This is yet another segment on organizing notes. If you need a way to draw them, try Dia.
One of the most irritating things I’ve been doing to waste computer-time is writing notes and schematics on small scraps of paper. I don’t know when this started and how long it’s gone on but it does seem like forever.
Once a week, when I can’t stand it anymore, I gather up all the scraps and lay them out in a large pattern and try to read what they say. I’ve never met a notebook in my life I could get along with. I always rip the pages out.
Every week, a good 25% of my notes are lost forever. Random digits and letters that could be area codes, price quotes, html color codes, product numbers. I have no idea.
The fact of it is, if I look at it closely, 95% of it could be typed or drawn directly into my computer. Why isn’t it? I don’t know. It’s like all habits; it’s unconscious.
I love paper and pens and I like to make outlines in diagram form rather than straight text. It’s easier to understand the meaning at a glance. Graphics programs are clumsy for this because you have to use your cursor as a pen and they’re not designed to do that.
If you have a graphics tablet you’re a step ahead. If not, there’s a program called Dia (which, by the way, also works with a graphics tablet, but you don’t have to.) As you can see, a wide range of shapes are available. And a text tool. You can also work in layers and colors if you want to. Click on a tool and start creating your diagram. It doesn’t take a manual.
It’s complete overkill for my simple needs but Dia is my new best habit. I’m weaning myself off the paper scraps by hiding my paper. I make my diagram (with or without the grid) and then I take a screenshot of it and paste it into EverNote 2. If you don’t have EverNote you can paste it somewhere else or just save the image file. EverNote 2 indexes the content of image files so that works out well.