Documentation overflow

I have a problem.

I come up with ideas and thoughts that I want to recall and revisit. But if I do not write them down, I tend to lose them. It means I can lose unique viewpoints on things that I could otherwise foresee. I risk never having the same perspectives again.

So I document.

A lot.

I write it down the easiest way where ever I can:

This enables me to store and recover information. But it is not enough. I must still find the right notes in the right moment. I must find it when I need it and I need to easily navigate all information.

So far I have tried solving the problems with these methods:

Eliminating – Removing or rewriting the information that is no longer true or that lacks utility.

Tagging and labeling – Putting on labels, tags and keywords on notes to know what they are about. This enables me to find things without having to read the full text or it’s content.

Chunking – Finding commonalities between notes, such as concern, category or function. Then structuring the notes into documents structured by chapters.

Synthesis – Putting together notes with similar meaning and removing repeated content.

This has taken me from 1000s of notes to 100s of documents. But in doing so I lose specificity. Instead of one note for each idea, there is now one document for a cluster of ideas. (Separation of concern?)

What I am trying to do now is:

  1. Automating the above process. I still take notes the same way. This forces me to spend time and focus connecting notes to my bigger documents. I need to jot things down and continue with what I was doing without interrupting my flow. So I write on whatever material I have nearby.
    1. One solution is making me take notes more mindfully to remove the extra step of the process. But that introduces a delay between finding where to write and getting thoughts on paper.
      1. Use one platform. Keeping everything in the same place. I have too many places to look when searching for particular information.
      2. Limit the vocabulary / type of language to make it more generic and easier to search.
      3. Make my information more searchable. This helps me find the correlated information quicker.
      4. Train on merging it quickly and effectively with these notes.
      5. Simplifying the steps of the process enough so that I’m confident I want and can do in a way that doesn’t take up all my time.
      6. Create a Keyword map. Make a head document that acts as a mind map connecting the most important search words in one place.
  2. Making the bigger documents easy to read and navigate. Putting notes in bigger documents creates an unnatural linearity of the information. I’m thinking about using tagging systems to link information in a network structure. I’ve tried this before in Google Keep but stumbled upon multiple problems. Especially increased loading times.

I think my ideas and thoughts are useful so I’ll keep working on them. I aim to open up more and share more. Just need to organise it more!

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