Some people have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. It becomes a life-long pursuit of their passions – well, those from the neck-up, anyway. Information, inspiration, revelation – something new to feed the mind and soul. Perhaps you are in this category. Why would you be reading somebody’s blog, otherwise? I am one of those people too.
We have usually acquired quite a library. We’re proud of our shelves that are full of information on our favorite subjects and also hold evidence of our imaginary journeys to other times and places. We love our collections, whether neatly lined and dusted, or stacked two-deep.
Then, to save shelf space, we bought e-readers — hundreds of digital books in the palm of our hand that can go with us anywhere. The love of books hits our pocketbooks also.
The internet has been both a gift and a curse to us. So many subjects, not enough time. It’s a seductive lure to read more, especially when we should be doing something else.
And when I read so many great pieces online, I don’t always keep up with recording the source attributions. So I have these shards of information in my head, but little to identify how it fits in to the big picture. Often I save the whole piece in a computer file. If it’s really good, I’ll print it out. Then the hard copy has to make its way from pile to file.
And don’t get me started on the issue of podcasts. I’ll listen as I’m resting or doing a mindless task. Then somebody says something profound or refers to a resource I’d like to have. Do I let it go or scramble to find a pen and paper to make a note about it? Then I have to remember to document who said it, when, on what podcast.
I have notes and handouts from decades of workshops and seminars. I have lots of notebooks where I’ve made notes on books and articles. So, then I have to remember which spiral I jotted something in. I’ve attempted to index them.
But here’s my dilemma. Since my organizational skills seem to wax and wane, I can’t always put my hands on what I need.
I used to be better at this.
I’ve done some major de-cluttering. It forced me to prioritize, and that has helped some, but I don’t want to get rid of everything. I still need resources for speaking, teaching, and writing.
But you get the picture. I bet many of you struggle with these same issues.
How have you tackled this predicament? How do you stay on top of your information?
I welcome your comments below.