info overload

Information overload - over the years i've collected terabytes of data in different forms, books, cd's, pdf's, word documents, emails and so on. Finding that one bit of critical info is a pain, my work laptop has over 45g of standards, specifications and so on stuff that should be referenced yet because it is often buried in subdirs or perhaps i've given the document i created a title which made sense at the time but months/years later means nothing i cannot find that which i need.

How to manage data?

I've tried almost (probably) everything… segregated folder structures, The Brain, Freemind, FreePlane, wiki's, UltraRecall, myBase, onenote - the list goes on.

I have yet to find something which works for me, to be fair The Brain comes the closest but i need something portable which doesnt rely on the cloud or java can be run from a USB stick or a folder on a locked down laptop. Pretty tall requirements.

So as i've been migrating other things to the ancient emacs and the excellent org i wonder if i can twist the combination to manage not only text notes such as a daily log or timing tasks but also files (PDF's, 3D machine drawings etc)

The system has to be;

  • searchable

  • tag based to allow for improper titles

  • capable of handling or at least pointing to a range of files

  • portable

  • quick

  • expandable

  • allow for inter-relationships ie glue open time is linked to notes on machine purge time etc

Is it possible? I dont know. What i do know is that i have too much information and either i ditch all or organise it.

See also