Here, There, Everywhere: Dealing with a Digital Rat’s Nest

As someone whose organization is chaotic, Ofer Bergeman and Steve Whittaker’s book, The Science of Managing our Digital Stuff appealed to me as a way to learn how to tame a scattered library of digital information across different applications, computers, and cloud file systems. What I expected was a self-help-esque guide to getting organized and being productive. What I got was much better. Bergeman and Whittaker dive deep into the science behind behaviors concerning saving, retrieving, and using saved data; giving valuable insight to both creators and users of software.

Keeping Things

Why are keeping decisions so difficult? One reason is that they require us to predict the future. To decide what to keep, we have to determine the probable future value of an information item (Bruce 2005). page 35

success with complex bookmark collections depends on whether users actively exploit and maintain their collection of links. page 72

For a long time, an organizational struggle of mine has been being able to effectively maintain a growing collection of articles, books, and thoughts. Thankfully in the digital age, retention is easy, but recall is not. Often I’m searching for ‘that one post’, or ‘that one article’, or am trying to determine out of which book the quote I’m thinking of came.