On Keeping Notes

I’ve previously written about taking notes using Evernote. I also posted my cardinal rule for note taking which is “don’t change your system”. Changing the system fragments your notes and you’ll never end up merging them together (despite your best intentions).

But I’ve broken that rule. I’ve changed from Evernote to using a combination of SimpleNote and Notational Velocity nvAlt to be precise.

So why the change? Well, it turns out nvAlt makes it so easy to find things that it is worth the change. I assert that there are two fundamentals things to a note taking system that are far more important than anything else:

  1. It needs to be super-simple and super-quick to make a note
  2. It needs to be super-simple and super-quick to find something.

Alas, Evernote doesn’t do this for me. Perhaps it is the way I use it, perhaps it is the app. I’ve found Evernote adds a lot of value to notes, but finding them, well that’s a different story. It isn’t super-simple, it isn’t super quick. That’s really what I want. Formatting, value-add is secondary.

I thought initially that going back to plaintext would be too difficult. I mean where do I put stuff that isn’t text? Turns out Google Drive or Dropbox is enough for that. As long as you can put meta-links to things in plaintext notes, you tend to be covered.

Unfortunately, I now have to merge in my old notes … perhaps it’s just better to start fresh?