43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

Join us via RSS, iTunes, or at 5by5.tv.

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

John Norris: More HPDA templates and 'the Meta Line Organizer'

John Norris [John Norris' Hipster PDA Templates]

Meta Line Key

On the heels of Douglas’s wonderful DIY templates for the Hipster PDA, I’m now directed to these amazing templates from John Norris.

John’s got some very creative ideas at play here, including miniature versions of games like chess; a small world map with time zones; music staffs; semaphore code (semaphore code!); and a variety of other lightly-structured templates.

The most fascinating addition to the standard card is what he calls the “Meta Line Organizer” (how-to image)—a series of icons, fields, and fill-bubbles that run the vertical length of the card. They afford a fast, lightweight method for organizing and prioritizing your cards and then quickly identifying their purpose on the run. Really terrific stuff.

It’s funny—I was telling a reporter yesterday how the whole Hipster PDA phenomenon has been such an unlikely instance of “Stone Soup“—what started as this jokey reaction to excessive personal technology keeps evolving into something smarter and more creative that I ever imagined. People are making thoughtful, deliberate decisions about how they capture data on the go, and having a framework—even one as admittedly dopey as the HPDA— apparently has enabled some very creative, clever ideas.

Nice work, everybody, and especially: nice work, John!

[Link: Matt Peck]

drdrang's picture

The time zone map is...

The time zone map is a bit too all-encompassing for my needs. This morning I put together a PDF of just the contiguous U.S. with several prominent cities and the time zone boundaries. If I understand how comments to this blog work, you can get it by clicking on my name.

Construction notes: I downloaded the outline map from http://fga.freac.fsu.edu/pdf/namerica/us_outline.pdf. The Florida Geographic Alliance provides geographic resources to teachers, so the PDF is intended to be downloaded and used. I imported it into AppleWorks, added the cities and timezones (with my trusty Rand McNally Road Atlas at my side), squeezed it down to HPDA size and "printed" it out as a PDF.

I drew the time zone boundaries reasonably accurately, but I didn't do the fine detail because: first, the detail would get lost when reduced to 3x5; and second, my experience is that people who live near those boundaries figure out which time works best for them and don't get too concerned with which side of the line they're on.

The font size for the city names is on the edge of what I can see comfortably (I'm 45 yrs old and use "progressive lenses," i.e., bifocals). After living with this version for a while, I may go back and increase the font size.

The paper ruler is a great idea; something I would use often if it weren't a somewhat fuzzy bitmap. I may redo it as a crisp PDF this weekend.

One last thing, apropos of nothing: the list of commonly misspelled words in John Norris's templates includes "Pokémon." I find it amazing that the word Pokémon is used enough to be commonly mispelled.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


Subscribe with Google Reader

Subscribe on Netvibes

Add to Technorati Favorites

Subscribe on Pageflakes

Add RSS feed

The Podcast Feed


Merlin used to crank. He’s not cranking any more.

This is an essay about family, priorities, and Shakey’s Pizza, and it’s probably the best thing he’s written. »

Scared Shitless

Merlin’s scared. You’re scared. Everybody is scared.

This is the video of Merlin’s keynote at Webstock 2011. The one where he cried. You should watch it. »