Eastgate Systems      Serious Hypertext

You Need Two Journals


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Making Better Notes

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You need two places to write. One should be ready-to-hand all the time. When you wake up in the middle of the night with a great idea, you need a place to record it. (You've got to write it down: you might not remember it in the morning.) When you're in traffic and suddenly see an unexpected connection, you need to be able to pull over, park, and capture the idea. When someone tells you about a great book or a terrific new restaurant, don't try to remember: write it down.

If you make lots of appointments, you also need a calendar. Your calendar or PDA is for scheduling time: don't try to use your calendar ToDo list as a place for all your notes.

These spur-of-the-moment notes can be written in a nice, small notebook. Others prefer to use note cards, or the back of business cards, or a clipboard. In reaction to elaborate PDAs, many computer pros now call a deck of 3x5 card a "Hipster PDA".

You also need a permanent repository for your notes -- a place where all your notes can be safely stored, reviewed, and acted on. Every day or every week, you'll want to move your quick jottings from your Hipster PDA or your pocket notebook into your repository. A good journal makes a fine repository. A powerful content assistant like Tinderbox works well, too.