Notes not Blogs – using the Moleskine Evernote notebook
Sometimes you have to accept that your quirky idea just isn’t going to cut it in the real world. I really wanted to call this section “Notes” rather than “Blog”, because most of the ideas for it come from my notebook. All the friends and colleagues I road tested this idea on thought it was stupid – no one would understand what the “Notes” section was about, and would wonder where the blog was. There are times to hold out for artistic brilliance and times to go with the flow. This is a time to go with the flow so your reading this is in a blog not notes 🙂
For all that I’m an uber-geek, I still carry round an old-fashioned notebook and pencil in my pocket. Well, they’re not completely old fashioned, but we’ll cover that later. Why? Because I get a lot of ideas, some are good , some are bad, and they occur to me in the damnedest places. Dog walks are especially productive 😀 But trying to remember them all is next to impossible and I don’t want to let the diamonds get away from you. So I need to record them. I have both an iPhone and an iPad, and I have some great apps on them for writing – Drafts is a favourite and IAwriter another. But in my experience nothing beats a notebook for getting an idea down quickly and clearly. You open it, you write, you draw, you close it. Done. No switching apps, no deciding which app is best, no seeing the missed call from your boss, or the interesting tweets. There’s nothing to de-rail your train of thought, and that’s important. I’m one of those people who pays a heavy price for mental context switching – so if I’ve got an idea I need to get it down quickly and cleanly with the minimum of distraction. A notebook ticks all the boxes.
OK, I’ll confess at this point that it’s not completely a lo-tech solution, I am a geek after all and I do have a reputation to maintain. Notebooks have problems, the main one being if you lose them. All you intellectual investment in one place and “poof” it’s gone. Very bad for the karma. But not in this case. The note book I have is a Moleskine Evernote notebook. And it has a magic trick. When you’ve written in the book, you use the Evernote app on your phone to take a picture of the pages and they’re automatically recognised, enhanced, straightened, corrected, OCR’ed and uploaded to your Evernote account. Safe and sound.
So if you find you have lots of good ideas but you can’t remember them all, try an “old-fashioned” notebook 😀