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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]

Merlin's picture

Ed: Part of the beauty...

Ed: Part of the beauty of this approach addresses your concern elegantly, I think; if you don’t need the time zone card, don’t use it. Right? That’s why you roll your own. You wouldn’t stop using Palm OS because someone had invented a shareware game you thought was dumb; you just wouldn’t choose to make it part of your system.

In my opinion, the only repeating HPDA pattern that’s truly counter to the basic idea is “branded cards”—the idea that you would spend a very large amount extra for a card that’s got someone’s name or company printed on it. I’ve been approached by several companies wanting to make “43 Folders” cards, and I just kind of laughed. Cheap and easy to find are part of the idea, and not getting that is oddly funny to me. (This is just my own opinion and preference, of course—if “Acme Industries” cards turn people on—more power to them)

In general, your point is well taken, but I think there’s plenty of room for different personalities and interests in this particular overexposed meme; and given that the cost of entry is at least 1/100th of that required for a “real” PDA, I’m fine—nay, thrilled—with seeing people get creative, do whacky stuff, and test the edges of what will work best for them.

Ping me offline if you want to talk more.




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