Memory Feat Props II

Published on Thursday, November 20, 2008 in , , , , ,

Memory FeatsNote: If you like the idea of the Memory Binder, I discuss other ideas for it in Memory Feat Props and in New Ideas for the Memory Binder (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV).

For formal memory feat performances, a large item like the Memory Binder I discussed in my last post is great. However, for informal performances, even an 8.5" by 11" binder can be a bit much to carry around.

A much better way to pack needed information in a small area is a paper organizer, popularly referred to as a Hipster PDA. Carrying just 1 of these around is easy, and you could reasonably carry up to 5 Hipster PDAs on your person without too much inconvenience.

For the basic version, all you really need are binder clips and index cards, as discussed in the link above. However, there have been numerous improvements over the years as the idea spread. Lifehacker has many excellent and creative ideas to improve the basic Hipster PDA.

One of the best improvements has been software for generating these paper organizers. Certainly, you could develop one in just about any page layout program, but specialized software makes it even easier. Ronald P. Doerfler, the author of Dead Reckoning: Calculating Without Instruments, has created a free program for Windows computers called Plans Unfolding that does a nice job. The author also mentions that Linux users can get the program to work on their system with some extra effort, as well.

At the beginning of 2007, Big Nerd Ranch released a similar free program for Mac OS X called PagePacker. The most recent version for OS X 10.4 (Tiger) is available here, and the most recent version for OS X 10.5 (Leopard) is available here.

The offline versions are more customizable, but there is an online organizer editor called PocketMod, as well.

Using this to carry chart needed for most memory effects would simply involve learning your software well enough to design and arrange the needed charts. As you probably gathered from my previous post, however, a perpetual calendar for the Day of the Week For Any Date feat is a special case.

You could try and adapt the charts I mentioned in that previous post, but covering 400 years would take up 2 full organizers. Isn't there a better way? Yes, and it's straight out of my Fun Calendars post. With a little thought and a little work, the business card-sized calendar designs from the ELZR infodesign challenge could be adapted for use in perpetual calendars that will take up minimal space in your Hipster PDA.

Now you know enough to create your own pocket-size memory act! Enjoy, and if you come up with any ideas for the Memory Binder or the Memory Hipster PDA, please let me know about it in the comments!

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