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  • Capturing Ideas and Underlying Documents

    I need some proper capturing and filing help. Frequently I'll see an idea I like visually and I make a photocopy or print-out for reference. I capture the idea I have and will record it in my someday/maybe list. What do I do with the underlying document (for example, a picture of a couch), so that it refers back to the item in the s/m list. Does each underlying piece of paper get its own folder, which seems like a lot of work when capturing? Or can I group them? Should I put them in an album or other type of paper gathering system and number the pages and then refer to that in my someday/maybe list?

    I know this issue was touched upon in the forum in some manner. However, I can't find it again. I know there are many of you who need to capture many ideas for your work and I would love to hear what is best.

  • #2
    You could make a file labeled CAPTURE and let it fill up until it gets unwieldly, then sort out some of the larger categories into their own files. Your note in the s/m list will refer you to the appropriate file.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sdann View Post
      Frequently I'll see an idea I like visually and I make a photocopy or print-out for reference... What do I do with the underlying document (for example, a picture of a couch), so that it refers back to the item in the s/m list.
      I guess the question I have for you is why do you have that picture of a couch? Is is part of a project called "redecorate living room"? If it was, then I'd have a folder called "redecorate living room" and I'd put the picture in that folder. I'd also have a someday/maybe project called "redecorate living room" in my system.

      - Don

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      • #4
        I'd have a Someday/Maybe folder in my filing cabinet for those.

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        • #5
          It's Mac only, but if you're a visual thinker you might have a look at Curio, by Zengobi Software. http://www.zengobi.com/products/curio/ It's aimed at designers in particular, but also anyone who collects images and shuffles them around. I know of writers who use it to build collages of the settings or people in their books, for instance.

          If this is project-oriented material, the answer is easy: put it with the project materials, however you store them.

          For random grist for the creative mill, it's a lot harder. Something catches your eye, and you want to save it, but you aren't sure why or when you might need it again?

          For that kind of stuff I use a combination of paper and electronic tools. If the material comes to me electronically, it goes into either DevonNote or DevonThink, hopefully with some kind of note to indicate why I thought it was worth saving. (DN is a sort of DT-lite. DT is a full-featured text and image database.) Random ideas, notes from books, that sort of thing go into an index card file that I review on a regular basis.

          Hope this helps.

          Katherine

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          • #6
            I also have a folder in my bag titled "Someday/Maybe". This is where loose docs go that are associated with my S/M list on my PDA. For the items on the S/M list that have docs in the folder, I have a (f) next to the item so I know there is a physical document.

            If I gather more than one doc for this item, I put the docs together with a paperclip. If I start gathering many docs for the item, I determine if I should possibly make it an active project.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dschaffner View Post
              I guess the question I have for you is why do you have that picture of a couch? Is is part of a project called "redecorate living room"? If it was, then I'd have a folder called "redecorate living room" and I'd put the picture in that folder. I'd also have a someday/maybe project called "redecorate living room" in my system.

              - Don
              I was asked to gather as many ideas as possible on a subject for 6 months. There is a lot out there in that subject and I want to put it into some type of cohesive format, although it does not have to be completely organized. I am uncertain if it is a project or a someday/maybe, as I will be reviewing it regularly for viability. It is probably the former. The folder or paper-clip groupings sound good and I love the idea of a software, although I can't use mac.

              It is interesting how once you sum up your problem and see how others view it, how a clearer (not fully clear, mind you) picture presents itself.

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              • #8
                If you want to keep both digital and physical copies of the items, you can use two folders named Couches, a folder on your computer (in My Pictures for example) AND a folder in your drawer. Then on the physical folder write the path to the one on computer (My Documents/My Pictures/Couches), and in the one on computer put a text file with some explanations where the physical one is.

                I don't think it's necessary to work on finer degree than that (link individual items)
                Last edited by DanGTD; 09-15-2008, 06:38 AM.

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                • #9
                  Mindmaps for the landscape of ideas with links to the files

                  I have Someday/Maybe mindmap into which I just throw such ideas. I don't worry much about where I put it on the map first time.

                  Every so often, I review and reorganise, collecting related ideas into branches of the mindmap. Some of the these branches naturally tend to correspond to 'Areas of Focus'.

                  If I found the idea on the web, I add the web link to that node on the mindmap. If there is a corresponding digital document in a file folder, I sometimes link to that document on my hard disk. If I've dropped the paper in a specific folder which is not obvious then I add 'in X folder' on the mindmap node.

                  For most papers, I just drop them into one of a few folders for that 'Area of Focus' eg House, Garden, Holidays ideas, various client folders and various technology folders.

                  Occasionally, I'll scan the paper. More often I scan when clearing out a folder. My scanner deposits all scanned PDF files in the same directory so I sometimes link to the file in that directory. If I move the into a more project related directory then the link gets broken but by then it has become a project and I don't have to think about where to look - I know the project directory.

                  For mindmapping I use Freemind the free open-source software
                  http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki....php/Main_Page
                  Keyboard Shortcuts:
                  • Ins to add a new node below the current node
                  • Enter to add new node at the same level a the current node
                  • Ctrl+K to insert a web hyperlink
                  • Ctrl+Shift+K to choose a file on my disk drive and link to that file

                  Seeing all these ideas and Someday/Maybes on a mindmap is much easier to review, see related ideas, reorganise and add new ideas. The visual overview it gives helps makes this part of my review more relaxing, enjoyable and creative, I find.

                  Phil

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                  • #10
                    capture tool

                    I use a combination of Evernote to capture notes, thoughts, ideas, journaling, planning etc. allows you to clip web pages, scan documents, just about anything, all in one place with great tagging and search ability.

                    www.evernote.com

                    -Joe

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