I admit I haven’t been a big note taker since college. I’m still pretty much a physical pen and paper or post-it kinda guy when it comes to remembering things or jotting down ideas I want to remember. I often read about my favorite authors who have passed on and how their “notes and letters” became the property of some University or Library archives. This is the case with a recent project of mine involving some extensive research on Tennessee Williams. Williams died in 1983.
I have to remind myself that Williams, and all of my other favorite authors from that era who have passed, had no access to a computer. The pen and the paper honed their craft, followed by a manual typewriter. It makes since that they would have volumes of material worthy of being archived in a professional setting devoted to preserving such papers.
Today, writers like me are lucky enough to have computers. And though I sentimentalize the idea of note taking longhand on paper, I much prefer an easier and more organized way of doing it on the computer. I was lucky enough to recently discover the App known as Evernote, which is doing just that for me.
I mainly bought this App because it was free on my Kindle Fire so I decided to give it a try. My test run of it was for a fictional writing project I’m currently researching actually about Tennessee Williams, where I’m utilizing both physical books and the web for research.
I started by using Evernote to keep track of quotes or small pieces of information I liked. I have not been able to get it to copy websites or pics for me on the Kindle Fire device, but maybe I’m doing something wrong? Most tablet devices have a slow interface in that you can’t really multitask or copy information when toggling between screens or applications. Therefore, unless I just haven’t gotten the hang of it, Evernote is really only good for making physical notes on the Kindle Fire. I’m okay with that though because it’s handy to use for note taking when reading a paperback book. As for notes from Ebooks I’m reading on the device, I can just highlight them if needed and transfer them later.
To fully utilize the App the way it was intended and for this project, I decided to download it to my desktop PC. Grabbing websites and pics from here is much easier. I pull up the App and literally drag and drop my information into it just like a Windows desktop file. It copies pictures super fast, and I even created a note of web links that I wanted to revisit later.
After syncing all of this information back to my Kindle Fire, I was much more pleased with going back and reviewing my notes and pics that I had collected on the Kindle device. When viewed as a whole, it’s a nice collage of pictures, quotes, and other small pieces of information that I have found to be very inspiring.
So, for me, it’s good to have on my Kindle device solely for note taking, but I am enjoying it much more on my PC. The collage of information I’ve collected has been very inspiring and I only wish I’d had something like this back when I was in college!As for if it’ll be worthy of being archived on some University computer one day when I’m long gone, only the future will tell.