DAISY stands for DIN A6 information system. It is an easy to handle, flexible, modular, and versatile tool that helps you to plan and manage projects, and store information. What fancy and high tech “personal planning systems” promise to achieve at a considerable price DAISY delivers basically for free, at the cost of a piece of paper.
DAISY consists of a collection of coloured plastic folders (how many? you choose), size DIN A6, filled with notes, sketches, copies of documents you consider important, etc. The only organizing principle of DAISY is the colour code of the plastic folders. Memo type information for example goes with a different colour than information related to longer run projects or facts that you want to store for later reference. DAISY works with just a few colours. But the colour code is sufficiently sophisticated to really work. The details, for example how many folders per colour you work with, are up to your needs and your logic. It is DAISY that adjusts, not you. How you structure the information in your folders is up to you too. Whether you simply take notes or prefer to draw mind maps, DAISY is perfectly flexible as it does not constrain you beyond the fact that the information has to be “entered” and should fit on two dimensions.
In contrast to many of the conventional systems DAISY likes information of any sort. If you get a business card you don’t have to type in all the information in order to synchronize. Instead, you just put the business card in the corresponding project folder. If you need the information you look it up in the folder, you don’t need to start up and search on your computer. If you get a useful or important document, e.g. an address list or a flow diagram you just copy it onto DIN A6 and put it in the appropriate folder. What do you do in the same situation if you have to rely on high tech…?
DAISY constrains you as little as necessary. It doesn’t force you to break any piece of new information into n pieces just because somebody thought at some point that any information should be composed of n pieces of information. DAISY instead encourages you to be creative. Its “open” way of structuring information supposedly corresponds with what cognitive science suggests to be the human way of doing it. In any case, if you like simplicity and functionality then you should like DAISY.
DAISY is not the solution to everything. But it is flexible enough to smoothly work together with other tools that have proven useful. For example, the boring low tech agenda that you get each year for free from your local bank. Also, and more high tech, it does make sense (I think) to store frequently used addresses (as well as address information that you want to electronically share) in a simple database, based for example on EXCEL. This doesn’t imply however that you need to carry a computer with you all the time in order to have these addresses available. Just print the file from time to time. It fits well into your DAISY. Finally, I have experimented with extending the DAISY logic to the organization of files on the computer. I think, it works well.
I am not aware of any “official” website for DAISY. But for further information (in German, DAISY seems to be particularly popular in Switzerland) you might want to check out the websites of this or this DAISY trainer and this DAISY club.