14 Matching Annotations
  1. Feb 2024
    1. And yet he desperately needed the help of Subeditors because the task wastoo massive to do alone. Two years into the job, Murray had estimated thathe had sent out 817,625 blank slips to Readers. If they returned them withquotations, and if he spent a minimum of 30 seconds reading each one andallocating it to the correct sense of an entry, it would take him three workingyears to get through a third of the materials gathered.

      By the second year into his editing work on the OED, John Murray estimated that he had sent out 817,625 slips to readers.

      At the average price of $0.025 for bulk index cards in 2023, this would have cost $20,440, so one must wonder at the cost of having done it. How much would this have been in March 1879 when Murray tool over editorship?

      How many went out in total? Who cut them all? Surely mass manufacture didn't exist at the time for them?

      Sending them out would have helped to ensure a reasonable facsimile of having cards of equal size coming back.

  2. Aug 2023
    1. Why is the index card half full?

      reply to u/ManuelRodriguez331 at https://www.reddit.com/r/Zettelkasten/comments/15ehcy5/why_is_the_index_card_half_full/

      There has been debate about the length of notes on slips since the invention of slips and it shows no signs of coming to broad consensus other than everyone will have their personal opinion.

      If you feel that A6 is is too big then go down a step in size to A7. One of the benefits of the DIN A standard is that you can take the next larger card size and fold it exactly in half to have the next size smaller. This makes it easier to scale up the size of your cards if you prefer most of them to be smaller to save space, just take care not to allow larger folded cards to "taco" smaller cards in a way they're likely to get lost. If you really needed more space, you could easily use an A1 or A2 and fold it down to fit inside of your collection! (Sadly 4x6 and 3x5 cards don't have this affordance.)

      Fortunately there are a variety of available sizes, so you can choose what works best for yourself. Historically some chose large 5x8", 6x9", or even larger "slips". Some have also used different sizes for different functions. For example some use 3x5 for bibliographic cards and 4x6 for day-to-day ideas. I've seen stacked wooden card catalog furniture that had space for 3x5, 4x6, and 8.5x11 in separate drawers within the same cabinet. Some manufacturers even made their furniture modular to make this sort of mixed use even easier.

      One of the broadly used pieces of advice that does go back centuries is to use "cards of the same size" (within a particular use case). This consensus is arrived at to help users from losing smaller cards between larger/taller cards. Cards of varying sizes, even small ones, are also much more difficult to sort through. Slight of hand magicians will be aware of the fact that shaving small fractions of length off of playing cards is an easy way of not only marking them, but of executing a variety of clever shuffling illusions as well as finding some of them very quickly by feel behind the back. Analog zettelkasten users will only discover that smaller, shorter cards are nearly guaranteed to become lost among the taller cards. It's for this reason that I would never recommend one to mix 4x6, A6, or even the very closely cut Exacompta Bristol cards, which are neither 4x6 nor A6!

      I once took digital notes and printed them on paper and then cut them up to fit the size of the individual notes to save on space and paper. I can report that doing this was a painfully miserable experience and positively would NOT recommend doing this for smaller projects much less lifelong ones. Perhaps this could be the sort of chaos someone out there might actually manage to thrive within, but I suspect it would be a very rare individual.

      As for digital spacing, you may win out a bit here for "saving" paper space, but you're also still spending on storage costs in electronic formatting which historically doesn't have the longevity of physical formats. Digital also doesn't offer the ease of use of laying cards out on a desktop and very quickly reordering them for subsequent uses.

      There are always tradeoffs, one just need be aware of them to guide choices for either how they want to work or how they might work best.

      Personally, I use 4x6" cards because I often write longer paragraphs on them. Through experimentation I found that I would end up using two or more 3x5 cards more often than I would have had mostly blank 4x6 cards and used that to help drive my choice. I also find myself revisiting old cards and adding to them (short follow ups, links to other cards, or other metadata) and 3x5 wouldn't allow that as easily.

      As ever, YMMV...

      See also: [[note lengths]] and/or [[note size]].

  3. Jun 2023
    1. At 9¢/card these are very expensive in comparison to bulk cards which usually can be found for 1-2¢/card. The difference however is in the luxuriousness of the silky smooth texture. Whether you're writing with your favorite fountain pen or a carefully chosen pencil. I don't know if these are the same brand of Bristol cards that Vladimir Nabokov used for his writing, but one could easily image him using such lovely material.

      These provide a very smooth writing experience for fountain pens, gel pens and pencils. I particularly love the way my Tennessee Reds and Blackwing 602s glide over their surface. In comparison to some Japanese stationery, I'd put these cards somewhere between tsuru tsuru (slippery) and sara sara (smooth). If you're looking for a toothier paper, you'll definitely want to look elsewhere. They take fountain pens pretty well with no feathering or ghosting. My juiciest fountain pen dries in about 15 seconds, while a drier extra fine is dry in about 7 seconds, so it may take some care not to smear ink if you're on the messier end of the spectrum.

      Pencil erases reasonably well, though there may be some minimal residual ghosting here. At 205 gsm, they've got a satisfying thickness unseen in most index cards and one is unlikely to rip or crinkle them when erasing. They're also thick enough that the wettest Sharpie won't bleed much less ghost through. You have to hold a card up to a backlight to see the appearance of any ghosting through it and even then, not well.

      For the sticklers used to using standard 4 x 6" index cards, one should take note that the dimensions of these are slightly shorter in both dimensions—they're closer to 3.94" x 5.91". This means that you might have to take some care that while flipping through mixed company of cards your Exacompta can potentially hide between larger imperial sized cards. They're also close to, but not quite A6 in size either (105 x 148.5 mm or 4.1 x 5.8 inches).

  4. May 2023
    1. British historian of science, StaffanMueller-Wille at the Centre for Medical History at the University of Exeter, recently claimedthat Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus (1707–1778), the father of modern taxonomy,had “invented” the card index to manage his information storage and retrieval.

      How can Linnaeus (1707-1778) be said to have invented the card index or the index card when there are systems that predate him including Vincent Placcius and Leibnitz?

      Linnaeus' version were all of a standard size at least. Would this have been a shift in the definition or did others have and recommend "cards of equal size" before this?

  5. Mar 2023
    1. Pacheco-Vega uses 3 x 5, 4 x 6, and 5 x 8" index cards for various needs/purposes, meaning he breaks the guideline for using "cards of equal size". Though in his description it sounds like he files cards separately by size.

    1. A few times in his Grand Fichier, Barthes includes notebook paper from other sources which he's cut down to fit into his box or clippings of newspapers which he's taped to cards and included. ᔥ [00:32:00]

    1. Can I use a card index for note taking?Yes, you can certainly use a card index for note-taking. Card indexes have been a popular method of note-taking for many years and can be very effective. Here are a few tips to get you started:Choose the right size of card index: Card indexes come in various sizes, so choose one that is comfortable for you to handle and store.Use cards of the same size: Using cards of the same size ensures that they will fit into your index box or file and that they will be easy to handle.Choose a system for organizing your cards: You can organize your cards alphabetically, by subject, by date, or any other system that works for you.Use one card per idea or topic: To keep your notes organized and easy to find, use one card per idea or topic.Keep your notes brief and to the point: Use brief notes that summarize the key points of your topic. This will make it easier to review your notes and find the information you need.Review your notes regularly: Review your notes regularly to keep the information fresh in your mind and to make sure you haven't missed anything important.Overall, a card index can be a very effective method of note-taking, as long as you develop a system that works for you and use it consistently.

      https://shareg.pt/th2DNz0

      Q: Can I use a card index for note taking?

      Compare with: https://hypothes.is/a/HTqQPrksEe2XdQcSVvzXLQ

  6. Dec 2022
    1. Children, who in our post-agricultural age are otherwise pretty useless economically, can actually be usefully employed at this stage. They love cutting things with scissors, and precision is not crucial.

      a nod to having "cards of equal size", but that precision isn't necessarily as crucial as we might suppose.

  7. Oct 2022
    1. Filing is a tedious activity and bundles of unsorted notes accumulate. Some of them get loose and blow around the house, turning up months later under a carpet or a cushion. A few of my most valued envelopes have disappeared altogether. I strongly suspect that they fell into the large basket at the side of my desk full of the waste paper with which they are only too easily confused.

      Relying on cut up slips of paper rather than the standard cards of equal size, Keith Thomas has relayed that his slips often "get loose and blow around the house, turning up months later under a carpet or cushion."

      He also suspects that some of his notes have accidentally been thrown away by falling off his desk and into the nearby waste basket which camouflages his notes amongst similar looking trash.

    1. While he previously recommended using note cards of the same size, the examples in Goutor (1980) have 3x5" cards for bibliographic notes and 5x7" or larger cards for content notes. (p19, 21)


      Is there a reason stated anywhere here for this discrepancy or change? One would ostensibly keep them in different places/sections of one's card index, but does the size difference help to differentiate the two to aid in sorting? Is the larger card intended to hold more long form writing?

      Goutor is in Canada, so were 5x7" cards more common or standardized there in the late 1970s and early 80s?

      A5 measures 148 × 210 millimeters or 5.83 × 8.27 inches, so is a bit larger than 5x7".

      5x7" is a more standard photo size, so was this chosen as the result of storage options from the photography space?

      5x7" is scantly available in America in 2022, but only from Hamilco. A few others make cardstock in that size but not specifically as index cards.

    2. Goutor comments, like many before him, that it is common to take notes on notebook paper in longer form, but that this is inadvisable as it is much harder to impose a useful order or classification on such work. He does mention scissors as a means of cutting up such notes, but comments that "a mass of slips of paper of varying sizes [can be] difficult to arrange and potentially useless unless care has been taken to note the source of each separate entry."

      He also repeats the frequent admonitions that one should take notes only on one side and to use cards of a uniform size.

      (p6)

  8. Sep 2022
    1. Thesheets must always be of equal size, or at least of equal height in order not to get stuck or beoverlooked when manually searching for sheets or adding them.

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