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Design principle: Organizing information

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Using categories is a great way to organize information when it needs to be sorted by similarity or relatedness.
But keep in mind that this has a certain degree of subjectivity in it: people don’t always group things the same way. Also, be careful with the number of sub-categories that might appear.

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Design principle: Organizing information

Design principle: Organizing information

https://uxplanet.org/design-principle-organizing-information-343a7ef936a8

uxplanet.org

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Key Ideas

Richard Saul Wurman

Richard Saul Wurman

“Information may be infinite, however…The organization of information is finite as it can only be organized by LATCH: Location, Alphabet, Time, Category, or Hierarchy.”

Location

Organizing information by its location (physical or conceptual) is important when the information has multiple different sources and locales.
Use it when the relative position of the information you want to present is important. When giving directions or to prioritize what is the most relevant thing to be in reach.

Alphabet

Ordering information alphabetically is a great way to provide random access to data. It is one of the best ways to organize information when the amount of data is big (Dictionaries, encyclopedias, book indexes for example).
It is also a good fall back when the information can’t be sorted with another method.

Time

Time is a great way of categorizing events that have happened over a fixed time duration.
Use it to present and compare events over a fixed time duration. It allows us to observe and compare changes that occur in that time frame.

Category

Using categories is a great way to organize information when it needs to be sorted by similarity or relatedness.
But keep in mind that this has a certain degree of subjectivity in it: people don’t always group things the same way. Also, be careful with the number of sub-categories that might appear.

Hierarchy

Organizing things by hierarchy is helpful when the information can be organized by comparing things across a common measure (small to large, lowest to highest, etc.)

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Addicted to Consuming Information
Addicted to Consuming Information

The amount of content on the Internet is huge and it’s practically impossible for us to consume it all. But we struggle with it anyway.

This creates a situation where we are constantly diges...

Information Clutter

In the case of information, reading several articles and sources on the same topic can create a lot of clutter. Because it creates internal struggles and questions:

  • What sort of information is important?
  • This post said this is important while another post said it wasn’t important. What information is relevant here?
  • What information should I internalize and apply?
The LATCH principle

... for organizing information:

  • Location: put the most relevant stuff to be within reach.
  • Alphabet: for organizing lists of people and statistics, dictionaries, and official documents.
  • Time: used when providing step by step instructions or when things have to be in chronological order.
  • Category: organize information by similarity or relatedness.
  • Hierarchy: organizing information that is used collectively to compare things.

4 more ideas

GTD (Getting Things Done)

GTD is a productivity method for organizing your to-dos, priorities, and schedule in a way that makes them all manageable.

Its 5 principles are:

  • Capture
  • Clarify
  • Org...

"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

"GTD is an organizational system. It doesn't put rules around how you actually do your work. Instead, it focuses on how you capture the work you need to do, organize it, and choose what needs your attention"

GTD: Capture
Capture everything. Your to-dos, your ideas, your recurring tasks, everything. Put it in a pen-and-paper notebook, a to-do app, a planner, whatever you prefer to use to get organized.

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Meta-Learning

It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.

Merely acquiring information is not learning....

Learning has 2 phases

Learning is a two-step process:

  • Read/listen: feeding ourselves new information.
  • Process and recall what you’ve just ‘learned’: connecting new materials to what we already knew.
Remembering the right things

You should not waste your time by committing unimportant details to memory. 

Your focus should be on understanding the bigger picture, on how things relate to each other.

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Successful people stick to their reading habit

A random sampling of the world’s most successful people will show one common trait: a love of reading. Because reading is the easiest way to continue the learning process. 

Whatever problem you’re struggling with is probably addressed in some book somewhere written by someone a lot smarter than you."

- Ryan Holiday

Whatever problem you’re struggling with is probably addressed in some book somewhere written by someone a lot smarter than you."

- Ryan Holiday

Our memory is made up of 3 components

...in terms of reading retention:

  • Impression
  • Association
  • Repetition

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1. The Loci Technique

Also known as “The Memory Palace, it consists of associating each item you’re trying to remember with a specific image and a place. You can imagine the items lying around in places that have...

2. Mnemonics

Acronyms, music (very effective) or rhyme, or sentences of words that start with the same letter as the items you are trying to memorize are all mnemonic techniques that help you to remember and retrieve information.

3. The Storytelling Technique

Stories encompass all the qualities of information that makes our brain love and remember it: vivid and colorful picture and engaging plotlines about other beings that are alive.

By creating a narrative that is interesting to and include items you need to memorize, you create a story your brain can follow.

6 more ideas

Adapting to context

Different types of information demand different styles of note-taking. There are lots of reasons to take notes: to retain information, to capture ideas, to problem solve or brainstorm, to visualize...

The Outline/List

Is a linear method of taking notes that proceeds down the page, using indentation or bullets to denote major and minor points.

Pros: it records content relationship in a way that is easy to review.

Cons: difficult to go back and edit information written in this system.

Works for: recording terms, definitions, facts and sequences, when taking notes on slides or readings.

The Sentence Method

The goal is to jot down your thoughts as quickly as possible. Format is kept to a minimum: every new thought is written on a new line. 

Pros: Is like free writing for notes.

Cons: lack organization and notes can be hard to understand.

Works for: meetings or lectures that lack organization; when information is presented very quickly.

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The organized workspace

The general condition of your living environment affects your personal productivity.

A well organized work space makes you feel in control, and clearly focus and define areas that may ...

Tips to organize your office space

  • De-clutter your space, empty, shred and get rid of literally any frivolous thing that adds no value to your productivity.
  • Organize with colors and labels, to put items in the right places.
  • Use storage boxes & containers to help you stay organized.
  • Segment your work zones to help trigger a better output.
  • Organize your desk accessories: everything from your stationeries, laptop, files, and trays.
  • De-clutter and organize your Laptop/Desktop by deleting those folders, pictures or softwares that you don’t need. 

Categories of Organizing
Categories of Organizing
  1. Documents. The way you name your files can dramatically improve the organization of both your physical and your digital documents. Be consistent with file naming. 
  2. ...
Measuring Productivity

The best gauge of being well organized, "is just the lack of anxiety that comes from a clean comfortable workspace where you feel like things aren't piling up and overwhelming you."

The Sources of Clutter

Common sources of clutter for entrepreneurs include business cards, printouts from the Web, and literature from conferences and seminars.

A good way to get rid of clutter is to turn each piece of paper that you're keeping around into an action item in your planner. 

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Focus on value

The key to any productivity system is to focus on value, not effort.

Instead of focusing on completing as many tasks as possible from your to-do list, focus on the highest-impact ...

Do a mind sweep

This process walks through a list of prompts in different categories, looking for things you're trying to remember and commitments you've made and gets them out onto paper.

It will help you clear your thoughts and get the distractions out of your head.

Review the week to come

Take the time to review the coming week's schedule and organize it into large chunks of time, with tasks grouped by importance and urgency.

It will make it easier to manage your work.

4 more ideas