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I tend to keep random notes most often ...

Displaying poll results.
Written on a smartphone / PDA / PC.
  7191 votes / 30%
On index cards or ordinary paper.
  5497 votes / 23%
On Post-Its.
  5926 votes / 24%
In a day-planner or designated blank book.
  2642 votes / 11%
On an audio recorder (incl. phone).
70 votes / 0%
Scrawled on my arm.
  1169 votes / 4%
I'll explain my system below.
  1279 votes / 5%
23774 total votes.
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I tend to keep random notes most often ...

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  • hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 18, 2011 @02:14PM (#37434892)

    I post them on first posts..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I guess I'm old fashioned enough to think a text file is good to store things like phone numbers, mailing lists, ect. You know.. text... in a text file.

    • Most of my notes are things to do. I use the first four systems, and more! Electronic is fine sometimes, but paper is good too.

      I'm really, really, really, really forgetful (I think this is a mental problem -- my somewhat younger brother was diagnosed with something while he was at school, although he has it worse than me. Although my parents know not to get cross with him, which they didn't for me.).

      I also put things off far too easily -- I shouldn't be posting here now, I was going to practise my German.

      • Re:To-Do lists (Score:5, Informative)

        by xaxa (988988) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @04:13PM (#37435430)

        Oh, I missed the email ones

        - My email inbox is unfinished stuff in some way (everything else is archived). Starred things are more important, Emails to myself are very important, especially if I leave them "unread".

      • So you don't trust your memory?
        I keep random notes in my head. No paper or Post-It notes, no PC or PDA needed.

        Those random notes are always with me. And after I'm done with them, the memory of them fades. I can remember all of my banking and credit/debit card numbers. I can also remember all current user IDs and passwords (a ridiculous number of them are in use) for instance, but none from last year. Same for shopping lists - I just remember what is to be bought, and that list is forgotten a day later (

        • by xaxa (988988)

          So you don't trust your memory?

          Sort of, but I usually know when I'll have trouble remembering something I need to remember.

          I have no problem remembering three sets of bank account details, plus the associated passwords (all different), and all my other passwords. But I can't remember what everyone (including me) agrees to do during a meeting. I remember the 'melody' and rhythm of their speech, but not the words. Ask if I want to watch a film, and I won't know from the title, but seconds into the intro I might tell you I've seen it bef

        • by arth1 (260657)

          So you don't trust your memory?
          I keep random notes in my head. No paper or Post-It notes, no PC or PDA needed.

          I don't keep random notes, in my head or otherwise. If it's not important enough for me to remember, or for others to provide me with the look-up material, I don't need it and won't keep it.

          So my answer would be none of the above.

        • by Tuidjy (321055)

          There was a joke in the Bulgarian army.

          The master sergeant says "Whoever is too dumb to remember should write things down, the way I do."

          I never understood it. I have no complaints about my memory, but it eases my mind to have things written down... I even remember things better once I've written them down. Now a days, I put stuff in my organizer. I even have an entry "Stuff to read/watch/play when I have time."

        • by anyGould (1295481)

          So you don't trust your memory?

          Oh, hells no: my memory is like a steel trap - nothing gets in, nothing gets out. Especially if we're talking proper nouns (people's names, places). Electronic daytimers were a godsend for me - I'm the sort who has trouble remembering to check the daytimer.

          If your memory handles that sort of thing, I am terribly jealous.

          • So you don't trust your memory?

            Oh, hells no: my memory is like a steel trap - nothing gets in, nothing gets out. Especially if we're talking proper nouns (people's names, places). Electronic daytimers were a godsend for me - I'm the sort who has trouble remembering to check the daytimer.

            If your memory handles that sort of thing, I am terribly jealous.

            My memory handles many things fairly well, including such things as shopping lists, appointments, and login credentials. However, it has its limits, and luckily I'm aware of them.

            Here is possibly the worst flaw with my memory: I can remember names and faces, but linking a name to a face appears to be a very slow process, which might still fail even after many encounters with a person. It often happens that when I meet a person unexpectedly, they know me and address me by my name, but although I know that

            • by anyGould (1295481)

              Other than using a phone to (perhaps rudely) take their photo and tag it with their name on being introduced, I don't think there is an easy solution for this memory failure. Even then, I'd have to somehow browse through an assortment of photos to find the one which matches the face talking to me. Also perhaps a bit impolite, and hard to do surreptitiously.

              I'm impatiently waiting for the day that glasses come standard with a HUD and a small camera, so when I look at someone it automatically tells me who they are and how I know them.

              • Other than using a phone to (perhaps rudely) take their photo and tag it with their name on being introduced, I don't think there is an easy solution for this memory failure. Even then, I'd have to somehow browse through an assortment of photos to find the one which matches the face talking to me. Also perhaps a bit impolite, and hard to do surreptitiously.

                I'm impatiently waiting for the day that glasses come standard with a HUD and a small camera, so when I look at someone it automatically tells me who they are and how I know them.

                Me too, but trying to wait patiently. 'Cos it's likely to take some time...

                • by Gunstick (312804)

                  I would rather go another way than of the quite visible glasses gadget and use a chest mounted micro-camera plus a headphone. And my "mp3 player" will tell me who this may be. And then I can take it out of my pocket to "switch it off" and so see the complete people's context on screen.

                  That should be possible with today's technology. But what if the machine gets the face recognition wrong?

        • What could you possibly need with a digital (or, frighteningly, a hard copy) list of MAC addresses of your home LAN?

          Either they've already been applied to your DHCP server rules (hopefully not used for wifi router security!) or you don't care about the link layer on a home LAN.

          I realize I'm nit-picking an example, but it is a strange one...

      • OCD much?

    • Same here. Started out with the PalmOS memo database, when I went from PalmOS to Maemo I exported them to .txt files.

      I have a bookshelf's worth of info in my pocket, and I can instantly search it, back it up or send a copy.

      Why people still use paper, I can't understand.

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      I use text files for what you might call computer-related notes. Basically stuff like IP-adresses, netblocks and the like.

      For passwords I use KeePassX.

      For things like grocery lists I use the notepad app in my smartphone.

      For random work-related stuff I use paper notebooks that I keep on my desk.

      For random "real-life" stuff I tend to either use the "post-it" dashboard widget for OS X or actual post-its that I stick on my fridge (the latter for more important stuff while the digital ones are more for random th

  • by godrik (1287354) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @02:25PM (#37434946)

    I usually have random notes when I am in my office. And I have a white board to have a quickly available writting space. Once I am no longer in a rush, I copy the information to where it should be.

  • It doesn't need to be charged or synched. The paper is good quality and comes in ruled, plain and graph form. A few sheets at the back are perforated for convenient and neat removal, if you need to give a jotting to someone else. The covers are durable and look stylish (on the reporter-style flip books I favor). Even has a little pocket for keeping a receipt or two... And sometimes it pays for a nerd to not look like a complete nerd. Hey, it was good enough for Indiana Jones and Ernest Hemmingway.
    • by Macgrrl (762836)

      I have a couple of Moleskine journalist notepads in the 5mm graph, they are great for taking notes in a meeting - especially if you work somewhere where the meetings rooms are small and the meetings are frequently large, meaning you often have to take notes with nothing to rest your notepad on.

  • I only write down random tasks that my manager is quick to throw around; tasks that he orders via phone and can't be arsed to detail. They all go in a TXT file which I have on my machine and once finished, I delete the row(s) of text pertaining to the task.

  • If it is computer related stuff, then it would usually be in text file(s) or something. If it is not, then it is usually on papers like post-it stickers for short lists. Or bigger papers for long one. I do use my old CASIO Data Bank 150 calculator watch, if I don't have access to them to note. I don't own PDAs, cell/smart phones, and planners.

  • In my head (Score:5, Funny)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @03:14PM (#37435160) Homepage

    I keep them in my head. If they're important enough, I'll remember them. In fact, I can't recall anything I've failed to remember this way.

    • by c0lo (1497653)

      I keep them in my head. If they're important enough, I'll remember them. In fact, I can't recall anything I've failed to remember this way.

      I'm doing the same, but... funny enough... I can't recall anything - must be because nothing is important

    • If they are really important, write them on your forehead... backwards. Then you can read them in the mirror.
    • by tsa (15680)

      That seems funny but it actually works very well. If it's important enough to remember, people will come back to you for it. If not, the problem solves itself.

  • I use this option most often if I have a PC or smartphone up and available. Evernote is the best for having a notepad that is always available from almost any internet device. Otherwise, a good old pen and notepad is fastest when trying to dictate, doing a discovery, or making a to-do list.
    • by hackstraw (262471)

      Anyone not using evernote is missing out. One of the best software products/services in 20 years.

  • by http (589131) on Sunday September 18, 2011 @03:29PM (#37435236) Homepage Journal
    So I make notes by prefixing them with ### - a combination entirely unlikely to come up in any command I might utter, even counting sed. Thus,

    [me@crack] $ history | grep ###

    tells me anything recent, and

    [me@crack] $ grep ### ~/.bash_history | tac | pager

    (or some such similar) tells me less recent stuff.

  • Genital branding! (Easy to remember, but erasure is difficult.)

  • I tend to keep random notes most often...

    ...randomly. Seriously, the words "random" and "most often" don't really go together.

  • Sometimes I even save it!
  • I used to write these types of things, addresses, throw-away passwords, important but not secret stuff (related to my money), etc. in a draft email without a subject or recipient. Then one day I discarded it by mistake. Oops! Bad idea. Now I write them in a Google document and have a toolbar link. It's impossible to get rid of those things. And it's at least as secure as my email, though not much more.
  • I have a notepad at work for general notes, some post it notes for quick notes (generally "things to do today or tomorrow"), or if it is a note for something to do outside of work, usually my phone, or I'll email myself and sort it out later.

    tl;dr: Depends on the note
  • Development notes and plans go on web pages and subversion checkin logs. Pretty much everything else is on the back of envelopes. :)

  • Used daily. No Android device comes close to the functionality Palm OS and applications on a Palm TX.
  • by dltaylor (7510)

    decently searchable

    taggable for not read (done) / read (done), and deletable when no longer relevant for history

  • So most of my random or semi-random notes are on both my computer and my phone.

  • It goes on a loose leaf of printer header paper if I'm going to finish it today. Otherwise it goes in Outlook (yech) for work, or on Gtasks for personal.

    I still really miss Progect [softonic.com] for PalmOS, that was the best hierarchical todo manager I've ever used.

  • ...but the ink smeared.

  • I usually email myself the note and keep it as unread until I'm ready to do the task at hand. Usually I end up just not doing it anyways.
    • Same here. I put the prefix "BFM:" in the subject line, to make them easy to search. That stands for "Blog For Myself" which is not important, the main thing is "bfm" is an extremely rare sequence, so it works great as a filter.

  • Random notes belong on random pieces of paper. To do otherwise will contribute to further acceleration of ultimate heat death.

    • by dkleinsc (563838)

      Actually, those small bits of paper would make excellent fuel for accelerating heat death.

    • Pretty close to my "system". The backs of old envelopes. I figure if these companies ar going to send me a bill at least they send me some writing paper to go with it.
      It's a good thing.
  • I usually use a large desk "blotter" pad; usually quarter inch quad ruled. When it gets full or sufficiently trashed, I just go over it and bring forward anything that's still pertinent to the next sheet. No batteries, no "plan", still isn't obsolete; works well with sketches/doodles, just plain works. Oh yeah, and it keeps my desk clean.

    Cheers,
    Dave

  • By the way, have I told you about Sammy Jenkins?
  • I usually take a picture of it with my phone, that way I always have a copy of it. Sometimes I'll write out a note on paper and then photograph it, that's far faster than typing it in my phone. Grocery list is the same way, everyone in the house writes what they want on the list on the fridge and then I just snap a photo on my way out. Pieces of paper get lost, my phone is always with me.

    I've been doing this a long time, ever since digital cameras with a decent macro function came out in the 90s. Sma
  • Since I'm at a computer most of my day, I put pretty much everything in Emacs using org-mode (http://orgmode.org/). The files reside in my Dropbox folder so I can get to them from any computer I'm using. Like most things related to Emacs, there is a learning curve to org-mode but it is incredibly efficient once you master just a few keystrokes.

    • by Sludge (1234)

      I knew I couldn't be the only one. I have been doing the same thing for a number of years, though I tend to use different .org files for different contexts.

  • I have an always-open .txt file I keep running in Notepad all day... my notes go there.
  • I put a tally on my arm each time I see the aliens so I can remember I've seen them.
  • For text notes I will either write them on a scrap piece of paper near the keyboard or store them as text files on a computer, depending on what they are. A lot of this is story ideas which I'm likely to forget otherwise.

    However, I also have a habit of coming up with a melody or a solo on the way in to work. Since I can't read music, nor do I carry blank manuscripts with me into work, I have taken to singing or whistling these into the voice recorder on my phone.

    Some people have said 'if you forget it, it

  • Using whatever implement that can be found (chalk/crayon/pencil/pen/stylus/fingernail) to transfer the "jottee" onto a random bit of material found - so long as it would not be considered graffiti and it does not say something like "Payable to: ".

  • I have so many non-random notes that don't have room or time for the random one.

  • I still have a full box (2500) of IBM 80 column un-punched punch cards that are perfect for impromptu notes, shopping lists,...

  • Yup, I'm one of those silly people with a tablet PC... and it is on a lot. Thus, I open up Windows Journal (cleaner than one one for me) and jot down notes just like its a pad of paper.
  • I keep my work notes in a coil spring book which has both the begin date and end date written inside the covers. I also have a second coil notepad which I compile daily task lists in which I also put the start and end dates on the cover. I save these for at least 5 years, even once I left the company. One of my first jobs was QA for a small manufacturing company. They had a case come up where someone forgot to put a gas cap on the tank, then rolled the vehicle and got badly burnt when the gas caught fire. F
  • by Smivs (1197859)
    I voted for "I'll explain my system below.", but I'm not going to.
  • by Anthony (4077) *
    I open up emacs and update my "file-of-notes-on-topic-x"
  • I have some spiral notebooks, some journals, scratch paper that have whatever random stuff that comes to my mind. I like fountain pens and I find they are easier for me to write with.
  • Gmail is my filing cabinet. It's the only place I can put info and know where to find it later. Bits of paper disappear. Files on a computer are usually somewhere that I'm not. Once I've it e-mailed it to myself it always as close as my phone.
    • by JustOK (667959)

      “Every time you email a file to yourself so you can pull it up on your friend’s laptop, Tim Berners-Lee sheds a single tear.”

  • ...in arterial red.

    Knives /are/ useful.

  • it's where I do all my "visual" thinking
  • I keep a notebook handy. It's more portable than E-Mail, and I can write in it faster than I can type on the phone. I like to bring one along to interviews, too. If the interviewer is talking and I have a question and don't want to interrupt him, I'll jot it down and ask at a convenient pause. I've also jotted down interview questions I've particularly liked, names of interviewers (Always a good thing to remember) and responses to questions that I ask. Using a notebook has the added benefit that I don't loo
  • by JustOK (667959)

    Random notes in random places

  • First I scribble something on whatever paper is nearby, because I can do that faster than I can whip out my phone or start Word or Notepad. Then, if I need to remember it long term, I'll enter it on my computer, if available, or Notes on my iPhone if it isn't.

  • I used a tabbed text editor, and I usually have up to four unsaved files open just for notes. Each one has a vague topic.

  • I keep all kinds of notes in hierarchical Zim Desktop Wikis [zim-wiki.org].
    Zim stores its pages as human-readable plaintext files. That allows you to use your favorite VCS to maintain, backup and sync your notes easily across multiple computers. It's also possible to embed images and LaTeX code snippets. The syntax should be already familiar to anyone who has ever used a Wiki, similar to MoinMoin.

  • At work, and at home, I use a clipboard with blank paper on it.. Often at home, I'll also use the backs of envelopes that the bills come in. On the road, I'll either use MS-OneNote or my Handspring Visor. I really would like a OneNote clone for linux, but nothing comes close.
  • I wear carpenters jeans, with the pockets on the side of the pants leg, and keep a pen and a few pieces of folded up paper in there.

  • Windows 3.1 CARDFILE.EXE

    Teaches me to be concise, and I never run out of cards this way.
  • I always have my phone with me. So I send myself text messages. Minimal overhead. Plus, it still has a log if the message doesn't get sent out.

    (What's up with that, Apple? Can't figure out that a SMS message didn't get sent out and try again when you have a cell signal???)

  • What I've taken to doing in the last couple of years, at least at work, is to keep a plain text journal. I write down a quick summary of everything I do every day - every email, phone call, meeting, experiment, code revision, idea etc. No pictures, tags, links, or other metadata; just plain text. Well, okay, some URLs, phone numbers, and other ID numbers, but only as plain text. Anything that has structure or metadata ends up being too much work to keep up with, and I stop bothering with it. It can be searc

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

 



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