Capturing Ideas in Modern Life

Joanne McNeil of Tomorrow Museum examines the various methods for capturing ideas in contemporary life.  It’s no longer a pen & notebook world we live in, natch. 

I’ve got this blog, a tumblr, a twitter, a posterous account. The choice I make over what goes where is based on similar kids of decision — whether it’s social, private, a first draft, etc. I also have a long file in Google Wave, I’m using as a project timeline.

When it comes to preserving facts, quotes, reference material, it’s just as much a matter of how this information is being used.

For a while, when I was working on a novel, I would cut out relevant articles and put them in labelled green folders in a wire sided cabinet on casters (again, really particular about colors for some reason.) I’m afraid the last time I filed something was about a year ago, as I read fewer and fewer print publications, and don’t print out articles as often as I did in the past. That’s not to say, I wouldn’t start doing it again if a new project called on it.

I use is spurts, either tagging several things a day or ignoring it for three months at a time, instead saving links in text files with full quotes.

For sure, this is probably the one essay to read today, if you’re an obsessive note taker and jotter of ideas like Ms. McNeil or myself.  Lately, I’ve resorted to capturing ideas and notes in my head, which is why so many of them go the way of the VCR.

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