I’ve blogged before about how we just can’t fit everything in out brains anymore – you can access far more knowledge if you remember how / where to find it rather than the information itself.
But the problem comes in deciding exactly where we should store all this information (or at least bookmarks that will help us find it).
Take bloglines, I happily used it for years and digitally clipped all kinds of posts for future reference instead of printing them out. But then bloglines went AWOL for a few days, accompanied by predictions of its demise, so I switched to google reader but couldn’t take my clippings with me.
The idea of storing all your stuff in the ‘cloud’ is all very well, but it feels a bit intangible – and subject to other people’s servers and business models working indefinitely.
You could store everything on an external hard drive, but them there’s a risk it could get nicked or corrupted and needs backing up and…[eats calming bar of chocolate to cope with anxiety related to the thought of losing Everything I’ve Ever Saved].
I do have a physical bursting-at-the-seams lever arch file I call my Toolbox with articles, methodologies and Every Chart You’ll Ever Need in it. But I also have a backup copy of the Toolbox at home as I’m afraid that there’ll be something unexpected like a fire at work and I’ll lose five years of clippings.
Maybe I’m just paranoid. But I think we’re getting to the point where if you can’t lay your hands on the information you’re looking for within five minutes, it might as well not exist.