The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Organization Tools, Evolution of

I am fascinated, or at least interested, in tools for organization, scheduling. Time management. Filing.

American schools say "Time management skills are the most important thing you have to learn in high school to be prepared for success in college."  But, as far as I know, nobody actually teaches techniques for organization and scheduling.

Perhaps one of the reasons I am fascinated by this is that it does not come naturally to me.  But, as a result, I have studied it, and my career as a computer programmer and computer architect is really all about organization and scheduling.  Albeit for computers, not people.

My whole career has been about scheduling for computers.  First software operating system schedulers, in particular real time schedulers. Then hardware OOO CPU schedulers.

But I remain interested in scheduling and organization in many different aspects: computerzs, factories (JIT and kanban), people (organizers, PDAs, DayTimers, etc.)

It is quite interesting to see how organizing tools for people have evolved.  I probably need to convert this into a wiki post so that I can evolve it.  http://wiki.andy.glew.ca/wiki/Organization,_technology,_evolution_of

First paper, and now on computer.

In paper:


Three ring folders.

Tracker-keepr --- I just learned from a friend how this tracker/keeper system for holding papers together became popular for elementary and high school kids in the US in the 1980s.  Essentially plastic sheets that folded to provide an envelope out of which is was hard for things to fall.

Three ring folders have made a comeback in my daughter's
school, but with zippers around them.


Paper clips.

A famous engineering author explains how, prior to paper clips and stables, people used straight pins.


Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

I started this out just wanting to say:

My daughter and her school chums use 3" three ring binders with zippers that hold papers in.

This is an advance over the three ring binders of my day, which had open sides. Paper would fall out, since the holes would rip.

However, I remember how happy I was to learn about manila folders as a way of organizing paper. Less ripping. Less lossage, at least in fil cabinets, and expanding accordion folders.

PREDICTION: next: expandable file folders, but with zippers around them.

Actually, they already exist. However, I have only been able to find 1" or less expandable accordion files with zippers. All come with places for paper.

WHAT I WANT: 3" expandable accordion files.

I.e. I predict the evolution of paper handling for schools and offices goes like:

Loose paper

-> pins

-> paper clips

-> manila folders

-> pendaflex filing cabinets

-> duotangs

-> three ring folders

-> trapper keeper semi rigid enclosed sides

-> three ring bindfers with zipper closure on all sides


PREDICTION: expandable accordion files with zipper closures on all sides.

Andy "Krazy" Glew said...

Of course, it is possible at some time that paper will be completely eliminated.