There is an interesting post on the Fast Company blog regarding where people get ideas and more specifically…how they deal with them.
Most of the people commenting are saying that paper systems are the way to go. The original poster even discusses a neat system whereby ideas are written on small blocks of paper in one pocket and transferred into another for later review. Great system! But it would never work for me.
The whole point of any such system is that it be one that would actually be used. If it?s not convenient and natural – it won’t be used often enough to be effective.
Anything that involves storing information on paper generally doesn’t work for me. No matter what the size is, it clutters my desk, gets bundled in my pockets, gets lost, takes too long to shred when I am done with it etc…
I use OneNote for virtually all my notes, research and brain dumps now. I have developed a system that fits me just perfectly and it?s so natural to use I don’t even have to think about it.
I know some of you might be saying that I might not always have a computer with me…but for the most part (in a kind of sad way) that is not true. At a minimum I have it anywhere I would have a pen and paper with me. I work with my tablet next to me, I relax with it next to me, and yes I even sleep with it next to me. Unless I am driving (at which point it?s likely behind the front seat of my car) it is pretty much always with me. Hmm this is sounding more pathetic as time goes on. Ah well I am 100% geek and I love it.
OneNote is great for research, as my boss has discovered. I love how it appends the URL of any thing you find on the web within your notes. Thus letting you focus on tracking down good information – not worrying about how you will reference it later.
The note flags in OneNote are great and customizable – plus you can apply them as you work and later reference a summary screen with all of them – thus saving you the stress of keeping track of them yourself. I am working on a small tutorial on how to use these and other One Note features which I will probably have up on my new site this weekend (been real lazy). If not just email me and I will send along to you or answer any questions you might have.