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online equivalent of engineering logbook

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  • online equivalent of engineering logbook

    Hi

    Once upon a time, I used a numbered engineering logbook -- I took notes in it, recorded action items, conversations, meetings, etc. If I needed to look back through the notebooks, I did it by date -- when did the event happen, and I could generally get what I needed fairly quickly. When I completed a notebook, it was easy to create a simple alphabetical index for it and paste it inside the cover.

    In moving online, I no longer use a single log file. I have separate files for various agendas, projects, topics, etc. Looking back through my notes is getting difficult, especially because it is very easy to imagine a particular note fitting easily into any of several different files.

    I am tempted to go to a single online file. Everything will be in it. I can search it sequentially, I can search for words and phrases.

    What do you think? Is a single huge file the way to go? Or is there a way to organize and retrieve data distributed across many files that would encourage me to continue to create many topic-specific files?

    Thanks,
    Rob

  • #2
    You might look at programs like EverNote, OneNote (Windows), DevonNote (Mac), etc. Programs in this category have different interfaces and capabilities, but share the ability to collect many independent notes under one umbrella. They try -- with varying degrees of success -- to combine the best features of the single file and multiple file approaches.

    You may also find that the classic engineering logbook isn't obsolete after all. I still use one for most notetaking because it's faster and less obtrusive than electronic notes.

    Katherine

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ArcCaster View Post
      Looking back through my notes is getting difficult, especially because it is very easy to imagine a particular note fitting easily into any of several different files.

      I am tempted to go to a single online file. Everything will be in it. I can search it sequentially, I can search for words and phrases.
      Rob, I have found that using Google desktop, having things in different files no longer makes much difference. As long as I have the right keywords, I can find anything on my hard disk, and find it very quickly.

      - Don

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      • #4
        Originally posted by dschaffner View Post
        Rob, I have found that using Google desktop, having things in different files no longer makes much difference. As long as I have the right keywords, I can find anything on my hard disk, and find it very quickly.
        Yes. You get this built-in on Mac OS X now, too, with Spotlight.

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