Now. THIS IS BRILLIANT.
Do you use notebooks? I use notebooks. Lots of notebooks. And I always have a bunch on the go at once.
And I have shelves of used ones, all packed with ideas and notes for stories, TV shows, songs, artwork, poems. And, here's the thing, they're almost impossible to make use of because NOTHING IS INDEXED! So, trying to find a particular scribbled note about a character for a novel I'm currently writing took me over an hour earlier today. Nightmare.
But wait ... here's a brilliant problem solving idea from Japan that I found on the excellent High Five blog.
What you do is this ...
You use the back of your notebook as a kind of index or tag list. For example, let’s imagine you’re keeping a notebook for recipes and you just wrote down a Chinese recipe on the first page.
Now go to the last page and create the tag ‘Chinese’ by writing it on the first line right next to the page's left edge.
Now go back to the first page where the recipe is and on the exact same line as the ‘Chinese’ label you just wrote you make a little mark on the right edge.
You make this mark so that even when the notepad is closed the mark is visible. After repeating this for various recipes you now have various tags visible on the notebook's edge.
So if you ever want to find a Chinese recipe you simply look at the index, locate the Chinese recipes label and look along the visible edge to find every single page which has been tagged as Chinese. Then it’s simply a case of flicking to each page.
And of course, you’re not limited to one tag per page. You could tag a page 2 or 3 times. So if you jot down a chicken stir fry you could tag it as “Chicken” and “Chinese”. Now you can find all recipes by their cuisine and main ingredient.
Next new notebook I start, I'm DEFINITELY using this.
Okay, so I didn't quite make the 1st of July deadline I set myself ... but I wasn't far off. I delivered the first draft of Why Did The Policeman Cross The Road? to my editor at Unbound on Tuesday (7th) after having a final read-through. I'm pleased with it. And the encouraging noises coming from Unbound are very satisfying.
If you want to catch me talking about the book (and other things) I'll be here:
Saturday 11th July - Cornbury Festival, Great Tew Estate, Oxfordshire.
I'll be on 'The Other Stage' talking Unbound and QI. And how cool is it to see my name on a poster with Tom Jones, John Cooper Clarke and Billy Ocean?!? (Click for a larger image)
Monday 13th July - Behavioural Boozeonomics - The Comedy Pub, Oxendon St (off Leicester Sq, London)
I'll be giving a talk and answering questions at this month's event. All welcome! See here for details.
Friday 7th August - Nine Worlds Geekfest - Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow.
I'm onstage at 3.15pm talking about ALIENS. Woooo! Details here.
Tuesday 11th August - Ugly Animal Preservation Society - The Book Club, 100-106 Leonard St, London EC2A 4RH.
Myself and a bunch of other people will be singing the praises of Mother Nature's munters. And it's my bithday! Buy me a beer! Details here.
Tuesday 18th August - Skeptics in the Pub Cardiff - Cathays Sports & Social Club, Cathays Terrace CF24 4HZ
Watch the shed for more announcements!
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