43 Folders

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Stack of index card links

A quick Google search yesterday afternoon ended up turning into an index card surfin’ safari. Thought I’d share some of the spoils of my distraction in the form of some fun links.

Some of these are pretty great, and a few are sort of silly, but you do have to love the breadth of uses to which people can put their brain and a penny’s worth of cardstock.

index card



  • Index card - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - “An index card is a piece of heavy paper stock, cut to a standard size and often used for recording individual items of information that can then be easily rearranged and filed.”
  • Personal Analog Device - “The PersonalDigitalAssistant (aka HandHeld) is stale and outdated…The PersonalAnalogDevice is hip and on the uprise.”
  • Boxes and Arrows: Forgotten Forefather: Paul Otlet - “In 1934…Paul Otlet envisioned a new kind of scholar’s workstation: a moving desk shaped like a wheel, powered by a network of hinged spokes beneath a series of moving surfaces. The machine would let users search, read and write their way through a vast mechanical database stored on millions of 3x5 index cards…”
  • Organize Your Work and Life - “One eye-level card reads ‘The Task At Hand.’ This is where the list of this week’s activities goes.”
  • The SHE System for Sidetracked Home Executives - “3x5 Cards to Organize the World….the sisters developed a system of organizing tasks that needed to be completed on a daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal basis.”
  • Rachel Davies: Using index cards - “As an coach of agile software teams, I work with teams to help them collaborate more effectively. I thought it might be interesting to compare advantages of both mediums [index cards and electronic tools—mm] by listing their affordances.”
  • Reach Consensus - “The Card-Storming Technique is a five-step, team-facilitation method for problem solving and consensus building…”
  • Holey 3x5 Cards Empower Creativity And Organization - “Stick a nail, or even a crochet hook, through the Hero holes and shake the deck. All the Hero cards will fall out. Simple as that!”
  • Organizing Research: the note card system - “In the upper left corner of the card, “code” the topic of your paper, and where in the outline it may fall…In the upper right corner, place the author’s name and/or title and page number…In the body of the card, enter one single fact or thought you’d like to include in your paper”
  • Fiction Factor - Using Index Cards to Plot a Novel - “I laid out the cards for the main plot, then I tried to figure out where the subplots would fit in with it. Most were just decisions in plot logic. Some were decisions about pace.”
  • my daughter noted in her... by Kristine (not verified)
    You can add to this... by Brad Patrick (not verified)

    About Merlin

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    Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

    Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




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