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February 7, 2009

<< The Kid-Saving Business | Design as Performance >>

Everybody Needs One

Sometimes a single detail makes an entire story. I think that’s the case with Jodi Kantor’s profile of Richard Holbrooke:

(Many people have personal trainers; Mr. Holbrooke has a personal archivist.)


I was actually thinking about archives this morning, after reading this bit from Tim’s Whitman post:

But Whitman’s notebooks at this time are filled with images, just jottings, of these people, what they’re doing, what they look like, what their names are.

Cross-reference with Michael Bierut’s wonderful stack of notebooks. I love the idea of keeping a durable, written record like this… but I am congenitally incapable of using and keeping notebooks. I’m way more comfortable with digital notes — emails to myself, short little Google Docs, etc.

What’s a good compromise? Is there some easy way to physical-ize those notes? Maybe I need an app that literally scans my stuff for certain kinds of documents, saves them, and prints ‘em out en masse.

I mean, until I get a personal archivist, anyway.

Posted February 7, 2009 at 1:43 | Comments (4) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such, Self-Disclosure, Society/Culture


Ummmmm why?

Oh, because physical stuff sticks around. I mean, maybe all this digital material we're producing will surprise me and end up being really durable, but at this point, I'm assuming it will be lost or irretrievable -- superceded by new formats, new systems -- in, say, 2059 or 2109.

Well, let's imagine the following service -- an impersonal archivist.

There are already sites like Mint that track all of your online spending and finances. Imagine if they (or a similar service) could also track your other online records, definable up to... whatever. Each month, they print everything out on archival-grade paper (you can log in and delete stuff you don't want hard copies of), organize it according to a pre-determined tab-color-whatever scheme. All you have to do is put it in your cabinet -- "January 2009."

It's like a vanity press for your entire life!

The beauty is, you still have everything on paper -- it's just not stray, disorganized paper that interrupts you all the time, ends up covered in coffee, usw.

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