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February 16, 2015

Keeping Notes for Writers & Bloggers

Image from The Graphics Fairy

    Raise of hands, how many writers or bloggers out there have notes spread out between computer files, journals, napkins, and sketch books?  It can get confusing.  It can get frustrating.  There must be a better way to keep notes.

    I have been thinking about this for a few months now.  There are of course several different ways to keep notes.  And we are all going to find different ones more useful to us.  I have tried different methods and have found some that work for one situation and others that don't.

    Computers, the internet, and the variety of devices make it easy to keep notes online and access them from many places.  If you are in a place with a week signal or no WiFi you could end up finding yourself without your notes.  But this will depend on where and when you work.  And if your device has a copy of the information you are good as long as you have a charge.  Devices like laptops and tablets can be pricey though.

    Journals, spirals, and legal pads are all useful.  They are portable and they don't run out of battery.  They are inexpensive.  But they by no way have the easy editing of a computer file.  And if you don't have nice hand writing or you have a reading disorder you may have trouble reading them later.

    Gala Darling did a post recently on Filofax.  I hadn't heard of these before.  But it stirred up some ideas for me on notes.  Notes that can be organized and moved around.  Why not?  FiloFax has some beautiful organizers and there are lots of digital printables out there for bloggers.  But I think it is out of my personal budget for now.

    For the most part my blogging notes are in a spiral and in my date book.  But I am getting to a stage where I need to separate different things I am working on for the blog.  I need something portable because I like to work away from home when I am brainstorming.

    So far my story notes are terribly organized.  I generally know where to find them.  But they exist in several different places and often in chronological order of me thinking of them.  (or rather writing them down)   I have some on the computer.  Some written into the first draft of my story and some written in sketch books.  Some written in legal tablets.  The legal tablets are great for class. These all worked great in the beginning.

    In the beginning I was brainstorming.  Ideas were thought up, worked through, and kept or discarded.  I would often have a subject that I was focusing on that brainstorming session.  It was messy and organic and it didn't restrict me.  To much restriction when I am brainstorming is a bit stifling for me.  But at this stage in the game I need notes that I can quickly find.  I need notes that are the current draft of notes.  Because the notes have changed from one draft to the next and even mid draft.

    I'd like something that I can take with me.  Something that can be organized into sections.  I want info on each of the characters with their info that I can flip though.  How tall is this character?  What color is his hair?  I want maps and charts easily available.  I don't know if I want it digital or on paper.  Likely on paper.

     I might try using a sturdy 3-ring binder.  Something that I can still organize sections and easily move pages.  But unless those pages are printed off the computer I still won't have the ease of editing.  So perhaps I will try keeping something online and printing off so I can have quick assess to the information.

    What methods are you using for your writing and blogging notes?  What have you seen that you want to try out?  Have you ever used anything like the FiloFax organizers?

 Till later,
 Lilian

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