I always sympathize…

March 2nd, 2006

…with the crazy guys in movies who inveitably demonstrate their mental imbalances by trying to unravel dense, dizzying codes or elegant mathematical proofs using yarn, tape and pictures from magazines pinned to all the visible wall space in their house, garage or bunker.

Truth of it is, there’s no better way to see information, particularly when you’re looking for the way it flows and fits together. The crazy code above is the early layouts of a course book for Positive & Productive Meetings. That’s approximately 48 pages of information and illustration represented on my living room wall.

One trick I’ve discovered for sharing raw form layouts like this digitally is to use Word or PowerPoint and to type the general outline in some huge, huge typeface, one topic per page or slide. When people view it on their screen at 5 or 10% they will see the overall structure, but no detail. At long last, I’ve found a use for PowerPoint. And in PP, you can move things around a bit more easily.

It can easily go overboard. This was a twenty page layout of a ISP guide book for OTAC tucked in a corner of the dining room. Sometimes papers fall and drift gently to the floor, like leaves in autumn.

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