This is my ongoing file box of notes. Nothing in here is ever really done, it’s where I work out ideas and develop new work. If you’re curious how it works, I’ve written up my process.

Bounded contexts keep large models usable

Collaboration models

Discussion as an activity in the classroom

How to do the reading

Attention is the beginning of devotion

Create edges

If your org was going to result in good ia, it already would have

AI's modern synthesis

True IA is emergent

Vertical files

Visual skeuomorphism

We form and lose memories of tabletops and landscapes at different rates

What vs. How

Process directs your attention to impact

CEO Exercise

Gas vs brakes

Make friends and wait twenty years

Write it down

Creativity needs empty moments to process

A pattern library of architectures

A history of navigation affordances

Benefits of IA

Systems affect and enable certain kinds and shapes of documents

Executive presentation framework

Vocabulary is not all-purpose

Windows of opportunity

The earth is flat and square

You can't see the pattern and weave it at the same time

Uses of geographic knowledge

Working agreement

Thinking happens on paper

The opposite of IA is doing nothing

The job will never love you back

Spatial knowledge is phenomenal

The feeling of a thing and the reality of it often differ



Switching between reference systems

Spatial scale

Something good

Signs of things going wrong

Program entrepreneurship for beginners

Regular output is essential for creativity

Process mitigates bias

Process teaches

Precision and recall

Process creates resilience

Process allows you to relax

Planning for enterprise adoption

Plan for what won't change


Pave paths

Pace layers

Notetaking workflow

Overconfidence bias

Organizational problems manifest in the site

Objects are more useful than actions

Nobody understands information architecture

Nobody cares about information architecture

Networking is hard

Navigation in an ecosystem

Metaphors limit our technology


Multiple maps at different levels of detail

Moving up and down the ladder of abstraction

Method of loci

Metaphor requirements

Maps need to be visually coded as such

Maps are more real than experience


Man the artist

Many difficult experiences are difficult because of poor use of scale

Management philosophy

Maintain a sense of progress

Make maps

Maintain critical distance from your organization

Limit choices

Library science tradition

Levels of distance for making change

Letters and books diverged a long time ago


Language is beautifully various


Intrinsic cues for reference systems

Inspiration is overly abundant

Inputs to spatial memory are functionally equivalent

Information technologies travel together

Identify locations

Information is at least three different things

Incomplete geographic information is fine

IAs are well-suited to program entrepreneurship

IA maturity model

IA is orthogonal to other disciplines

IA is more apprenticeship than schooling

IA is everywhere and accidental

IA is a creative discipline

Gen z can't use file structures


God is in the details

Go toward what feels most alive

Geometric cues

Generous interfaces

Files are and have always been relational objects

Extrinsic cues for reference systems

Experience bias

Expedience bias

Establish sight lines

Different scales need different focuses

Establish precedent

Elements of information architecture

Distance is measured in travel time

Creativity is making connections

Continuity of community beyond teams

Creativity is a cycle

Create shared experiences

Counter stress with moments of joy

Controlled vocabularies promote communication

Content type

Content dictates form

Content classification

Complexity is not complicatedness

Complex areas don't have clear answers

Balance originality in life and work

Brilliant conman syndrome



Attribution bias

Architecture is what's expensive to change

Architectural skeuomorphism

Architectural metaphors

Architectural debt

An intellectual tradition can provide meaning

A parable of the railroad

Add signs

Add landmarks

A career in IA

My expectations of people who report to me