Using Artefact Cards: Simon White


How did you think you’d use the cards?

I had no preconceived idea of how I’d use them, although I had an inkling it would be similar to how I plot out ideas on Post-It® notes or Keynote slides. And it is, but it also isn’t.

How did you actually use them?

I take cards with me wherever I go, which I never did with either Keynote or Post-It® notes. Whereas before I would reach for Evernote on my iPhone, or a pad and pen, to capture a thought, I’ve adopted the cards as my preferred method.

Another way I use them is during the process of plotting an idea – or a blog post, strategic narrative, story or presentation – I like how I can remix things quickly. The cards are really versatile, as my list of uses hopefully demonstrates. And it gets really interesting when adding other thoughts from earlier sessions and checking out whether a hypothesis works or not. It really reinvigorates things.

I’ve noticed I tend to use the yellow side for major events in plots, or the key thoughts; the white side is for adding detail or posing questions and challenges. It does depend on what I’m using them for.

Have they changed the way you do anything?

I focus more. Committing the pen to the card makes the idea as indelible as the ink. When I’ve had to discard cards* it’s with a heavy heart. This has made me really consider thoughts before I commit. It’s not about slowing down the speed of thought, but ensuring the deeper meaning resonates enough to be captured. I’m more rigorous.

*I’ve torn up three cards so far.

 How do you describe them to others?

As I use them in a variety of ways, it’s hard to be so resolutely definitive. So, I show them a set. 90% of the time people immediately feedback on how they’d use them. That’s quite a neat thing.

Any final thoughts?

While I am yet to try it, I’m looking forward to handing over some cards and a Sharpie to someone else and have them re-order my ideas and/or add their own ideas to the mix.

 Simon is a freelance creative and occasional strategist/thinker. He hangs out on the internet.


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