbed the someday/maybes into the subjects' speed lists. If
people write to me asking for elaboration on the ACTS notebook-GTD
interface, I'll write about it. But for the most part: GTD just
whithers in the presence of this system. See ``The Question of
Computers'' for some software ideas that, if implemented, may open up
the possibility of having both doors open at the same time. I think my
most common use of the GTD system was for looking up books at
libraries, getting to web pages to look at, doing my chores, keeping
dates, and as a mechanism to remember when to refill my blank papers
and what not.
- - Abbreviations/Shorthand. Where you will keep your shorthand
notes and abbreviations so that you can write quickly, and yet still
be able to figure out what you were talking about a few years
later. Each section has it's own A/S, and there is a global A/S across
all subjects as well. Global A/S should have a page for names, and
some hash pages for common abbreviations.
- - Final Fantasy. I wrote ``This is the way!''. I was quoting ``Final
Fantasy Tactics''. You perform ``jobs'', and your characters say things
like ``I had a feeling...'' and ``This is the way!'' Never mind. SOOOo
totally not important, save in some sort of strange schizophrenic
holistic universe way. In which case, THIS ENTRY is the CRUX of this
entire book. ``This is the way!'' You be the judge.
- - Global Knowledge Infrastructure. Like PFT, something that
happens to be a subject of mine, but I like it, and I used the acronym
in the book, so I get to advertise the concept here. Heheheh..! I'm
tricky, aren't I? GKI is the study of who knows what, and where. It's
the study of how fields grow and fall. It looks at things like the CIA
and Corporate knowledge bases and public understanding and
universities and says ``What does that mean? Who's got the information?
Who's got the knowledge? How is it spreading? Where does it come
from?'' Ideas such as Anarcho-Science, studying the motion from
University/Gov/Mil/Corp to the public sphere are interesting. How
Computer Science makes more progress in the publc and corporate sphere
than it does in the university system. Something to pay attention to,
especially if you are interested in a Democratic society. And know
too: That there are enormous fields, VAST fields, that are completely
untouched. Why? Because there is no profit in them. But there IS
profit to the public. It just has to study these things..! The
government's not going to do it. The corporations sure as hell aren't
going to do it. We have to do it OURSELVES. See ``PFT.''
- - same as ``GSMOC.''
- - the Grand Subject MOC. This is a map of every subject, and the
central strategy point. Every subject that is not obsolete (archived)
appears on the GSMOC. Frequently runs multiple pages, with the front
page being a map onto the other pages.
- - the Grand Subject Registry. A two page (or more) list of all of
your subjects. It comes right after the GSMOC. It lists all subjects-
even those that may not appear on the map. You use it to attach flags
and other metadata to subjects identified by NAME.
- - Getting Things Done, by David Allen. Incredible book. Integrates
best ideas from time management in ways that no other book does. Most
books just give you a piece of wisdom here, a piece of wisdom
there. This book puts it all together for you. Not really about
notebooks, because he focuses on ACTION, not THOUGHT. The GTD system
and the system I describe are REALLY at ODDS with one
another. Regardless, I still found utility in his GTD system..! Read
it! (Lookup also: ``ACTS'')
- - Index. An alphabet based index. (Can contain numbers and glyphs as
- - Same as ``MOC''. NEVER same as ``GSMOC.''
- - Map of Contents. A visual map, frequently multiple pages (though
not uncommon to have just 1 page, for little-reached subjects), of
some domain. Generally, this is either a SMOC, GSMOC, or a piece of
one of those two. But rarely, within the notebook system, independent
of those two. The function of a MOC is to integrate, after all, so
they tend to be all-encompasing (within a subject, or for the GSMOC.)
The first page of a series of MOC pages is generally a map of the
reminder of the pages, and how they fit together.
- - Mental Techniques. Not related to notebooks, but like PFT and
GKI, ... you've read it before. So anyways. This is stuff like forming
theoretical architectures of thought and using them to think fast. And
memory techniques. And any other sort of mental gymnastics or study
thereof. Read ``The Memory Book''. Great book. Cheap. Far better than
any other memory course I've ever seen, far better than the multi-$100
courses I've seen out there. I could tell you many humorous
stories. But I'm not going to. Not here, anyways. Read the
Internet Memory HOW-TO; It has many of the Memory Book techniques in
it, if you are impatient. But the book is better.
- - Public Field Technologies. This isn't related to notebooks- it
just happens to be something that I've had as a subject in my
notebook. Regardless, I am evangelical about the topic, and I DID
use the acronym in my book, so I'll take this space to advertise
it. There are SOME THINGS that are just so incredibly cool, and have
to do with benefiting the WHOLE PUBLIC- *if* people are interested in
them, and want it. Self-help books are sort of a well know thing, but
tools for mental techniques and for keeping notebooks are not. And
that's all in the personal arena. Communities can help themselves too!
Learn about Ithaca HOURS and stuff like that. There are ALL sorts of
things that people can do. Refer to my list in the middle of the book
and learn about those things. This whole book, about notebooks, is an
example of a Public Field Technology- IF it actually turns out to be
good for something, and IF people actually band together and study
it. If PFT's ``work'', then we'll have a radically different- and FAR
more Democratic (in the REAL sense of the word) world in the
future. The Internet has such revolutionary potential, and its great
to see it turn Kinetic. PFT's are divided (by me) into roughly two
spheres: The scale from personal to global, and the sphere of group
collaboration, communication. For example ``Visual-Verbal Language'' is
a PFT, but doesn't really have a good position from individual to
global integration. So there you go.
- - Project. Pages connected to a particular project.
- - Point of Interest. Usually multiple pages devoted to one,
limited subject (delimited by the title.) Found within a
Subject. Bound by a TOC, generally. Placed on the SMOC.
- - Purpose & Principles. This is a very special page in each
subject. It is usually just one page; I have never had more than 1
sheet per entire subject. It describes the BOUNDARIES OF THE SUBJECT,
and how to delegate, and in some cases even split, issues that
transcend the edge. It features ``inclusions'' and ``exclusions'', either
in text or by diagram. P&P's, like Speeds, rarely live within the
subject's paper layout (following the tab for the subject). Speeds are
collected into the carry-about binder, joined with every other
speed. Similarly, P&P for all subjects are collected into a special
tab (labeled ``P&P'') at the beginning of the common-store binder. You
refer to the P&P whenever there is a question about whether something
belongs to a subject, or not, and you are trying to decide where it
- - Short for ``Reference''. Reference items are annotations of
books. If you can, just write in your books and be done with it. But
if it's a library book, or a borrowed book, or a web page, you're
going to have to keep your co-writing and your side notes on your own
pages. And then you put them in the ``REF'' section. The ref section is
unusual in that you don't do normal page numbering, and you don't even
do normal TOC-ing. You do your page numbering to match the way the
text is organized. And you assign the reference number not by the
number following the last thing you wrote about, but by the number
connected to the reference on your references list. Your references
list is like your Speeds, but it captures references. When you
actually get around to reading a particular book, you take the number of
the reference to be the first number in the page sequence. It doesn't
matter if it's the second book you read in the subject- if it is
number 7, you will number the pages starting with ``7'', not 2. See also ``RS''.
- - Short for ``Research''. Research is like reference, but usually
focused towards an end, and not tied to a particular source
reference. Don't feel like you need to have a REF articulation for
each reference you touch. Just make sure you note the REF#'s in the
RS, so you can find it later, and dance from book to web page to
person to book, and keep a linear flow in your RS#. Have conventional
TOC's over material, and, like everything else, appear in the SMOC.
- - Subject Map of Contents. A map of contents over an entire
Subject. Ideally, points to every single resource in the subject
domain that is not in an archival stage.
- - Table of Contents. I frequently wish that these things would
just DIE. Sadly, our computer software infrastructure and UI notions
don't seem to understand how to deal with anything that isn't text
well. We don't even have tools to make MOCs quickly and well. So we
are stuck with these archaic information destroying beasts. Basically,
these are just an index of titles connecting them to page
numbers. Icky icky icky icky. Use a MOC if you can. But you frequently
need a TOC as well, if for no other reason than to see what to number
your next item. (There are ways around this- just keep a record of
``next numbers''.) Still, it is comforting to have TOC's over your POI's
and Ref's and RS's.
- - I frequently use as short for ``Version''. Generally it's a lower
- - same as ``V''.