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[dupe] How to Make a Complete Map of Every Thought You Think (2003) (speakeasy.net)
43 points by oskarth on July 24, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 18 comments

I once sent Kimbro an e-mail (in 2012) about whether he was continuing with this system, and he replied:

> No, I use a new system that I've been using for I think 3 years now. Much simpler and less time consuming. Google around for it- it is also described in book "Mind Performance Hacks 2". The key ideas are open spaces, numbered pages, and tags-like indexes.

The book he means is Mindhacker -- Hack 17 in there is Lion Kimbro's description of his simplified note-taking system.

Available here: http://my.safaribooksonline.com/book/personal-development/97...

Thanks for the pointer, this is great. Tip for people without a subscription to Safari: many public libraries have subscriptions, and will allow online access. I'm reading mine through the Toronto Public Library site.

Thanks for the id. I took a peek at the first few pages here: http://books.google.com/books?id=kh8NbTzaalwC&printsec=front...

There was significant discussion when this was submitted some 300 days ago:


800 days ago, not so much:


There is also a PDF, submitted a little before that one:


And, indeed, the PDF was submitted 1360 days ago:


To the people saying this is barely readable:

  > I am just SPITTING THIS TEXT OUT. I know that my understanding
  > of personal projects and getting them completed is low. I know
  > my weaknesses- that I am bad at getting huge projects done. So
  > what I'm doing is just SPITTING THIS TEXT OUT.

The first sentence in the introduction is

> This book is about how to make a complete map of everything you think for as long as you like.

He then goes on for more than 100 pages (in reasonably logical sections) on how he did this. Isn't that interesting? There are many related topics to this. Here are a few:

   - Has anyone done anything similar? 
   - How does this affect your thinking?
   - Have any famous people done this before? Fuller comes to mind, as does da Vinci.
   - What about unconventional notebook techniques?
   - How can we make this type of note-taking better with modern tools (tablets etc)?

There's definitely something to a theory of notebooks. I have my own system and I'm always on the lookout for tips that I can use to enhance my system (which is very minimalist).

I can never seem to find any example pages (scanned or photographed) from others' systems.

This article in particular could have really used a picture.

I sort of understand why, as the contents of mine are usually confidential.

It would be great to follow this in one of the note taking software like evernote or voodoopad.

I find this very difficult to read. Just me?

To me it looks a bit like net.kook material.

I've read it before. To me, it looks unedited, and the product of an original mind, but not a kook. A good editor could quickly turn the text into a remarkable essay.

This stream of conciousness is barely readable. Requesting tl;dr

I wonder why the author didn't write an application to do that. He mentions that he is a programmer.

From experience I can speak that pen and paper are better for learning, but his system looks very exhausting. And there is a downside that his map of thoughts will not be encrypted.

"I want to add two things:

I am an experienced programmer. I've been programming computers since I was 7 years old, typing in BASICA programs by hand on my mom's COMPAQ 8088. I formatted her hard drive by accidentally going into low level format instructions using ''debug'', experimenting with assembly language, when I was about 10. I am now 25. I love computers. I just happen to recognize the limitations of where we are at right now, that's all.

Computers will be the SALVATION of this whole system I am describing right now. So if you feel offended knowing that I am dumping on them right now, know that that's not going to be the case for long. Paper is unwieldy, large, requires storage, and a host of other ills. Copying from page to page to page is just a nightmare. It is a necessary nightmare, right now, but it is a nightmare. Computers will save us from it.

Hah! I'm sneaking in a #3. (Part of my ``no-edit policy'' when spitting stuff out. Apologies.) I WILL DESCRIBE, if I DO NOT FORGET, just WHAT steps you can take NOW, IF YOU ARE INTERESTED, to ``get the ball rolling''. There are some easy programs that you can make right now that would make this system AWESOME. I just don't have the time to code them up right now. But I will describe them, and if you like, you can code them up. Hell, I'll even throw in a description of the ideal computer notebook system- assuming I have ``magic paper''- and how it will dramatically increase our intelligence, provided that we can solve the versioning problem as well. (Note: Ted Nelson and Company went pretty batty WRT the versioning problem. Did they solve it? I don't know. I have heard rumors that some of Ted's protege's work for the CIA now, though.)"

For anyone interested in building such a system: http://users.speakeasy.net/~lion/nb/html/doc010.html

Taking into account that you've written this when you were 16 years old (2003), this certainly means a lot to you and I don't want to interfere with anyones beliefs. I also do believe in computers so I can relate.

Edit: http://gtdtxt.tiddlyspot.com/ seems to be an implementation.


Why does it matter if it was written by Schizophrenic or by a dozen monkeys jumping on the typewriter? Does it have merit or not? Is the content of any value? Is it a well-thought schema for keeping journals?

My assessment: I'd read a couple of chapters and it seems more complicated than necessary.

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