Working on my PhD was painful.
The entire education system seems to be preparing you for this time, when you’re finally able to stop consuming and start adding to the knowledge of humanity. When you’re finally expected to self-teach. To solve real problems. Ones where no one knows the answer to.
But by that time, my momentum had slowed considerably. The academic career no longer had any appeal to me, and both my research and my writing were stalled.
Even though it seemed that “all I had to do” was take a few months to get my work on paper, in “at least 100 pages”, I just couldn’t move forward.
Why? As anyone who’s written a thesis, a novel, or any other large work: size matters when it comes to maintaining focus. I tried various word processors, outliners, mind-maps, wikis and tiddlywikis… but nothing I found helped me organize everything I needed to write, without also becoming instantly ovewhelming.
I did learn some things in my quest. Mind-maps taught me the value of consistent placement (the mind is great at spatial reasoning). Outliners taught me the power of hierarchy. And TiddlyWikis taught me the focus that comes from working with cards or chunks of content. Slowly, the idea of using a hierarchy of cards, without hiding any of them, started to take shape.
Since launching in 2013, Gingko has helped thousands of others with their thesis work, novels, fan-fiction, design specs, and hundreds of other uses.
I hope it helps you get your thoughts and ideas out of the page, and into the world.
All the best,