jacko-plantern said: Hello! I think your tips are brilliant and I was wondering if there was a document with all of them in it? Or a text where they are all in one place? Thank you! x
Not currently. I’ve been thinking about making one but now that I know there’s interest I’ll start on that project.
Anonymous said: How do you organise your digitised info? Do you use specialised software or just neat folder systems?
I use neat folder systems and tags (which you can do on my operating system, OS X, not sure about any others).
If you would like to use software however, I can recommend Evernote, which I used for some time but just didn’t find suited to my personal taste.
Anonymous said: Hi, do you have any advice for efficient, concise record keeping? I'd like to develop a bit of a personal library but feel like it would wind up being massive and contain a lot of useless info.
This depends on your profession/intended use of the information. Obviously, if you’re a chemist, history is going to be low on the priority list, and vice-versa.
Record keeping and a personal library are two different things: record keeping is about keeping thorough reports of your past cases, etc., whereas a personal library is about the information that you might need to solve future ones. Record keeping should be done as thoroughly as possible, especially if you plan on forgetting the information, and should as a general rule not be sacrificed on the altar of “conciseness”, because it will come in useful in court cases and if you later shed light on a criminal network, it will be vital that you already have the information pertaining to the cases. Scouring your memory can be downright fruitless sometimes. You can keep these records from becoming “vast” by keeping them on your computer in an organized fashion, saving them under keywords. This rule also applies to any profession constituted of “matters” (legal work, for example) and not just detective work. Also note that in many countries lawyers are required by law to maintain records, which is a good practice and personal policy even if you are not in that particular line of work.
As far as a personal library, keep a good equilibrium between what interests you and what is useful. If you’ve taken a career path/area of study that appeals to your interests, this shouldn’t be a problem. If not, make sure to keep a good cap on the amount of space consumed by books that are for pleasure rather than your work.
When keeping factoids or pieces of information on index cards, I would always recommend keeping them digitized because they are far easier to find in a hurry, but if you’re a traditionalist (*cough*AH*cough*) try making up your own test to ensure that anything taking up space is actually going to do you good (someday).
For example, if you’re a detective, this is easy. Review the sorts of cases that usually come your way and keep facts and information related to the most common types (seeing a lot of stabbings? Keep a blood splatter record.)
Anonymous said: It's a somewhat idiotic question, but what are some applications of the resources in this guide? (Besides helping detectives and sourcing research papers, that is)
Manifold, my dear anon. Just a few:
- Digging up dirt on your nemesis
a.k.a. your prying bureaucratic prostitute of a brother(well, you can tell Sherlock’s back, can’t you?)
- Researching your topic of choice for academic, professional, or personal purposes
- Figuring stuff out about your friends, potential dates, or coworkers
- Being generally nosy
- Making even nosier deductions using what you have learned
- Becoming an expert on something (history is my personal favorite; never get me started about the black plague)
- Crushing your opponent beneath your heels in a debate (especially parli, which generally precludes preparation)
- Succeeding a little more efficiently at school
- Impressing people with your vast encyclopedic knowledge
- Pissing people off with your busybody-ness
- If people know you know things, they will take advantage, and it is an easy way to get a favor in return
And just the simple maxim that knowledge is power. Sure, it might not be useful right now to know about the parliamentary system of Iceland, but it will certainly be good for your ego in two or three years when you can whip the facts out of nowhere in the middle of a conversation or a class, as happened to me earlier today. Although becoming an expert at gathering and synthesizing information can have applications and earn you a rap as someone who knows “everything”—a major exaggeration—I know that I personally like knowing things to know them.
(Hope that helps?)
Now I don’t know if you lot heard but they might have made this blog into an iPhone app or something like that.
Anonymous said: Wiggins, I'll have you know that I almost spat out my tea upon reading that. Also, I still have that book you lent me, so I need to give it back to you next time you come round, which should be soon (that was a hint).-Jess
As we all know, the truth will out. Lazarus was a farce.
Which book? We have all lent you lots of books. I know that AH is quite keen to get her copy of How to Win Every Argument back.
The Gunpowder Plot for non-Britons
Out of general history interest as well as Sherlock interest, let’s talk a
littlea lot about the Gunpowder Plot. I was inspired to do this post by my friend who, during our Sherlock watch party, asked what the 5th of November had to do with anything.
So, Americans, French(wo)men, Australians, whatever you may be that you thought “so what hell does ‘remember, remember’ mean,” you can now walk away a little bit wiser; here’s your briefing on the Gunpowder Plot.
I’m going to correct a few things.
Mary I persecuted protestants.
It’s James VI not James IV, however, he is known as James I of England (he ruled both thrones at the same time, but lived and legislated in England).
We don’t just hold bonfires we burn effigies of Guy Fawkes (that’s the straw-man on the top of the bonfire that the girl thought was talking to her when John was yelling for help).