Organizational Patterns for Life


This is the most obvious way to organize things. Put them in order based on their name. Good for organizing spices or other items with many members.


Organizing things in the order that they happened in the time-space continuum. Used for event-based organization like ledgers and logs.


This could also be described as ontological. An example of contextual organization would be the Dewey Decimal System at the library where books are organized by theme and topic.


This is organizing things by physical distance. A good example of proximal organization is keys on a keyring. Standing outside the front door, the keys are ordered based their lock’s distance from your eyes. Probably the top deadbolt is first, followed by the doorknob lock. Maybe there is a safety lock box in your house; that key is next. Your car key, since the car is further away in the driveway or parked on the street. Followed by the key to a storage space a mile away and then keys for your day-job across town. Etc.

This also works well for wiring switches. Wire the left-most switch to the closest output and the right-most switch to the furthest output.

Kitchen Tap

A tap for the kitchen sink that has a separate temperature control knob and a lever to control the flow of water.

The temperature knob would control the mix coming in from the hot and cold pipes. The flow lever would regulate the amount/pressure of the water coming out of the tap. This way, the temperature could be preset when washing or rinsing dishes. You wouldn’t have to worry about the lever getting pushed too far in one direction (too cold) or the other (scalding).

In the case of two knob tap, it’s a nuisance to adjust the temperature with two knobs. And once you get the temperature right, it’s a waste of water to just leave it running.

The Lawn

This is an idea for a bar. Ideally it would be an entire city block in a densely populated urban metropolis. Outside would be a very dense and magnificent 20 foot tall hedge that would serve as the walls of the establishment. The entrance to the bar would be two twelve feet tall red double doors in the hedge. Inside the entire space would be a well manicured lawn. There would be some tables and benches at the perimeter but mostly just a vast lawn and a huge bar that stretches across the entire length of the lawn at the far end.

Political Purchase

Idea for a mobile app: scan barcodes with the phone’s camera to see where the resources used in the product are from, where the production takes place and a percentage breakdown of the retail price by resource distribution to each country/region. This will be a tool for politically and socially-minded consumers. By knowing which country their hard-earned money is going to, they can boycott countries that they do not agree with politically. It will empower the consumer.

Users can create a profile to track their spending habits on a main website. The site will keep a running tally of all products scanned and user will be able to toggle which products have been purchased — to which they have ‘committed’ their patronage.  Data breakdown for each profile will include geographic and corporate mapping on personal expenditure.

Scanned products will also provide product feedback from other users of the app. Feedback can be entered into the mobile app at the time of scan if desired (voice recording transcribed to text?) or feedback can be entered via the website profile.

Information for products will need to be surrendered by manufacturers or farmed from existing data sources if possible.

Possibly pitch to Consumer Reports and integrate with their product data and cross-market.