The Never Ending Lists of Projects. A Struggle for Finding the Optimal Method for Organizing Ideas.

Quite frequently I think about designing some gadget, gizmo, doohickey, or method, either for fun, efficiency, utility, or to see if I could do it and would it work. The issue with generating ideas is keeping them organized. I have only so much mental memory space, so when some brainchild is conceived I write it down on the nearest scrap of paper. I put it in my pocket, hopefully remembering it before it makes it to the wash, so that I can transfer it to a centralized location for later retrieval.

Next issue. The ideas never make it to a centralized location. I have an obsession/addiction for office products; therefore, I have multiple notebooks, folders, and file organizers. At least I try to put these ideas somewhere, but it’s not systemized. A recent culling of obsolete papers, I found a folder I created called “Method Development: SPE Waxes”. Years have gone by since I last worked on developing chromatography methods. Upon sight, it was like memories unzipped. It’s also a reminder that while I have to spend much of mental energy on work for someone else, some of these never get finished because as time passes there is no need to continue with the project.  It’s a circle jerk, where I’d like to be working on innovations, but there are only so many hours in the day, or the part you are waiting for is coming from China and before you get it you’re life gets interrupted, yada yada yada. Anyways, as I try to be organized, I’ve found that I have an organization strategy somewhat like a squirrel.

Peculiarities. I prefer hardcover 5 x 5 quad lab notebooks, but they’re kind of expensive, so I never have enough of them. I’d like to have a separate notebook for each contrivance I start to research, design, develop because I never know how many pages will be necessary. I dislike skipping x number of pages to a start researching a new idea, only to come back to the other and run out of pages before the idea is complete. There is also the problem of I’ve stepped away from one project because I got stuck, and then some time later the possible next step occurs to me, but I can’t remember which notebook I put it in because each notebook shares several projects.

And I really must stop here, for now, because I have other things to do. Like make more lists on random pieces of paper.


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