Ofer Bergman and Steve Whittaker have just published, The Science of Managing our Digital Stuff, that will be of interest to many of our readers. This landmark book deals with some of the core information processing problems specified in Cognitive Productivity. –
In my previous blog post, I talked about the 2-second file access rule in relation to an excellent reference management app, Papers 3 for Mac. This rule (which I explained in Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective) states that you need to be able, 8 times out of 10, to access a knowledge resource (typically a PDF or a meta-doc) within 2 seconds. That normally means without using your mouse. I noted in that post that if you enable Papers 3 syncing, it’s hard to satisfy that constraint.
I encourage researchers to consider using Papers 3. So this blog post briefly explains the file name issue and proposes a solution.
Update. I’ve written a post that follows up on this one.
I want to make it clear that although I am documenting some glitches here, I highly recommend Papers for Mac.
In Cognitive Productivity I described and advocated for a 2s rule: You need to be able to access 80% of the files you work with on any given day within 2s. So, if there are a 10 PDFs that are critical to your project, and you need access to some random file in that lot, 8 times out of 8 you should be able to get to such a file in 2s. Obviously, if you want to access the same file twice that day, then it the probability of quickly accessing it should increase.
This is a very important rule, because when you are doing cognitive work, time is of the essence. For example: