One Man’s Junk: Info-Hoarding

I confess to being a hoarder. My wife would say that my desk offers ample piled-higher-and-deeper evidence of that claim, but I actually need just so much disordered STUFF around me to make my mind seem like a relatively organized place by comparison.

The hoarding I am admitting to has to do with information. It started when I was a full-time teacher lo those many years ago (when xerox copies were all the rage.) It continued, digitally-enhanced of course, when I became a blogger in 2002 and ramped up a few notches when I went back to teaching a little at Radford U in 2004 and 2005.

The web scrapbooking persisted during the halcyon days of blogging whilst generating a wide-ranging newspaper column every two weeks for seven years (for the Floyd Press and Roanoke Star–once Star Sentinel.)

This blog post–should I actually hit publish rather than delete it at the last moment–began in my mind with the intention of actually pulling out several of the saved snippets from this month’s hoarding list– you can see a piece of the list in the featured image.

But now I have run out of coffee and also know I have exceeded the number of words that mark the end of a blog-reader’s tolerance for screen time without a cat picture or youtube video. My apologies for that. For both of you who are left standing, read on…

Today’s preferred method of info-hoarding  saves webpage title and url (via Firefox add-on called Fire Link) to a table created for this month for this purpose in OneNote for Mac. The green column is for tags to help me remember who sent the link or what I intend to do with it (blog, read, watch, send, research etc.)

If I collect a link that I want to read right away and annotate and keep permanently, then I save it to diigo and on the first reading, highlight pertinent terms, phrases and paragraphs with sticky-note comments.

Both OneNote and Diigo have very good search capabilities. So if I remember something I read six months ago about trilobites that would fit well with something I read today about loss of biodiversity,  I can go back and pull it up and think about weaving that into something interesting for–NAH.

Now mostly I just collect rumination-fodder of a morning and drink coffee until it’s gone. Someday, perhaps the thing I thought I was going to write in this space this morning.

OOH! Another link gathered from the Zemanta links to this post!

TeachThought – Learn better.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. What fabulous, organized tools for a modern hoarder of written stuff! Think what your office would look like in the 20th Century!