"Should I stay or should I go" is my favorite song by the Clash. Well, maybe after "I fought the law." Okay, well perhaps after "Rock the Casbah." Okay, for sure after "London Calling." And when I think about "should I stay or should I go" it's not so much a question of a love quarrel...or gosh, when I think about it...perhaps it really is. My love/hate relationship with clutter.
Let me back up a bit and tell you about a fine piece by Connie Moore at Forrester, "Embracing Chaos is Smarter than Seeking an Elusive Work/Life Balance." It's the 20th document in Forrester's "Information Workplace" series. Bottom line is that a clean break between your business life and your home life is impossible these days, so go with the flow--accept it, use the technology that exists to help you cope with it, rock and roll.
Nailing jello to a tree?
It solidied for me idea that I had brewing abstractly in my noggin, but which I could never come to resolution on. It was like trying to nail jello to a tree (always wanted to use that cliche, and now I've done it : )!
Before I forget, AIIM President John Mancinial also does a wonderful job of super-crystalizing these nebulous, floating-in-air abstractions on his extremely popular blog, Digital Landfill, so give it a shot next. It is must weekly, if not daily, reading.
So back to that clutter dealie.
For me, a critical element in dealing with the subject of Connie's piece--embracing chaos--is to constantly address clutter, never let the pile grow too large, and keep your goals and your paper organized. For me that requires some weekend work--but it's done over coffee at my favorite morning brewpubs and all is sweetness and life without the stress and deadlines of the daily grind.
But that paper business is small fry, no matter how you choose to address it. The really big fish is clutter x 10, which is stuff that can wreck a project, and even a career. This is critical data at work that is precariously stored on crumbling old tapes,CDs that you pray will still read, or simply squirreled away on nothing more than thumb drives. You're my peeps so you know what I'm talking about, and whether any of this applies to you. Stuff that you live in horror about and that keeps you up nights thinking, "If they only knew..."
Information Organization and Access
So chill. This can all be addressed by an actual scientifc/educational discipline, which is known as "Information Organization and Access (IOA)."
AIIM teaches an IOA Certificate Program designed from global best practices among its 50,000 members. The program covers concepts and technologies for:
- Enterprise search
- Content inventory and classification
- Categorization and clustering
- Fact and entity extraction
- Taxonomy creation and management
- Information presentation
- Information governance
Want to know more? Simply log onto
Benjamin L. Herring, Infonomics editor-in-chief