Taxonomy and Drafts

Taxonomy

I used to think about it as organizing. I used to think about it as staying on top of my digital life. I used to think it was productive in and of itself, that there was some sort of end point where every bucket was in the right spot and full of the right stuff. Glorified filing cabinet nirvana.

Yet the more apt metaphor is that of a drug addict chasing a high that either doesn’t exist or only existed once for like fifteen minutes. And the apt word isn’t organize. Sure, organized evokes order but it also implies something simpler than a continually evolving file tagging philosophy lifestyle. An organized person may have a continually evolving file tagging philosophy but when she is daydreaming about the pros and cons of establishing life categories she is not organizing, she’s taxonomizing. (That may not be a word.)

From what I can recollect, Merlin Mann is solely responsible for my ongoing exposure to (and subsequent pondering of) the word taxonomy. I don’t know if he wrote or spoke about taxonomy when he was on the ground floor of the GTD ProdoTech movement back in the day. I imagine he did. But I’m not talking about any discussion of what it means. I just mean the word itself. I’ve heard him say the word taxonomy on various podcasts in various contexts consistently through the years and, so, I just started thinking about the word taxonomy myself. Is that what I do?

Taxonomy is a more stately noun version of what could also be called classification. Taxonomy has more gravitas. It’s one thing to throw your blu ray collection on a spreadsheet and sort by director first and year second. It’s another to construct and maintain a logical naming structure for every single organism ever. Taxonomy is for the heavy hitters.

I like applying the word taxonomy to how I attempt to organize my tech infrastructure because it makes what I do seem ridiculous, which it often can be. Taxonomy is a science. I may think a hot night mapping out an email processing decision tree (but only after agonizing over which app to do it in) is a hot night of science and thus a hot night of productivity. It’s not.

Take these two statements we could use to fool ourselves into thinking another cycle of blowing up and reconstructing our system is a good way to achieve our goals:

  1. I need to get organized before I can make progress.

  2. I need to conceive, implement, and constantly tinker with a new taxonomy that perfectly encompasses my entire digital life.

Statement one seems like a fair and reasonable way to pave the way for you to do the things you want to do. Statement two seems like a thing itself. A new shiny thing, but a possibly unruly thing. But I already have an unruly thing that was once shiny. Is this thing I’m going to replace it with going to be any more shiny and/or any less unruly? When should I take a stab at those other things, the things I want to do?

Light organizing seems reasonable. Light organizing never hurt anyone. Chasing a grand unifying organizational theory that will perfectly structure your digital life yet most certainly doesn’t actually exist seems a bit much. Chasing taxonomy bliss might just ruin your life. Or at the very least keep those novel pages unwritten.

But everyone’s life (digital or otherwise) contains a taxonomy of some sort. The real life equivalent of tossing everything on a cluttered desktop is still a taxonomy and just as valid as applying tags, flags and keywords to everything you look at or think about. We (me and you, if you’ve read this far) look at the cluttered desktop tossers with a mixture of disgust, pity, and sometimes, when we’re keeping it real with ourselves, jealousy and admiration. They look at us and our perfectly curated folder structures like we’re building a ship in a bottle.

So how should we deal with the taxonomy of our digital lives?

Even if it’s true, I hate when the answer probably lies somewhere in the middle. I find it to be the answer people give when they aren’t familiar with the merits of the poles, which they would call the extremes. Just use a reasonable Queensberry Rules number of organization paraphernalia isn’t going to cut it. Proper taxonomy level isn't a question of quantity. If your Rube Goldberg works, it works. Same with your junk drawer. But what does it mean for our digital taxonomy to work? What principals should guide us?

Grand Unifying Theory And Best Practices For Digital Taxonomy

  1. It’s impossible to create a perfect system

  2. Don’t obsess over creating something that isn’t possible

  3. Obsess over the real things we want to accomplish
  4. We tinker with our system to avoid the real things
  5. Our system is not a real thing
  6. It’s a virtual filing cabinet
  7. Pretty much any thoughtful system is just fine
  8. So put a little thought into it
  9. And then ignore it for as long as possible
  10. The longer we ignore our system the better
  11. We don’t ignore it because of it (see 1 and 7)
  12. But because of us (See 4)

Drafts

Starting Text With Drafts

It’s hard to explain just how intoxicating the slogan Where Text Starts is to me, and maybe you, my fellow tech taxonomist. It represents a location and a rule. A foundation. It hints at a sort of organizational singularity. Where Text Starts sounds like it could change the world. It’s the reason I started using Drafts the first time I used Drafts. According to my App Store purchase history I downloaded Drafts 3 on November 3rd, 2013.

Here’s why my first experience with Drafts was doomed from the start: I was excited about how I could use it with Evernote. (Insert crying laughing emoji.) I stand by this absolutely valid instinct to have in 2013 but in retrospect it’s a bit like being excited for a device that helps clog up your least favorite toilet more efficiently. I set up a million actions that sent text into a million Evernotes. It turns out I did that to avoid Evernote. Not a good sign. I was a bad parent using my kid to communicate with the spouse I wanted to divorce. Before long that once juicy slogan came to mean Where Evernote Text Starts. Evernote came to mean slow and bloated. It wasn’t so intoxicating anymore.

I stopped using Evernote and dabbled with a bunch of apps where text stops. And if I felt like I needed help from another app for something as fundamental as capture I would get Evernote vibes and move on. If I knew exactly what I wanted to write, where I wanted to put it, and I could do that with a snappy notes app, why not just do that?

The implied premise of Where Text Starts is that starting text from a single location is a step towards simplicity. Sure, there will always be decisions to be made, but where your text starts will never be one of them. Don’t sweat over logistical decisions. Just write, baby.

But what if I already know the decision without having to think about it? Should I still go into Drafts and do a cool trick shot to kick something to its final resting spot or should I just go to the final resting spot and make a lay-up? And once I make a few exceptions, a few instances where text does not start in Drafts, does the original allure of the concept lose steam? What if the other apps got better and were fast and pleasant to enter?

I didn’t delete it but I lost track of Drafts.

It felt disrespectful to employ a sophisticated feat of app development in order to write a text message in a way so that the other person wouldn’t see the dot dot dot and know how much time I was spending on a bad joke. And how many times in our lives will we start a text and then decide midstream to turn it into a email? Yes I know Greg Pierce cites this use case as one of the reasons he created the app. But this was pre-share sheet! It would be like telling someone they should buy a car in case your horse gets the flu in 1975. Let’s not put that high on our How To Convince Someone To Use Drafts list. People will nod politely and walk away grateful that regular email/text confusion isn’t an issue in their lives. This is something you talk about with someone after you do the secret Drafts handshake.

A vaguely chronological list of thoughts I recollect most likely having at the time I stopped using Drafts, which was at some point after Drafts 3 but before Drafts 5:

  • I sure did love opening up Drafts and writing stuff.

  • It was a snappy and pleasant experience.

  • But most of my drafts went to Evernote for storage.

  • Those actions were sweet.

  • And it was so great to avoid Evernote!

  • Remember when I used to use Evernote?

  • (50 yard stare)

  • I could still use Drafts when I need to send a text or email.

  • (Opens Messages)

  • Doh!

  • (Opens Mail)

  • Double doh!

  • (Accidentally writes an email in Messages)

  • Weird but I probably don’t need a dedicated app for that.

  • I should just get more sleep.

  • I’m bummed I’m not using Drafts anymore.

  • Once I settle on a new notes app I’ll use Drafts again.

  • And I’ll take advantage of more actions next time.

  • (A year or several years or perhaps decades go by.)

  • I’ve researched and test driven every notes app not Evernote.

  • I love one or two things about each and every one of them!

  • (Puts hands in pockets and looks at the ground)

  • I think I need to start this process over.

  • (A year or several years or perhaps decades go by.)

Storing Text With Drafts

The introduction of Workspaces in Drafts 5 transformed it into a place where text starts but can also stay now if it wants. And as someone who had spent the previous century meticulously and systematically developing zero loyalty to any other notes app, I was very open to exploring this new storage capability. What I didn’t expect was that it would be the ideal place for text notes to stay. (With not a container in sight!) Whether it burns bright and dies young or does its boring job and lives forever, notes can now live a happy life inside Drafts.

It’s an amusing, yet totally predictable, trajectory for a notes app that seemed to initially have zero interest in being yet another receptacle in your digital file management system. (Even today, the Drafts website describes a lightweight organization system similar to email. Well if you put it that way!) By all means, start here, but we will be providing no elaborate way to stay here. Deal with that somewhere else. We’ll be out back spending years developing a brilliant environment to perform unlimited jujitsu on your notes. We’ll be making magic, basically, but just not in the shelving department.

So I find it amusing that Drafts seems to have created the best way to organize notes. (Which they have.) But in retrospect it was also predictable because the type of person drawn to Drafts can’t go anywhere without laying down infrastructure of some sort. We are tech taxonomists. It was inevitable that we’d want some sort of storage possibilities inside this playground of note creation and manipulation. We were destined to beg for tags.

Workspaces

I didn’t fully understand how to take advantage of Workspaces in Drafts until I thought about the word itself. At this point in our digital evolution I don’t know that we (the users) contemplate their (the developers) use of comparative nomenclature as much as we should. What is this space or bucket or option supposed to represent based on the name the developer chose? Is the analog comparison implied by the name something I should consider when I interact with it?

Instead we jump straight into the juicy details and possibilities of the tech. Okay, is it a folder? A smart folder? Wait, it’s not like a folder at all because it's a smart folder and once a folder becomes smart it’s not really like a folder anymore? Can I pin it and flag it and share it? What’s the glyph situation?

For the most part, disregarding an analog comparison is probably the right way to go in terms of maximizing the tech. Tying the potential of something digital to something analog limits the possibilities and benefits of existing inside a computer. (Quick reminder that we still call the super computers in our pockets phones. Imagine handing an iPhone to a time traveler from 1965 and saying You know about phones, right? This is a phone.) A thing being able to exist in two different locations at the same time, for example. Ikea furniture can’t do that.

And so that’s how I first considered Workspaces in Drafts. They could have been called Marzipans and I would have approached them the same way: Dig into the technical possibilities and try to use them all at the same time. See what's cool. See what's technically possible.

So what are Workspaces in Drafts?

Here’s the official description from Drafts:

Workspaces allow you to save and apply a set of list configuration and filtering options. Think of a workspace as a macro which applies a set of filters and options to the draft list. Workspaces are great to easily view a subset of drafts tagged for a particular project or context.

Drafts superhero Tim Nahumck (AKA THE DRAFTS MAN) in his required reading Drafts 5 MacStories review had this to say about Workspaces:

The idea of workspaces is an ingenious way of interacting with your drafts. You can separate your drafts out into categories or individual projects and narrow the focus of what you're doing with the app. Capturing all of your thoughts, ideas, and tasks is wonderful, but placing them in discrete containers for viewing and processing boosts the potential for productivity. I don't have to think of what drafts I want to see and filter using the tag drawer – I now have custom-built, preset views that I return to on a regular basis. By setting up workspaces, you no longer have to spend a ton of time searching for what you need. You can display exactly the focus of what's on your mind, and just start capturing your thoughts or acting upon them.

Rosemary Orchard in her Drafts for Mac review describes Workspaces as such:

Workspaces are Drafts' version of folders – but they're dynamic. Based on tags and flags, and combinations of these, your Drafts workspaces are saved filters allowing you to see just the subset of Drafts you want or need to work on at the current moment in time.

Every single description above is smart and true and makes sense.

But what are Workspaces again?

Here’s a fun thing to do when you’re playing trivia. If someone gets a tough question like What 18th century Swedish inventor invented such and such? and clearly has no idea, say, very seriously, as if giving an important clue: Think 18th century Swedish inventors. Everybody enjoys that one.

I joke with love and want to stipulate that the Drafts documentation, help and community are world class. The best. Everyone who uses Drafts should read the website documentation cover to cover. However, think of a workspace as a macro which applies a set of filters and options to the draft list could be a bit think 18th century Swedish inventors to someone trying to conceptualize how to use them. I realize I’m cherry picking this out of a technical context but that was my first exposure to how I should think of Workspaces.

(But I’m also a digital taxonomist who loves the idea of a macro which applies a set of filters and options to the draft list. Who wouldn’t? I didn’t need a helpful metaphor to give Workspaces a shot. I could deal with that later. Just let me at the cool new settings.)

The most app genre spanning metaphor we use to divvy up our digital spaces is to deploy the concept of Areas or Roles. At its most minimal that could just mean two big buckets called Work and Personal. At its most maximal that could mean the tiniest buckets you ever saw called Winter Fire Alarm Battery Administration and Winter Carbon Monoxide Alarm Battery Administration inside a slightly less tiny bucket called Downstairs Alarm Battery Administration. The Areas of Your Life metaphor is most certainly a spectrum.

Tim Nahumck suggested going in this direction:

Think of workspaces as areas of your life: each one provides a focused view of your drafts without having the clutter of the other areas in your face to distract you.

This is entirely reasonable and probably the absolute best organizing principal for a lot of people using Drafts or any other app. It’s just not for me as a concept. I can’t handle it. I may start out with the intention to go broad but after three months of tinkering I’m well on my way to Downstairs Alarm Battery Administrationville.

So how should I think of Workspaces?

What if I reversed the previous metaphors and analog-ized Workspaces into work spaces? So: Think of the Areas of Your Life as work spaces? Or: Think of a Smart Folder as a work space? I don’t think I want to do either of those things.

So how should I think of work spaces?

If I can do that I can maybe understand how to think of Workspaces.

Gezelligheid is a Dutch word that isn’t easy to translate. I don’t speak the language and I’ve only been to Amsterdam twice, but my understanding is that using the word gezelligheid is a way to point out that, based on several factors, some tangible, some not, the situation you find yourself in is dope as hell. The factors in question could be a combination of the location, the people you are with, the food, the weed and wine, the smell, the nostalgia in the air from telling old stories, whatever. Drinking coffee and reading a good book in a chair next to your dog under a tree on a Sunday afternoon before a week off work could very well be an extremely gezelligheid life space for you.

So what might a real life gezelligheid work space be like?

In the physical world people tend to enjoy working in spaces that at their best inspire greatness and at their least contain a flat surface, a hot beverage and intermittent internet service. For some people design itself inspires greatness so they work on sharp and clean minimalist desks in buildings with exquisite architecture. Others make due with (or even prefer) the din of a shitty coffee shop that offers free refills.

Austin Kleon keeps separate analog and digital desks. Each one is either a perfect or terrible space to work depending on what he wants to do, when, and with what. Someone else may not mind the smell of the crayon cannister that sits next to her clicky keyboard except when it’s time to work on the budget, at which point she unplugs the laptop from the monitor, gets the hell out of Dodge and sets up shop at the kitchen table with the Food Network on in the background.

But no matter how we rank the qualities of our ideal real life work spaces, it seems to me that instantaneous access to every conceivable file we could possibly need isn't high on the list. But that’s how we conceive our digital work spaces. We start and finish with the file cabinet. We construct piles of files and sit hunched inside a folder because what if we need a specific bullet point we wrote ten weeks ago right this second. That sure sounds gezelligheid as hell.

In brainstorming what I would want my ideal work space to provide, I came up with the following:

  • dedicated space where I can do anything I want

  • dedicated space where I can focus deeper on stuff that's important and ongoing

  • flexible space I can dedicate to ongoing projects of varying lengths

  • appropriate tools (not reference files!) in each of those spaces that correlate with the work involved inside

  • appropriate level of on hand and out of site but available reference files in each of those spaces

In visualizing this sort of scenario I came to imagine an entire floor of a modest office building. That is where we will work. The layout is such: one standard officey office and multiple conference rooms. These are our work spaces.

The office is where we often start the day. We can sip coffee and ease into the day or we can jump right into a specific TPS Report if we want. We can look over the stuff left on the desk from the day before and decide if we need or want to do anything with it. We can create more stuff and put it on top of the other stuff. We can do anything and have access to anything in our office.

But this office is sort of cramped and it’s not exactly gezelligheid so we don’t necessarily want to do everything in here even though we technically could. We should put these conference rooms to use. I suppose we could better focus on that McGilicuty Case we have to finish this week if we grabbed the right files and turned Conference Room 1 into a McGilicuty Case work space for the week. (If we could finish it in a day or two we’d probably just stay in the office.) We’ll just clear out all of the Peterson Case files from last week but leave the TI-82 and T-square we tend to need for anything we do in this conference room. Maybe we’ll tape a McGilicuty relevant quote from Socrates or Tim Ferriss on the wall as well to get the juices flowing. We might work in here until lunch.

What if we find that the best way to snap out of the early afternoon haze is to drink a coffee and work on our vision board? What if it’s impossible for us to muster up any sort of vision when we're sitting in the same chair we crank out TPS Reports in? And forget about proactive daydreaming while surrounded by McGilicuty ephemera. But what if it’s a pain in the ass to constantly lug that damn board and all the magic markers in and out of Conference Room 2 every day? If we're serious about daily vision board maintenance (and let’s assume that we are) than we might as well just make Conference Room 2 a permanent Vision Board Room. We’ll can just walk straight into the Vision Board Room after lunch from now on.

Curveball! We’ve done so well with the McGilicuty Case that it has become the McGilicuty Account. There is now no end in sight to the McGilicuty based tasks and projects on the horizon. We should probably turn Conference Room 3 into The McGilicuty Room, right? We’ll buy a second TI-82 and T-Square so we don’t have to port those back and forth. We’ll ask the intern to lug over the most recent McGilicuty files and stand outside the door on call. Perhaps we’ll throw together a McGilicuty inspired playlist for the McGilicuty Room HomePod. This will make conference Room 1 available once again for a current task or project.

Okay, so we’ve got a super versatile, yet drab, standard office where we can work on anything we want. We’ve got a conference room dedicated to temporary in nature projects of our choice, or perhaps something ongoing that we tend to work on intensely yet sporadically. We’ve got the Vision Board Room, which supports an important activity we plan on doing until our last breath or until we lose interest. And we’ve got the McGilicuty Room, which we'll keep intact until old man McGilicuty is no longer happy with our services.

This situation could easily correlate to the combination of a home office, a living room, a patio, and the library down the street.

Can something like this be created in Drafts via a macro which applies a set of filters and options to the draft list? Seems like a lot of pressure to put on a macro but I gave it a shot.

COMMENCE TRADITIONAL HOW I USE DRAFTS CONTENT

It’s all fine and dandy to construct a real life metaphor that helps guide our digital taxonomy but when the rubber meats the road can we avoid the urge to create a thousand conference rooms with a couple key strokes? Is that something we should want to avoid? I would argue it is. I would argue that the infinite supply of TI-82s and hipster pens we can sprinkle throughout the office space is much more powerful than a room full of prestocked files we could conjure up in twelve seconds when and if we need them no matter where we are. And because of this remarkable ability to search and find most any file we would ever need, I would argue we can do more day-to-day stuff in our standard crappy office than we think.

Thus, the first decision I made when I considered how to use Workspaces in Drafts to create work spaces in Drafts was to limit the amount of Workspaces I would create in Drafts. I would force myself to write my Drafts poem in iambic pantameter. I settled on six total Workspaces. Seems reasonable and the glyphs fit perfectly on my iPad. If I want more space I’ll have to move to the Valley.

SCO Workspace

Of course my first Workspace had to be the Standard Crappy Office. It’s a simple Workspace. I want to see it all in here. This workspace could also be called ALL. No filter. Latest draft on the top of the pile. No flagged drafts pinned. Punk minimalist as hell. I can enter my standard crappy office with zero intention and just see what’s on the top of the pile or I can enter with laser focus and grab what I need (or a blank sheet) and not look at anything else. This is the perfect place for a text starts here and I’ll decide later moment or several hours of brainstorming.

I lock in an Action Group called CORE in the keyboard and an Action Group called MOVE in the Action List. CORE is made up of my favorite markdown, text, and general purpose actions. MOVE allows me to send my drafts or text somewhere else, whether it’s an app or a file or person. This combination of Action Groups assigned to a specific Workspace is what Tim Nahumck calls a module:

When you combine Workspaces and Action Groups to create powerful modules to work within, adding syntax highlighting elements and using focus mode to concentrate on your text, Drafts becomes the ultimate productivity tool.

The key to finding happiness with this Standard Crappy Office Workspace set-up is to firmly establish in our souls that the stuffed draft list sitting to the left of our desk is not an inbox. It’s always going to be full. We shouldn't be distressed by this fact. (Feature, bug, etc.) This may feel disconcerting if you live a GTDish and keep that inbox clean lifestyle. But our SCO does not exist to be acted upon, pruned and processed like a brain dump or an email inbox. We can use our SCO to partake in the process of getting Clean and Current all night long if we choose.

The stuff available to do in our SCO is not what our SCO is. Stuff comes and goes yet our Standard Crappy Office will always be there to access it. We could quit our job as an accountant to get into the pressed juice biz and our Standard Crappy Office work space (also Workspace) wouldn’t change a bit. Learn to love this. Learn to love not thinking about whether you added that new tag to the filter. Learn to embrace the power of latest as a first organizing principal. It’s a challenge but try to internalize that what we can see is not what we have to do. (Also, just command-1 and hide the list.) Whether we’re at Starbucks or the Taj Mahal, if we’re doing work, we’re focusing on one thing. Our eyes can look at the work we’re doing and that’s it. I can write a grocery list on a napkin while the leather bound McGilicuty Report sits off to the side.

If there is some type of work that we believe would benefit when worked on outside the everything-ness of our Standard Crappy Office, then we’ll have to think really hard about it because we’ve only got so many conference rooms. Perhaps we find it super distracting to work on the McGilicuty Report next to a napkin with the word avocado on it. Or maybe the McGilicuty Report requires us to organize a bunch of notecards on a table and we don’t want to have to set it up over and over again all week. Or maybe what we want to work on is more like self-reflection and the SCO just seems a bit drab for that.

CR-1 (CURRENT) Workspace

My CURRENT Workspace is a permanent temporary work space. It exists to be futzed with on the regular. Want to grab three folders, a moleskin, and a mechanical pencil and head over to Conference Room 1? Go for it. We’ll probably have to clear out the stuff that’s currently on the table and tacked to the walls though because this is an ad hoc work space.

No set in stone macro which applies a set of filters and options to the draft list is associated with CURRENT. It could be a simple tag filter one week and an intricate web of text and tag filters, module modulation, and list view options the next.

This is why Workspaces in Drafts is so powerful if we accept the responsibility associated with this power. We can create permanent, ad hoc, and permanent ad hoc environments that are free from the tyranny of being actual containers. We don’t move files and tools from one location to another and then deal with them where they sit. We sit where we want and conjure them up with magic either beforehand or after we sit down. Or before, during, and after.

The responsibility involved is to understand that this power doesn’t mean we have to create a billion Workspaces. I chose six.

CR-2 (JOURNAL) Workspace

Standard Crappy Office and CR-1 (CURRENT) are two foundational Workspaces. They are both permanent, built to last, and future proof. If we can’t take the pressure of the pressed juice industry and crawl back to our cozy CPA gig, we won’t need to redesign these two Workspaces because nothing about them ever changed. We could go Paleo then Keto then Plant Based. We could start saying gif instead of gif. Doesn’t matter. ALL will be in the office and whatever will be in CR-1.

And for the most part I could (should?) get by with just these two foundational Workspaces. An office and a conference room. But responsibility doesn’t have to mean austerity so we’ve got four more conference rooms to utilize.

I may well plan on journaling in Conference Room 2 for rest of my life, whether I’m a beet farmer or an astronaut. But that doesn’t mean this is the third foundational Workspace. It’s aspirationally foundational. It’s ongoing, hopefully forever, but it’s also a way to spend time and focus that’s a choice. I could tap the headline Top Ten Reasons Grappling With Your Inner Life Is Actually Quite Terrible For You in Apple News and call the whole journaling thing off that same day. However, I’m confident enough to paint the walls a soothing introspective color and use the conference room that has the window facing the babbling brook.

This module includes filters, options and tools that support my ability to write stuff I deem journalish in nature. I have an action group called JOURNAL (pinned in the Action List) that includes actions to send certain journals to Day One and/or a running text file in iCloud. I have a specific journal I send to Agenda via an action in this group. (I don’t think that one is long for this world.) I have template drafts to start different types of journals. I also use this Workspace to write weekly (or whenever) reviews, which I consider to fall under the journal umbrella.

If I’m writing book notes that are reflective in nature I may slap on the journal tag (along with the book notes tag) or I may steal a chunk of something I’ve written and throw it in the text file journal.

After I send a journal draft off (or am just done with it and it’s not leaving Drafts) I will let it go gently into the archive night. This turns the archive tab of my JOURNAL Workspace into an easily accessible and unified mashup journal. I can also just journal from my Standard Crappy Office and do all of this stuff if I’d like. It would just take more taps and brainpower than I may be in the mood to expend.

This, to me, is the central power of text starting in Drafts and being able to stay in Drafts. No matter how convoluted and unstable our text taxonomies outside of Drafts may get, it will always exist in a top notch text editor. We’ll always have our reliable crappy standard office.

CR-3 (BLOG) Workspace

My blog is new but I’ve been thinking and taking notes about it for a while now. Even before I thought about it as a blog I knew that I had ideas for non-fiction stuff I might enjoy writing. I tagged those thoughts as ideas and didn’t distinguish them from any other ideas tagged ideas. When I decided to take the blog seriously, I created the blog tag and could simply filter it from the SCO if I wanted to see everything I had.

Then I threw it in CR-1 for a little while in order to explore the studio space. It lingered in there for a little while, mostly because nobody tried to kick it out. When I decided that I wanted to work towards actually posting I gave it one of the two available CR Workspaces I’ve allocated for long term projects.

CR-4 (REDACTED CREATIVE PROJECT X) Workspace

This is the other one.

CR-5 Workspace

An office and five conference rooms is rather luxurious for one dude so there’s no shame keeping Conference Room 5 in cobwebs until a need arises. In the world of tech taxonomy that usually means deleting it or doing nothing because it wouldn’t exist in the first place, right?.

I had a project in CR-5 recently but it’s on hold and/or will never ever ever be heard from again. But right now, since it’s open, this is the Workspace I visit if I’d like to get a handle on draft organization. It’s set to show me only untagged drafts when I first enter. Then I may jump into the tag filter if I want and do some pruning.

If another long term project comes up that needs its own space I would gladly convert CR-5 and do that type of work in my Standard Crappy Office or even CR-1 if it’s going to take a little while and I want to leave some options and filters locked in for a couple days.

This dynamic between a current project and a long term project is often helpful. When should one become the other or nothing at all? If all the Conference Rooms are full at once is that a good thing or am I spread too thin? How should I think of projects in the first place?

A Note On Actions

I am in no way an Actions expert. I don’t know how to script or do anything fancy on my own. I hang my head in shame at never contributing to the Action Directory. I steal Actions like an artist. To the extent that I can modify them is the extent that I can look at a script and see capitalized words I understand that I could maybe change to suit my purpose. And this is usually explained clearly by the selfless angels who take the time to make and share them.

I say this to point out that you don’t have to be an Actions Expert at any point in your Drafts journey. They are unreal and know no limits. But I eventually realized, just like with unlimited conference room availability, that what’s great about so many actions existing is that we can hone in on a select amount of exactly what we need. I use four Action Groups regularly, making up about 30 total Actions. This includes Actions in my CORE keyboard group that I only use if I’m using an external keyboard. So in terms of action packed Actions, the number is much lower.

My best advice for new or even experienced users is to use drafts and then look for actions that would be helpful. I have looked for actions that would be helpful and then used Drafts and those ones don’t seem to stick as hard.

A Note On Flags

Use them sparingly and with intention.

END OF TRADITIONAL How I Use Drafts CONTENT

Taxonomy Recap and Reconsideration (Conclusion)

A Curated Selection Of The Grand Unifying Theory And Best Practices For Digital Taxonomy

  1. It’s impossible to create a perfect system

  2. We tinker with our system to avoid the real things

  3. Pretty much any thoughtful system is just fine

  4. The longer we ignore our system the better

A Rebuttal To A Curated Selection Of The Grand Unifying Theory And Best Practices For Digital Taxonomy

  1. I’d still like to try.

  2. It’s fun and sometimes I need a break from the real things

  3. You haven’t seen some of my thoughtful yet crappy systems

  4. Sometimes I need a break from the real things

A Compromise

  1. It’s impossible to create a perfect system but we can try

  2. We tinker with our systems because it’s funner than real things

  3. Most thoughtful systems are just fine

  4. The longer we can mostly ignore our system the better