The mental rolodex

There's a great use of the term in an LA Magazine review of "Run Lola Run":

Lola tosses her red phone up in the air and instantly goes through her mental Rolodex of possibilities. Faces flash on the screen. She decides to hit up her banker father and darts out of the house.

Credits: the "mental rolodex" term is one I heard first from Terry Bean, who used it at an LA2M presentation. It's also from Rebekah Burgess's weblog of the same name, where she is doing a daily photograph and filing that away for reference. 

And kids, if you don't know what a rolodex is, it's from the days when people had land lines phones only and their phones were so dumb that they didn't have an address book built into them. Instead, they wrote down phone numbers on little pieces of specially shaped paper, and those pieces of paper fit into a clever device that could be flipped through or (in ultra cool setup) spun like a Ferris wheel.

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2 thoughts on “The mental rolodex

  1. Vivienne Armentrout

    I have two active Rolodexes, not including the one in the brain.
    I don’t have a smart phone or even one with a speed dial, so it works for me.
    Nice thing about a Rolodex (I use the larger format card) is you can jot changes, extra information, etc. I have some legacy cards with lots of crossing out and additions. I’ve accessed cards that were years and years old when it was time to contact someone again. (Mine are the tray type, not the ultra cool Ferris wheel.)
    And yes, the mental process does seem somewhat equivalent.


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