Do you have time when ideas are flowing out of your brain but forget to capture them and lose them forever? Or just never a have a notepad on hand to write it down.
Ideas can come to me at the strangest times, but I’ve now learned to be prepared and capture them as quick as possible.
Not everyone carries a little note pad in their pocket. Today’s technology allows us to capture ideas in writing, sounds, voice memos, pictures, screen captures and videos, at the swipe of a finger.
This is all good to capture, but then it comes to arranging and finding these notes after. You remember 3 days later to action that idea but can find where you put all the details.
Here are some of the tools I’ve used over the past years to capture and organise my ideas and projects:
This is by far my favourite tool to use. Free with Windows and Outlook accounts, OneNote is a powerful virtual notebook. You can have as many notebooks as you like and each notebook can be organised with sections. Each section can have as many pages as you like.
OneNote lets you capture text, pictures, audio recordings, video recordings, screen captures and many other file formats.
Captured information doesn’t have to fixed in one position, you can easily move content boxes where ever you like on the pages. This can be used like a vision board.
You can also integrate hyperlinks links between pages or external sources. I really like the fact that I can capture research ideas from the web and create links in different documents to reference from.
One of my favourite features is that I can type in a search words or phrases in the search box and it will search any opened notebook for this information.
You can easily share and collaborate with friends or work colleagues when you work on project together. OneNote notebooks can be sync across multiple devices and with your OneDrive cloud service. OneNote works great on desktop and but also quite well on iPad or Android Tablets.
OneNote also have drawing function which can be used to annotate over content boxes. This works ok with Windows tablets if they have a great stylus and palm rejection featured. I recently used it on an iPad Pro and was amazed with how well it worked.
The only thing that OneNote is missing is handwriting recognition by default. You can use the Microsoft handwriting keyboard but I didn’t like how it worked.
Price: Free with your OneDrive free account. You get free 15GB Cloud storage with OneDrive.
Evernote has been the close competition in the note taking space with OneNote. I was using Evernote before I started using OneNote as it used to have superior cloud syncing and searching features.
OneNote has since caught up and does just about the same features as Evernote. There is a different feeling using Evernote. It feels more like a fixed environment and more structured. Sort of like a filing cabinet instead of vision board.
I think the structured environment suits those who like neatness and like to take notes as if using a word processing program. Writers and bloggers may prefer this a research tool.
What Evernote has not really done well is handwriting recognition and free hand sketch. They do have a host of associated apps which sync with Evernote that can offer this function.
Penultimate for iPad with Evernote is a lovely sketch app which gives you a natural feeling like writing on paper. It’s like a real notebook in your iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, they never released a version on Android.
Evernote is free for up to 60MB per month of data but there are premium plans for high data users. With premium, you do get additional features like Business Card scanner, mange notes offline, annotate on PDFs, presentation mode and concierge support.
If you’re trying to go paperless and miss pen to paper, Goodnotes may be the app for you. Goodnotes is the only app that I felt has really mastered true pen to paper feeling and thought about how to make hand writing recognition run so efficiently. This has the best handwriting recognition I’ve ever used.
The interface is fluid and flows well for quick note taking. Even with my average coordination and horrible handwriting skills, I could still make all the functions works so well.
You can also import pictures and documents into Goodnote and annotate them.
Goodnotes syncs with just about any of the main cloud services and all notes can be save and recalled from different devices. You can also save your notes as PDF and email straight out of the app.
This neat and compact app can be run on any device and syncs with your Google account. A simple app for basic note taking, making task lists and capturing audio.
This a free app that everyone can use and makes it simple to collaborate with other on projects.
Sharing things like the grocery list is great as between my wife and I, we can also find out what we need at the shops without asking and getting a live up to date list.
Whatever medium you use, we are spoiled for choice. There is no reason to lose your ideas and follow them up now.
How do you capture your ideas? Do you action them? When and where do you ideas come to you? Let me know in the comments.