Using Your Phone as a Notebook

First of all, though, I’ve been remiss on telling you guys about stuff.

  • I have a new free short story, called Band of Turquoise, up at Turtleduck Press. Go read it! (It’s nice and short.)
  • SF Signal featured Band of Turquoise in its round up of free stories, which is pretty dang cool.
  • And I totally spaced on telling you guys, but me and the entire Turtleduck Press gang were interviewed by Full Coverage Writers on their videocast last night. You can find that video here. (There are squid. Just saying.)
  • On a similar note, we’ll be on FCWriter’s videocast again next week. I’ll hopefully remember to remind you guys about that in a timely fashion.

Now, on to the show.

A common writing tip is to carry a notebook with you at all times. A little one, pocket-sized or so, and a pen or similar writing utensil. That way, when you have an idea, whether it’s a new story, an idea to help you break writer’s block, or just something that may prove useful later, you can whip out your notebook, jot it down, and save it for later use.

In practice, I find this problematic. I don’t carry a purse, and women’s pockets are tiny and mostly decorative, which makes notebook/pen combos difficult to stow. Also, tiny notebooks tend to wander off when you most need them, so the result is that I have half a dozen tiny notebooks, two of which I can find at any given time and none of which have more than a few pages used.

I’ve found it’s much more useful to use my phone as a tiny notebook. I already have my phone with me most of the time, and there’s a tiny of apps you can put notes in, many of which are backed up elsewhere on the cloud so you can access them from your computer or from a new phone should something happen to the old one (unlike a tiny notebook of mine which suffered a traumatic and fatal incident with tea).

Here’s a sampling of apps that can be used for this purpose:

  • Google Drive
  • EverNote
  • Google Keep
  • OneNote

No doubt there are others, but these are the ones people I know use. Personally, I mainly use Google Keep. I find the Drive phone apps non-intuitive, and I haven’t managed to get my act together enough to check out the various Notes.

How about you, Squiders? Leave a comment about your note-taking method of choice and what, if any, justification you have for making said choice.

10 responses to this post.

  1. I use the Notes app on my iphone all the time.


    • Is that an Apple specific one? (We’re an Apple-free household, so I’m afraid I don’t know much about them.)


      • It is, but I really like it. I have everything in there from the size of the furnace filters, to character names, to story ideas.

      • Sounds like how I use Keep–story ideas and titles, certainly, but also reminders to myself, notes for going to the store, phone numbers…

        Glad that you’ve found something that’s working for you! đŸ˜€

      • Mine is pretty disorganized, but I rely heavily upon it. There’s even a salmon recipe in there, and some bread baking temps.

  2. Posted by SleepyDragon1320 on 2015/02/06 at 6:25 AM

    No smart phone here so no apps but my phone does have a notes feature which I use for note making. If I need to make more extensive notes, I usually have a notebook and a pen close to hand in my bag.


    • It is true that it’s hard to get copious notes onto a phone–maybe it’s easier if you have one of those giant ones with the styluses? So notebooks definitely win there.


  3. I’ve really grown to like Microsoft’s OneNote. With the ability to create subsections, I’ve been able to make a pretty comprehensive system for keeping track of my story.


  4. Posted by Sophie on 2015/04/07 at 5:44 AM

    I use notebooks for that sort of thing. I don’t really use apps for note-taking. I have about…4-5 notebooks right now. Each of which I have no idea what contains what, and they usually have school stuff mixed in with fanfic stuff–apart from about 2 notebooks, I think.


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