Tyler Reinhard wrote about his system for notes:

I needed something with a long lifespan, that requires little maintenance, and allows for an efficient weekly review. A system I can trust with my low-rent schemes, project-related brainstorms, and moments of epiphany. And, it has to prime those things for future use and next-actions.

This is an extremely nerdy article.I loved it. What really hit home for me was this bit:

I only keep about 50-100 notes in circulation at a time. When I’m done with a note, I archive it. If you find that you need a substantially larger number of notes (a swipe and a tap away at all times) you should permit yourself to have them. Certainly, Semantic Notes can handle it. However, if you merely decide you need thousands of notes, without really considering the ramifications thereof, or GTD method, or to your ability to review them … well, to be frank: you may unknowingly be subtracting years from the end of your life.

Those who follow me on Twitter, or who listened to this past Friday’s episode of Shawn Today, know I’m in the midst of a note system rework or my own. In part due to some syncing bugs I’ve been encountering between Simplenote and nvALT and also because I just think it’s smart to look at your workflows and systems from time to time and see if what you’re doing is the best (then, put your head back down and get to work).

My main goal has been to research and possibly find a new set of apps for mobile and desktop note syncing. But Tyler’s article has also given me some ideas for rethinking much more than just the apps I use, but my whole system. I make a lot of little notes, and any improvement to this area of my life would surely reap stellar dividends. I’ve got nearly 400 notes in my Simplenote database right now, and I know for a fact that many of them could be archived into a folder of plain text files.

I don’t know if all the details and obsessives of Tyler’s incredible system are quite what I’m looking for, but there are some great ideas that have me thinking of definite ways I can improve and clean up my whole notes system.

(Via Gabe Weatherhead, naturally.)

January 7, 2013