Shiiko
Hi.

Here is my problem:

I receive allot of good information via email from a number of sources where I have opted-in.   I have whittled the sources down to  the most important but still they number around 40.  Some of these sources send information weekly but many send me information daily, and the majority contain articles with a range of topics.   For example, a marketing news source may contain an article about email marketing, web marketing, mobile marketing, etc.

I receive  this information via Email where  I set rules to place the message into specific folders.   Once or twice a week I will go through each of these folders and scan the headlines of each article within the received email.  If I see a subject that interests me then I will click on its link and the full article appears in my browser.  

I scan each article and if it interests me I will drag the URL into a specific thought.   So if I read something about Voip that interests me, I place a link to the article within the Voip thought.  The result is that I have a growing number of links to good articles within thoughts related to what I receive. 

The problem with this last part is the article content resides externally from within PB and so it might as well not exist.   I cannot index it or search for it.    So I have begun to cut and paste articles that interest me.  Fist I placed them in notes but that strips the links that may be embedded within the article.  Now I am  copying and pasting to a Word .doc.  

What I don't like about that is that Word is somewhat slow to open because Norton antivirus it is always running a virus check on any newly opened  document.   I need to check if I can improve this performance by tweaking Norton (any ideas are welcome).

Another concern that I have is what impact will it have on my hard drive from adding thousands of .doc's (and thousand's of thought folders).   One page with plain text is running at 32kb.  Maybe I'm being paranoid about running out of space even though I have 30Gb available in my hd.

Following are my questions for PB experts:
  • How do you add information  into PB from web sources? Copy to .doc? .txt? other?  Is this information indexabel? searchable?
  • How do you associate different information that is with a thought as an attachment?   Let's say you have an article about the impact of home sales on the economy and a spreadsheet  that lists home sales by state.   Do you make thoughts for each?   What if you have a spreadsheet for each US state.  Do you make 50 child thoughts (high clutter factor) or do you make one thought with 50 attachments (difficulty in linking to a single attachment).
  • How do you prioritize the importance of attachments?    For example, I have started to add a number 1,2,3 etc. in front of the name of an attachment(s) that I consider its importance,  that they rise to the top in the attachment list and so that I know if an attachment has been read or not.
  • Can you prioritize text within the attachments?
  • Can you link to specific text within attachments?
  • How do you review attachments for validity?   I don't necessarily want to keep information that is too much out of date or irrelevant for my current needs.  
  • Do you have a method for purging information from thoughts or even thoughts themselves?   I don't want to have thousands of irrelevant thoughts just laying around in the hope that someday I may need the information.
Perhaps no one has the answer to all of these questions, so I would appreciate it if you could share what you have found regarding anyone of these bullet points.

All the best,

Shiiko.


 

 

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Spacenexus
Shiko

A thoughtful set of questions and you've crystallised issues we've all faced at some time. To respond to what i can:

  • Firstly, if you have a lot of sources of daily info might i suggest you use RSS and a good aggregator. I use the super Netvibes (http://www.netvibes.com). There is not a single email feed that I subscribe to that doesn't now use RSS and makes the experience manageable (you can also export and store the RSS feed list locally in your PB as a backup). I've now completely eliminated news coming by email and using netvibes has actually allowed me to assess ten times the information flow with less time! Along with Outlook i consider it an essential partner tool for PB4 now.

  • To internalise a web page, I tend to either print to pdf or save as web archive (*.mht) directly from IE7 and drag the saved page to the thought. i'll usually also add the url to the same thought for completeness. Both pdf's and mht's will be readily indexible and searchable by PB4. If i'm really into the site and concerned about it remaining there, i'll use the useful HTTrack (http://www.httrack.com/) to swipe it and store the entire website in a single thought! Also, I will check on web archive (http://www.bibalex.org/ISIS/archive_web.htm) for past snapshots of sites. Netvibes, HTTrack and Webarchive are free-use licence.

  • For sets of information I would still tend to use separate thoughts. I would recommend you treat the issue of 'clutter factor' as a red herring (diversion) in this case. Our minds are prone to form patterns based upon logical association and it's quite understandable that it makes sense to create neater patterns to combine certain file data into single thoughts. However, I have found that maintaining the thought per file approach where necessary and appropriate creates a far superior knowledge structure. For example, I would only put a spreadsheet file and a pdf printout of that file together in one thought and not spreadsheet files of (even slightly) separate subject matter.

  • In your example of home sales by state i would definately put spreadsheet files of different states in different thoughts. In that scenario, i might have a parent thought for each state itself and when activated it might list that homes sales spreadsheet along with relavent legal sites, zoning laws, competitors, local realty agents, property lists etc etc all relating to that US State. The property lists might also be attached to parents of Commercial, Residential or Industrial. Clicking on Industrial would list all industrial property in the US, for example. (A future PB feature may then allow for a boolean type search function and report function of all children of 'Industrial' AND 'Florida': http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=1743375). You would lose that richness if you over combine files into single thoughts. The vital essence of PB's architecture and its advantage is reduced if the multiple attachment function is inappropriately used. 'Clutter don't Matter'

  • I'll skip the details referring to managing data in attachments since as you can see above, i rely far more on thought architecture and have not found a need to drill down too much. I used Enfish for many years as an effective data search facility which usually solved my search issues. Of course, PB4 also has it's own facility now. By using a system relying more on thought structure the issues of attachment management become less relavent.

  • Regarding the issues of validity and maintanence of relavent information my approach is to consider PB4 as a fuzzy system. That is to say the task of actively maintaining for the sake of maintanence on an ongoing basis would take more effort than in my view worthwhile. I basically have a single brain file which is multidimensional in use. It is a journal, project tracker, information library, contact manager, document manager etc.

  • I don't tend to go through individual thoughts maintaining them for thier own sake, but at least three times over the last decade of using PB i have significantly restructured the framework to cope with expansion. A few times in addition restructuring at a more local level has occured. After migrating to PB4 I spent the best part of a week re-ordering to take advantage of the multiple attachment facility and other new features. Of course if I notice anything out of date in PB i'll deal with it as i find it but from my experience, any significant maintanence tends to occur in blocks rather than incremental.

  • I treat my brain as the 'hard drive for my mind' and with that perspective the issues of clutter, relavency etc do not concern me. I have found the most important issue by far is the question of information retrieval; the more links and liquidity a large brain file employs, the easier it is to retrieve information quickly.

  • Perhaps once the 'copy/move selected thoughts to other brain' feature is added to PB you might want to employ an archive brain, if that works for you. Personally, I don't worry about how much of an infinite data space I'm filling up . In terms of hardware limits, well my 140GB PB currently fits on a dedicated 160GB drive and I'm reasonably comfortable with the fact that hard drive capacity is increasing faster than my PB expansion. Check out http://www.drobo.com for an excellent approach to secure data growth.
Of course, there are no right or wrongs here just my user experience. Hope that helps.

cheers

Jim


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Shiiko
Great! Thanks, Jim.  Lots of food for thought. 
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tcahill
Shiiko wrote: How do you add information into PB from web sources? Copy to .doc? .txt? other? Is this information indexabel? searchable?

Sorry for the delay in responding. I guess I'm still catching up from my Summer holiday.

Anyway, What I do is "open thought folder" of the thought that I'd like to keep the web content in. Then I copy the path to that folder to the clipboard. Then, I Save the web page in question to the thought folder by pasting the path into the save dialog. The web page, links and all, are now local for as long as I want them, and they are fully searchable.
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Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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tcahill
Shiiko wrote: How do you associate different information that is with a thought as an attachment? Let's say you have an article about the impact of home sales on the economy and a spreadsheet that lists home sales by state. Do you make thoughts for each? What if you have a spreadsheet for each US state. Do you make 50 child thoughts (high clutter factor) or do you make one thought with 50 attachments (difficulty in linking to a single attachment).

I tend to deal with these kinds of decisions on a very ad-hoc basis. I'll start out with a single thought. If that starts to bulge out from too much data, I'll break it out into "SubThought,ParentThought" comma-context child thoughts to keep the clutter managable. If the idea really grows then I might have multiple nested child thoughts to deal with different aspects.

I think I favour more child thoughts rather than less, because then you can really leverage the user interface with lots of context linking, etc. I'm sure by now that you've fiddled around with lots of different approaches, and found some that work better than others for you.
Be vewy quiet. I'm hunting wabbit.
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zenrain
Quote: The web page, links and all, are now local for as long as I want them, and they are fully searchable.

Fully searchable unless you are using an operating system other than windows. In which case you are better off just leaving it as a hyperlink, as those are indexed.
Windows 7
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--
OSX 10.6.3
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Harlan
zenrain wrote:
Fully searchable unless you are using an operating system other than windows. In which case you are better off just leaving it as a hyperlink, as those are indexed.


Actually, PB indexes HTML and text file attachments under all OSes. Coincidentally, I believe Tim is running Linux .
Regards,
-Harlan
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zenrain
Hum, that's strange. I could have sworn I added a text file and a webarchive file and it wasn't included in the search.
I must have missed something. Ooo, or I may not have downloaded the searching index for the Mac.
I'll take a look when I get back home.

Edit: After looking a bit more I found that the libraries are windows only. I cant recall if I attached a plain text file or a .rtf, I'll have to keep looking into what I did wrong.
Windows 7
J-1.6.0_22
--
OSX 10.6.3
Java SE 6
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Shiiko
I guess that a May to October (nearly November) time frame gives me enough days experience to look back and apply hindsight to this thread that I started. 

I've tried practically all of Jim's suggestions, some not working for me (netvibes), some somewhat working for me (httrack) but in general, the meat of his suggestions working for me.   The bottom line recipe is to throw all thoughts into the pot, stir once in a while and see what sticks and what doesn't.    Currently in the same brain I have thought groups that are well organized: with strict parent child structure; somewhat organized: with a central thought around some upper thoughts, some lower thoughts and some side thoughts; and some thoughts that don't currently fit together.  What really matters is that the information is there and I foresee that eventually some parts will come together if I decide to focus on them.  

One item that has really turbocharged my informationcapturability (invented word) is the addition of a wiki.   Man, that has really given me the power to go a to a whole new level and I encourage everyone (not just anyone) to find out about it in other posts.   With the mixture of a wiki and PB I feel like Neo going into the simulator and learning anything.   In a very short time I can take a subject and put together a profile of the elements that comprise it, and organize it in a way that makes sense to me.   Want to learn what makes up a  helicopter and how to fly it (in writing)?    You can do this in an hour+ with these two tools by gathering information from different sources and fitting it together in a way that makes sense for you.
 
And this is just 6+ months into the PB experience, imagine 6 years from now.  I've even started now to experiment in making my (physical) thought patterns resemble PB, with lines and everything.  And it expands my thought capacity!     Harlan, have you been PBing your thoughts? This is the promise of information control and organization that I saw when I purchased V1.5 or so.

So, in 6 months I have learned that there really is no right or wrong way to organize thoughts.  I suggest that you eliminate the shackles brought by the need to have a linear structure and find out how you as an individual think best.   I guarantee that it will be different from anyone else's way of thinking.  The exciting realization comes from all the potential ideas that may arise from each of us thinking differently.

Think good thoughts.

Shiiko
São Paulo

PS - Tim, I'm going to try your idea of bringing in web pages. It sounds promising.  Thanks!

PPS - Catching up from your summer holiday in nearly November.  Must have been a good holiday!
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Shiiko
Shiiko wrote: How do you add information into PB from web sources? Copy to .doc? .txt? other? Is this information indexabel? searchable?

tcahill wrote: What I do is "open thought folder" of the thought that I'd like to keep the web content in. Then I copy the path to that folder to the clipboard. Then, I Save the web page in question to the thought folder by pasting the path into the save dialog. The web page, links and all, are now local for as long as I want them, and they are fully searchable.


Tim,

Tried your suggestion and it works.  The only thing that I can add is that an html file and a folder with other stuff is downloaded into the thought folder.   I  downloaded an interesting article which comprised of a 54k html file and a 612kb folder with other junk (pictures, java script, etc) .    What I did was delete the folder and what was left was just the text  (which is the important part anyway) within the HTML.

Thanks
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path
This PB combined with a Wiki sounds very interesting.
But i cannot imagine how you do it exactly. Could u explain in more detail??
Which Wiki do you use? Could you give an example of learning something simple with the wiki-PB-combination?
How does it work?
I read your lines, but there is a void in my mind. Cannot imagine how exactly you do this

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Shiiko
path wrote: Could u explain in more detail?? Which Wiki do you use? Could you give an example of learning something simple with the wiki-PB-combination? How does it work?

Hi Path

Sorry for the delay in replying to your questions but I am in time to wish you and yours happy holidays.

A good source of information regarding Wikis can be found here: http://forums.thebrain.com/tool/post/thebrain/vpost?id=2015054&highlight=wiki
I use a Tiddly Wiki template which has been saved to my 'add attachment' list.

In brief, a Wiki provides me with an 'information bucket' regarding a subject. Where PB helps me organize disparate information as individual thoughts to form a framework for knowledge, the Wiki is a scrapbook that holds specific information about a specific subject that is relevant to me. A Wiki is a focused thought.

For example:
Brain Main thought> Cancer. Child thought> Winning against, Cancer > Child thought> Alkalizing.

Alkalizing Wiki main subjects:
Note that the topics, their order and their content are of my choice as I see the information fitting my personal needs and no one elses.  As more people organize information based on their own perspective we will have new perspectives for information.

Each of these topics can generate their own thoughts and/or Wikis.    Another nice thing about the Wiki/PB connection is that the content of the Wiki is searchable along with all the other thoughts and content that I choose to add anywhere.

You can see it as PB linking between all book titles of your personal library, while the Wiki holds the content of each of your books.   With everything being easily searchable.  This is a highly powerful combination.

Hope that this helps.

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JonnyB
I have been trying to get my mind around the usefulness of wiki's in PB but I am having a hard time.  Maybe someone can help?

Why not just create more nodes in PB and use PB notes instead of a wiki?  Wouldn't this be quicker?

Would linking to Evernote notes be something similar as well?

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