One of the challenges I have found in personal productivity solutions is a propensity to limit the options I have in how I want to structure the organization of my information. The notebook metaphor so commonly used by productivity tools often follows too closely to their real world counterparts. For some reason, in many cases, the decision was made that when you have a piece of information you put it into a notebook to keep it organized. One notebook. No more, no less. Why?
We are dealing with virtual information here and the constraints of the physical world do not apply. Why can’t something exist in two, three, or more places at once? Recurrently I have found one of the greatest strengths of the Springpad solution is it’s ability to allow springs (notes) to be kept in multiple notebooks. This opens the doors to many possibilities:
- Springs shared between project notebooks and customer notebooks
- Collaborative notebooks and archive notebooks for backing up information
- Using notebooks for process flow of notes
- Combining notebooks and tags for rapid and comprehensive organization of notes
- Sharing of content between private and public notebooks
These are just a few of the ways you can leverage multiple notebooks in Springpad. Here’s a practical example: projects and customers.
If you’re using Springpad for business (one of the ways I use it) you can create notebooks for types of projects and for customers, then assign notes to both for easy access. I have notebooks for major projects going on as well as for key customers as their projects progress. By combining those with tags identifying the project and the customer, I’m able to leverage the notebooks as long as I need for quick reference, then move the notes to long term storage in other notebooks all through just a few clicks.
Productivity is more than cranking widgets. Instead of turning the gears and going in circles, work the pump and things begin to flow. Apply creativity to your tools and you will find that being productive is just a couple of ideas away. Ideas such as multiple notebooks and dynamic organization can make all the difference day to day.