Keeping Notes

Okay, so I’m writing novels, and short stories, but novels currently, and that means I’ve got to keep a lot of stuff straight in my head. So, I keep notes. I actually use the OneNote application in MS Office. It lets me keep lots of filed notes, all hierarchically set out. I keep plot ideas, the names of minor characters, details on major characters, the background to the world, the creatures, etc, all filed for easy reference.

My problem is that I never seem to keep enough notes! I keep losing characters and having to trawl back through piles of text to find them. Or I discover I never wrote down someone’s birthday.

Is it even possible to keep enough notes? Does anyone manage to? Ever?


4 thoughts on “Keeping Notes

  1. My sister laughs at how many ‘reminders’ I set myself on my phone. “Is that one to remind you to inhale or exhale?” She’ll ask with a roll of her eyes.

    I take ridiculous amounts of notes from conversations and experiences, and my notebooks are lined with scribbled random thoughts. I find my diary is helpful for remembering day-to-day things like meetings and birthdays, and it’s got a blank page opposite each week’s calendar so notes can go there.

    Technology-wise I love using Scrivener fo keeping track of notes related to different projects. Weekly (or fortnightly, depending on my schedule) I transfer my scribblings into relevant project files and it’s making it much, much easier to track! Good luck!

    • Alas, I’m on a PC and Scrivener have – yay – brought out a Windows version. Storyist doesn’t seem to have one and is Mac only? Looks good though – very similar!

  2. I’m one of over a hundred writers in the Alternative History Universe of 1632 (

    Here we have a central character database managed by genealogical software, which was originally introduced by the Mormons. There are a lot free software packages dealing with this database format. Look for GEDCOM file format:

    Of course, with all those data collections the main problem is to keep it up to date…

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