As I’m thinking about organizing Stuff, I’m also thinking about organizing Ideas. I’m supposed to be writing this book (oh, lordy, how did it get to be more than 4 years later?), though during the last few months I’ve been wrapping up other projects in order to clear the decks for it. There are words written and bibliography assembled, and yet I’m still, I think, at a relatively early stage in the process. So this might be the point at which to tackle some new technology that could make the whole thing easier.
If it would make it easier.
Sometimes I think I might be better off just to assemble all my bits and pieces into boxes, and spread papers out across the floor, a la the early John McPhee. I’m visual and tactile and it helps to spread things out. On the other hand, if I wind up with a silo’s worth of material (like John) that could get messy.
I’ve found some posts online raving about Evernote and OneNote, but these are often by fiction writers (“It helps me keep track of my characters!”—not my problem) or by people who are teaching undergrads to organize their research papers, or else obviously by marketing people who say “it’s fantastic!!11!!” but omit anything useful about how the program works and why you might actually want it.
What about you, scholarly readers who write scholarly books? How do you organize your sources and notes? Are there programs you would recommend? If you have either advice or warnings, I’d be glad to see them left in comments.
Thank you kindly.