As writers, we’re always looking for a fresh way to describe something. We’ve all had those inspirational moments where we either have to remember a certain flow of words or scribble them on a scrap of paper.
A lot of writing books and blogs suggest we carry journals with us at all times. I’ve tried this, and for me, it doesn’t work. I’ve tried standard organizers. I’ve tried notebooks. Neither are usually with me when I need them most. This left me scrambling for a something to write on (and with). I even tried spiral bound notebooks small enough to fit into my purse (cheaper than moleskines of similar size). I found the size itself a limiting factor.
What to do?
If I’m at my desk, no problem. I type in my notes on the computer. If I’m not at my desk, but still in the house, distributed notepads work wonders. But, if I’m away from the house? I’ve turned to my cell phone which has a built-in recorder. It syncs with iTunes, so I can label the note and store them on the computer for later use. If your cell phone doesn’t have this capability, try other small recording devices. If you don’t have one, some are relatively inexpensive.
In fact, my cell phone has become an indispensable tool in my note taking. I can snap pictures, tap out notes, or use the voice recorder. It doesn’t completely remove my need for spiral notepads, but it sure helps.
Once a week, I collect the notepads and sit in front of my computer, along with my cell phone and organize any notes I’ve taken. Of course, organization is a whole different topic and problem. Some notes are easy to organize if they pertain to a particular project. Others? It can be a bit more cumbersome.
For those obsessive GTD folks (that occasionally includes me), my approach voids the rule of having only one tool to deposit all information. All I can say is that aside from that rule, my strategy has worked so far.
Got a tip? A suggestion? What works for you?