On the collision of notes

Design involves a lot of note-taking, and I digitize most of it, even handwritten text.

After a while it all piles up.

I tried a logical structure. Folders with customer ids, holding project folders, holding folders with dates.

This turned out to be a problem because the really useful stuff, my notes, were now buried deep inside.

My physical sketchbook has sketches, snippets, long form text, mind-maps, workshop plans and grocery lists all mashed up together, creating a rich soup of concepts that start to trigger ideas when I flip through the book.

My digitized notes, however, were in categorized silos.

Concepts incapable of colliding with each other.

I needed a neat taxonomic structure but I needed the mashup of ideas even more.

I tried tags. Too cumbersome. Evernote. Meh…and so on, until two things happened.

  1. Zettelkasten
  2. Wikis

Long story short.

I now use Google Keep as my Zettelkasten. It holds short snippets on a wide range of topics. My notes are colliding again.

I use Zim as my wiki. (http://zim-wiki.org/). Zim’s page linking capability is great for switching back and forth between notes across multi-page projects. Plus I attach my mindmaps and images to pages, so its all in one place.

So basically, happy ending for my notes.