Information Habits

Published by Lex on

Information Habits

We all have information habits — and these habits may not always serve us well. Organizations collectively take on the information habits of their employees/members.

Within limits, we typically trust individuals to handle information in ways that they think works best for them. But at the same time, we tried to provide tools to create some sort of common knowledge that can referred to and reused.

There are systems and databases. Some data is structured and some that is unstructured. There are rules. Some forms of data are allowed, formats that are required, fields that are required, categories that need to selected, etc. And there are more free form things that lets you put in information how you want.

The more people that need to access a system the less you can rely on manual systems to keep the information system working for you. Bookkeeping is bookkeeping and QuickBooks is QuickBooks yet people do their bookkeeping a ton of different ways.

QuickBooks is pretty typical of transactional database applications. While some are better than others, most work well. There are trade offs with these systems regarding levels of customization available.

The user needs to decide how much to tailor the software to their business or tailor their business to the software. And it is not an easy decision.

But the same kind of thing is true with all information tools. Modify your behavior to use the tool or modify the tool to fit your behavior.

In some ways, this a deep existential question that we are always asking ourselves in some way in all contexts.

Do we work with nature or do we brute force try to change nature. All humans process information differently and to try to get them to all process it the same.


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