The Weird Way My Weird Brain Remembers The Chart Checklist from "Fullstack D3"

Making a sentence story to remember things

I’m making my way through the Fullstack D3 book by Amelia Wattenberger. It’s really fantastic and I’m liking it a lot (bought a physical copy; gorgeous, looks like a rare technicolor mythical trading card turned into a textbook). In it Amelia outlines a helpful chart checklist, a way to think about creating a visualization in different steps. Super helpful to chunk things up and allow different charts to have a common foundation. I wanted to remember it somehow.

My Sentence Story

I was trying to find a way to remember the checklist. Some sort of anagram or something. But instead, I did a sort of Sherlock Mind Palace thing and made a weird little sentence story to help me out. It’s odd, but it’s what my brain came up with and I found it helpful so I’m sticking with it. Maybe it will help you out or give you inspiration to create your own for something you need to remember. Anyways, here it is:

For this adventure, we need to change our directory to the nation’s capital, head to the computer science building where we see Dexter yelling at Dee Dee, head deeper and deeper into all the holes like Swiss Cheese, and just like that we completed our D3 chart checklist.

…What?

Let’s break it down.

The Actual Checklist

In the book, these are the steps of the chart checklist:

  1. Access Data
  2. Create Dimensions
  3. Draw Canvas
  4. Create Scales
  5. Draw Data
  6. Draw Peripherals
  7. Set Up Interactions

Letter Codes

My thinking was I’ll make each step into letter codes, then make a sentence story that will help me remember those letters in the right order. So every step becomes just the first letter of every word:

  1. AD
  2. CD
  3. DC
  4. CS
  5. DD
  6. DP
  7. SUI

Bind Codes to Ideas

Each code is bound to some part of the story sentence:

For this adventure, we need to change our directory to the nation’s capital, head to the computer science building where we see Dexter yelling at Dee Dee, head deeper and deeper into all the holes like Swiss Cheese, and just like that we completed our D3 chart checklist.

  1. AD : “Adventure”
  • Start of the word and the start of the checklist
  1. CD : "change our directory
  • Often using this Terminal command to get to the right spot for a viz (then run the server, etc.)
  1. DC : “the nation’s capital”
  1. CS : “the computer science building”
  • Everyone was often working hard on data stuff in the CS building in college
  1. DD : "Dee Dee
  1. DP : “deeper and deeper”
  • Sounds (kinda) like “DP” (Deeper –> DPer –> DP)
  1. SUI : “Swiss Cheese”
  • Writing it out, saw it as Switzerland, abbreviated, and made me think of Swiss cheese

I…um…guess that makes sense…?

So there you go. Bizarre, memorable, personal, and helpful. Hope this helps…or at least makes you less confused than when you started reading this post.

It’s an odd exercise but it really does help you remember things. I’d encourage you to give it a go on that complicated thing you have trouble remembering. You know the thing. Yes, that thing. Go make a dumb sentence story. It’s not like you have to share it with anybody. 🙃

Till next time!

Image Credit

Checklist by Zach Bogart from the Noun Project

Zach Bogart
Zach Bogart
Data Explorer

Science, Design, & Data. I’ll know it when I see it.

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