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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  • Personal Analog Device - “The PersonalDigitalAssistant (aka HandHeld) is stale and outdated…The PersonalAnalogDevice is hip and on the uprise.”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.”
  • Bruce A.'s picture

    When I edited an anthology...

    When I edited an anthology of short stories, I listed each story on a 3x5, then rearranged the cards to get the most effective order for the table of contents.

    This included putting the strongest stories at the beginning, middle and end of the book. And that the lead story was fairly short, so that someone looking at the book in the bookstore could read the story while standing at the rack and (hopefully) be so impressed that they'd take the entire book up to the cash register.




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