43 Folders

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

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

How many index cards should I carry?

This is a bit of a subjective question, since I am sure that there is no right or wrong answer. Still, I am interested in hearing everybody's opinion...

How many index cards should I carry around with me? I have designed my own 3x5 templates for next actions, weekly schedules and projects and I am planning to buy one of the Levenger cases for them. Now, on the one hand I want to keep things simple and only carry around my next actions for various contexts and schedules for the next week or two. On the other hand, I think way, way too much and I think that having summaries of all of my projects, spare blank cards and so on would help to ease my mind: the idea of having a single pile of cards that I can wave around and say "this is everything that I care about!!!" makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. On the other, other hand, if it all ends up too bulky then I might decide to start leaving it behind.

So what is the answer? Should I carry around a Levenger rope case AND a pocket briefcase AND a notebook? Or should I go slimline, chuck my next actions and some blank cards into a pocket briefcase or elastic band and leave my project stuff for weekly review at home?

Whatcha think? More importantly, what works for you?



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