How do you organize your electronic notebook?
September 17, 2004 8:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm starting to keep an electronic notebook (instiki), but I'm not sure how to organize it. How do you organize your notebook?
posted by grefo to Writing & Language (4 answers total)
The beauty of something like instiki is that you don't need to be organized. Organizational schemes are tricky, and probably work better when they're observed empirically than defined in advance.

I would suggest that you just build in enough keywords into each page that you'll be able to find it again.

I do organize my data by type--that is, I keep contacts in Address Book, I keep events in iCal, and I keep URLs in my link-log (I'm thinking about switching to, though). But a lot of people smarter than me have given up on categories and use search instead. They keep all their notes in one big flat text file.
posted by adamrice at 11:04 AM on September 17, 2004

I make a front page, but instiki lets you list all pages. Plus, instiki lets you create new pages that are orphans just by writing the name in your browser's address bar.

I mostly use voodoopad to keep tasks and notes. My frontpage looks like this:


That sort of thing. Then "TeaChing" is broken down into the different classes I teach. Caveat: I have industrial-strength ADD and have no organizational skills, and I regularly cheat and use my palm pilot. As soon as I get something that exports to html I will have a portable copy of the Wiki. Except I'm selling my palm to finance an Ipod Mini. What was the question again?

VoodooPad stores everything in one large flat text file that is searchable.
posted by mecran01 at 12:17 PM on September 17, 2004

It depends on what you want to use it for. Will you use it for organising your day-to-day responsiobilities? Or as a journal of bits and pieces that you don't want to forget?

I use a wiki notepad which syncs with my palm - Note Studio.

Everybody does this differently. For inspiration as to how a knowledge-base could work, you only need to look at wikipedia. As to how to organise yourself with a wiki electronic notebook, that depends on how your mind works and how your software works. It seems that instiwiki doesn't have a backlinks facility, which is how I organise my wiki. (I add linked tags/keywords to pages which become new empty purely functional/navigational pages, and from them I see their backlinks and hence have automatic sorting and tagging of where, when, who, what etc, as I please.)

I generally keep each discrete item on a different page, whether it's a contact, a project, or a reference list.

Use search a lot and monitor how easy it is to find things. The more you use search, the more you will bear search in mind when you write, and you willl begin to start to use tags/keywords automatically.
posted by suleikacasilda at 1:21 PM on September 17, 2004

It can be confusing since instiki is such a blank slate. I had the same questions, and I figured I'd start by just creating a separate page for each class I'm taking and work out from there.

I'm definitely making it up as I go along, but I figure that's part of the experiment.
posted by O9scar at 3:24 PM on September 17, 2004

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