Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Recording Ideas

Leigh had this to say about writing down ideas:

"I need to do what Dorothy suggests as my problem with ideas is that I don't seem to write them all down in the same spot. They are scattered throughout several notebooks. Of course, I rarely seem to go back and look at them again anyway ...... so maybe I'm just amusing myself. "

I can definitely feel Leigh's pain here. I solved my problem with a software program called Info Select. One of the things I can do with this program is to create topics. Here is a screen shot of what part of the left side of the screen looks like when I have the list of topics closed.

The strange little rectangles with different colored backgrounds to the right are links to notes within a topic that I don't want to forget about.

And here is a screen shot with the list of notes for the topic "Current Projects" open:

What is now visible are the various notes I have accumulated. When I click on one of them, the right side of the screen shows what the information for that note actually is.

When I have an idea or a group of ideas, if at all possible, I get right to the computer to type it out. I try very hard to bypass pencil and paper. That's the easiest. If I'm in the midst of something else or if I'm somewhere else, I write the thought down on whatever is handy. I put it in front of the computer monitor as soon as I get there. At night I don't write anything down. I just go to the computer in the morning.

The software was quite cheap when I first purchased it years ago. Now it is very expensive. It also is a far more powerful program now than I need. There are, however, other much less expensive note-card kinds of programs that one can get. I do have another one that I use for saving information rather than ideas. It is called Jot Notes. Also, Googling note card software brings up some interesting stuff.

Like Leigh, I rarely look at most of these ideas. But with the system I have, it is much easier to do that when I have the urge. That does not diminish the value of putting ideas down in writing. Writing thoughts down puts them a bit more firmly in the brain, gives them a bit more importance, and confirms to myself that my ideas, at least in my own eyes, are "brilliant." Well, not brilliant perhaps, but definitely worthy enough to be written down even if no one else ever And I think this last is perhaps the most important reason for writing down one's ideas, and writing them down somewhere where they can be easily gotten to.

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