Information hoarding: How to manage inspiration notes and avoid information overload stress.

Guinea Pig Stress

Temporary notes, instant inspiration, inspiration notes, and rough notes are all ways to describe fleeting note-taking methods. They need to be dealt with promptly. After using them, they should be deleted immediately instead of being stored indefinitely, which is commonly known as "occupying the toilet without defecating."

This is similar to the accumulation of waste in the body after the absorption of food nutrients. Why would you keep the residue and waste? The invisible inspiration has already put a lot of pressure on you.

This pressure makes you reluctant to write, unprepared on how to write. I prefer to organize inspiration notes, collect information, and then write. In the end, I still prefer to start writing after fully preparing.

The greater the pressure, the less willing you are to write. That's why inspiration notes should be dealt with quickly and the reasons should be deleted immediately.

Similarly, the same should apply to collecting information from various sources.

We collect useful information and news from WeChat, Twitter, Telegram, RSS, and other channels. Although it is convenient to save them casually, some people, like me, are anxious not because they don't have time to organize the collection, but because they spend more time searching for an all-in-one collection tool.

I want to consolidate the information collected from various sources for easy and unified management. For example, Cubox, Simplified, Readwise Reader, optimizing collection methods.

Of course, the fastest way to save is still using the built-in bookmark function of each tool, such as Twitter bookmarks, Telegram favorites, WeChat favorites, Chrome bookmarks. Whether on the desktop or in the app, undoubtedly, this is the fastest way to save.

Information Hoarding

This distributed collection, scattered information everywhere, quickly accumulates into mountains. At first, you may go through them one by one, skim through them roughly. But as they increase, the pressure you bear also increases, and unconsciously, you reduce the frequency of opening them.

I have had this experience when using Flomo. I collected with great enthusiasm, saving every clever sentence and excellent paragraph, intending to appreciate and digest them when I have free time.

Finally, when I had the time to open Flomo, I found a mess of fragmented texts. It was difficult to categorize them, and they lacked coherence, making them difficult to read.

In the end, I could only say, "I'm too busy today, I'll come back to see you next time!" and hurriedly escape.

Since then, I haven't opened Flomo again. I'm a bit afraid, facing those "brilliant inspirations." Because of my laziness, I made them lose their shine, which is a fault.

This condition, also known as "information hoarding," stems from the personal need for security, the fear of missing out on good things. Why does someone else have it, but I don't? Why does someone else know it, but I don't?

Vanity also plays a role. "You guys are so outdated, you don't even know about this... Let me tell you, your tools are too old-fashioned. Let me show you what advanced productivity looks like."

Lastly, it's quite important to lack a sense of security.

The blogger you like gets banned for some reason, the article you like gets deleted, the website you like gives a 404 error. For various reasons, many articles, books, movies that you think are good suddenly disappear.

To avoid the feeling of loss when something is clearly there but you can't see it, I keep collecting, which eventually leads to information overload, high blood pressure, and gout attacks.

Prevention and Treatment

How to prevent and treat this "information hoarding" condition? I think Obsidian, a person I really like, provides a good idea in this video: Obs125 | 闲聊 Fleeting Note 的翻译与其本质 - YouTube.

That is, inspiration notes, including various collected information, articles, reading lists, movie lists, playlists, etc., all belong to something that can stimulate certain groups of neurons in your brain in an instant. Regardless of the purpose of collecting them, they are rough notes that need to be processed urgently and must not exceed three days.

Just think about what would happen if you didn't defecate for three days? The waste must be cleaned up promptly.

Some people may ask why three days? Because with the current speed of information iteration, if the information is not processed within three days, it may no longer have the value of being saved. In short, those topics and efficient software quickly become outdated and are replaced by new topics and applications. If your articles quote or recommend this information at that time, it will be meaningless.

When ChatGPT went viral on Twitter, there were almost new shell applications launched every day. If you don't do filtering and want to try each one, you will inevitably miss out on truly useful information.

Three days does not refer to a specific time limit, but rather to the initial screening and selection of information you want to collect. If you want everything, you will end up with nothing.

"To read or not to read, to listen or not to listen, to keep or not to keep?"

If you want to read, determine a specific time to read. If you want to listen, listen immediately. If it is truly useful, save it. In this way, the collected information is processed immediately, categorized and stored in various places, becoming permanent notes. You can put down the heavy burden in your mind, reasonably organize the collected materials, and not be hindered.

At this point, various app bookmarks have been cleared, and your brain becomes active again, no longer being constantly reminded by the emotions that you are not interested in but still constantly remind you that there are good things in your bookmarks, urging you to take a look.

Summary: Don't get too caught up in an all-in-one collection system. Process the collected information within three days and clear the bookmarks promptly after processing. The best state for inspiration notes is to be easily accessible and discardable at any time.

Ownership of this post data is guaranteed by blockchain and smart contracts to the creator alone.