This morning I spotted a reference to the Noguchi Filing System on CNET which got me to thinking.
First in case you haven’t heard of this system, it prescribes that rather than a file-folder system for organizing desk papers you simply create a folder for each day and put it on the shelf (actually on the left side, as in a horizontal “stack”). The idea being that people will remember the approach. date even if they forget how it was classified. Using a folder “pops” the folder to the top of the stack (in this case the left side).
I’ve noticed that several products on the web are implementing this system for organization, for example GMail. Items come into the stack at the top and only when they are active (replied to) do they bubble back up to the top. Perhaps this method for organizing paper could work even better in an electronic world as it could be easily augmented thru a search mechanism.