Randomness might solve my Mars-Insight-level failure to drill down into my multicolumn, multicolor to-do list of several years: https://i.imgur.com/lKgcvRF.jpeg .

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It would be really interesting to learn how this kind of to-do list works. Downloaded the image and added it to my Spark File!

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I love this idea of leaving yourself fragments. Personally, I feel that my in-box is overflowing and I can't handle any more emails. But I do have a large collection of notebooks I've kept over the past few decades. Once in a while, I randomly open one of them and read whatever page I land on. It's sort of my own version of "ReadWise’s stochastic memory." After reading this post, I'm thinking I should ritualized this practice and make it more of a daily or weekly thing.

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Stephen, you're looking for tools that encourage serendipity, that deliver to you those little bits and beginnings that you may have forgotten about. The best I've seen is an app called Napkin. It's a visual note-taking tool where notes are arrayed on an infinite canvas. As you work on one note, Napkin displays a cloud of others that its AI engine has determined may be potentially connected. Some are obvious; others, not so much. Users say after they have 150-200 notes in Napkin, the magic starts to happen. Here's more info: https://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/napkin-interview/

Another tool is Obsidian, a note-taking tool that has a "graph view" that enables you to visualize the connections (and would-be) connections between your notes - bits and pieces you can gather together into new relationships to form fresh ideas. It also has a new canvas that gives users some exciting new ways to connect their ideas: https://mindmappingsoftwareblog.com/obsidian-canvas/.

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Dec 19, 2022·edited Dec 19, 2022

I've been a big fan of "picking a random item" features of some applications like:

calibre(e-book management): pick a random e-book // assigned "space bar" to the function

Honeyview(image viewer): pick a random picture (and maybe copy/move the current image to a designated folder) // assigned "space bar" to the function

PotPlayer(media player): put the play mode to "shuffle/random" (and use a AutoHotKey script to copy/move the current file to a pre-designated folder for further work) // use ShuttlePro to control the player

And most relevant to this post is Obsidian. I use Obsidian's random note function to revisit older notes, and Obsidian being a text editor I assigned Control+Spacebar to this function, instead of just Spacebar.

I've been thinking about building my own tool which does:

- access a library of highlights and hunches

- and pull up a pair of random "cards" (a card being either a highlight or hunch)

- juxtapose them so that there can be a 3-way conversation with current me and two past me's (whether it's a hunch or highlight, it was me that made it to the library)

- replace one or both cards with new one(s) with a click or a shortcut key

- let me write a new hunch as a comment or "descendant" to the parent cards (SparkDNA?)

- or simply call up one or several cards and use them as part of a doc

One of the really bad names I've come up with for this tool: Juxpark!

(And of course I became a big fan of "random" after reading your book "Where Good Ideas Come From.")

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I love Roam research https://roamresearch.com/ a note-taking tool

for networked thought.

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