28 Aug 10 Reasons Why Index Cards are (Still) Great
I’m going to date myself here. But my love affair with index cards goes way back. And I really do mean way back. Think “pulling out heavy wooden drawers” and “flipping through hundreds of manila cards” back. That’s because—back in the day—that’s how we looked for books in a library. We searched a (literal) card catalog to find specific books tucked away in the stacks.
Fast forward many years, and now we find books lightening fast with just a few keystrokes. But that certainly hasn’t diminished my love for the humble index card. If anything, it’s only increased its allure. It’s simple. It’s unassuming. It’s open-ended and inviting.
But that’s not all. There’s lots of specific reasons why index cards are still great. Here’s a rundown of just 10 of them:
- They’re not overwhelming.
Their small size is their strength. Forget staring down a huge blank page. Grab a small index card instead. The smaller workspace is far less intimidating.
- They’re easily expandable.
Any kind of system built using index cards can be scaled up or down incrementally. Add a card when needed or weed a few out when no longer relevant.
- They’re tactile and kinesthetic.
Spread ’em. Mix ’em. Sort and stack ’em. Index cards invite you to interact with them in lots of different ways.
- They promote single-tasking.
Index cards limit your focus to one task, one step, or one project per card.
- They’re portable.
The little cards are small enough to tuck and take anywhere.
- They’re inexpensive and accessible.
Index cards are relatively cheap and easily found online or in a variety of stores.
- They can be personalized.
Keep them simple or go all out. Whatever you do, you can make index cards your own. Be as creative or as streamlined as you’d like!
- They require very little commitment.
Index cards are cheap and small. So, there’s very little investment—monetarily and time-wise. In other words, if you screw one up—no big deal! Tear it up, recycle, and grab a new one. There’s no real risk involved.
- They foster mindfulness.
Index cards can help calm and quiet mental clutter by helping to better direct attention to one point or task at a time. They create visual breathing room that can help facilitate intentionality.
- Index cards are relatively sturdy without being bulky.
Thicker than paper, index cards offer more durability and less bleed through plain paper.