My Year of Ideas: Oops! Almost Forgot!

I was in the middle of doing something else when I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I had done one of these posts. I went back and saw that I had blown off just one entry, the one for two weeks ago. That would have been during the Olympics. I know, I said that I really didn’t care about the Olympics; my experiences with all of the BS that goes with living in the home city back in the 1990’s left me with a “bah, humbug” attitude about them.

That's what I said! (source: deadspin.com)
That’s what I said! (source: deadspin.com)

Nevertheless, I watched some parts of the Games, mostly the figure skating, but also some of the speed skating, where the Dutch walked away with most of the medals (it is the land of Hans Brinker, after all), one or two of the hockey games… yeah, Mary and I spent a good deal of time in front of the TV during the Olympics.

Does that mean I had no ideas for two weeks? Surely you jest.

I’ve used Springpad for a couple of years, and I now have close to 2000 clippings (mostly bookmarks) stored away. Being the typical packrat, more than half of them were unfiled, and several of the notebooks that I had set up had names like “Stuff,” “More Stuff,” “Crap,” etc. While I was watching USA vs. Russia in hockey, I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to put everything in notebooks that had meaningful names, and to add tags to the entries so I would have the equivalent of 3- and 4-subject notebooks, not to mention the possibility that I could use tags to cross-reference clips in different notebooks.

I’ve gotten almost all of the unfiled clips in notebooks now, and I’m glad I did, because I found a lot of really hilarious stuff (including one of my favorite cartoons and an article about recaptioning cartoons in The New Yorker), a lifetime supply of blogging and story prompts, and several articles I bookmarked with the idea of basing stories on them.

Seeing everything that I have in the notebooks for the first time in several months or years is stirring all kinds of ideas for stories, blog posts, and even ideas for the direction in which I should take my career. It’s been a useful exercise already, and I’m only maybe a third of the way into the project as I envisioned it.

I’ll talk more about this in two weeks. See you then.

3 thoughts on “My Year of Ideas: Oops! Almost Forgot!

  1. I thought I knew about most of these idea catching programs, but somehow I missed Springpad. Thanks for the suggestion, John.

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    1. It’s a lot like Evernote minus a few features that I have no use for anyway and with a much more attractive interface.I also haven’t found an upper limit to how much you can save in a month, and Springpad has a supported bookmarklet for saving things from Safari on my phone. The one thing it fails to do is capture secure pages (https://), but I’ve figured out a work-around. Worth taking a look, even if you already have Evernote or something else.

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      1. I haven’t found much use for Evernote that my Onenote hasn’t done well enough for me (Evernote seems to have more features than I need)… This might be a nice “cloud compromise”

        Thanks again, John.

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