The Noguchi Filing System

Noguchi comments that a conventional classify-and-file system has the following problems.

  • The user must make a decision at the beginning as to the classification of a document, something that is sometimes not possible.

  • Some documents might fall into two or more categories, and the user could forget where the document was filed.

  • Since unused documents are filed in the same "pockets" with documents that are frequently or have been recently used, the task of discarding unused documents requires the user to go through all files.

Instead, Noguchi uses a system which is sorted by time. File documents in an envelope on a shelf, adding to the left-hand side as new documents arrive or are generated. Whenever a document is removed and used, it is returned to the left-hand side. So documents are sorted by use, most used on the left, least used on the right. As the shelf fills, then the right-hand side can be removed to be archived (or binned or pulped or whatever).

It occurs to me that this is the way I prefer my computer to be organised: list view, arranged by date, most recent at the top. Except that this only records the last time the file was modified. To be proper Noguchi system, I'd need to be able to file by date last read. I wonder if Apple or Microsoft would like to incorporate the idea in the next iteration of their OSes.

Via boingboing.


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