(by eclectic echoes)
What’s great about index cards? They’re inexpensive. They’re ubiquitous. They promote USE instead of fear of wrecking something (which happens to me around my beautiful Moleskine journals). Index cards really can be useful.
My grandparents kept them in the kitchen all the while I was growing up. Grammy would use them for grocery lists, or to remind me to ask my parents something I’d forgotten to ask too many times in a row. My brother and I used to draw on the white side of them: he’d draw martial arts dudes, and I’d draw superheroes.
Dave draws all kinds of things on his index cards. He’s cuckoo for them! (In the good way).
Storytelling– Use index cards to lay out scene elements in a story. Use one card per scene moment. Then, you can arrange the cards in whatever order you’d like the story to progress.
Business Brainstorming– I did this tonight. Use one card each to come up with ways to make money. List the basic premise, then how much you want to charge, your audience, the time involved, and questions to be answered.
Organizing– Merlin Mann created the Hipster-PDA a long time ago now, but they’re still really popular. Now there are even hacks to the organizational hack, over at D*I*YPlanner.
Journaling– Here’s an exercise: write out how you feel about yourself and the things going on in your life, one per day, for a month. See what you think. Revisit the exercise four times a year.
Lists– Keep lists of your next actions, lists of groceries, list of library items to borrow. Lists are perfect for index cards.
Character Cards– Writing a story? Keep details of your characters handy and organized. Maybe your character, Felicia, likes to drink grape juice, whereas Aunt Tiddly would vomit at even the scent of a grape.
I bought 500 cards (3×5″) at Staples for $3.19 US. I imagine similar deals can be had in an area near you. Compare the price of those cards to nearly anything else you’d want to use and organize and keep on your person, and I think you’ll find them handy.
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(by eclectic echoes)