For years I've loved Microsoft's OneNote. It's a brilliant software program for note-taking, organizing, lists, research, and oodles more. (You can read about my love of OneNote in "My Secret: Organizing Book Notes.") I keep ALL of my research for each project there. I also track my writing progress, plotting dates, revising sessions, and business activity (submissions, etc..).
Early last year, though, I started having problems with OneNote. Every time I opened the program, it would go into a frozen cycle with the message "Not responding." After about two minutes of this, it would unlock, immediately "not respond" again, then in a little while it would allow me to work. It also would "not respond," if I let it sit idle too long.
Two minutes doesn't sound like a big deal, but anything more than five seconds is crazy to me. I just want to copy/paste a link, update my writing log, or check on some research. Is that too much to ask?
Well, I Googled the issue. Went on forums. Saw that some other people had the same problem. Tried their advice. Closed most of my notebooks. Deleted all but 2-3 pictures for each notebook.
I started relying on OneNote less. Tinkered with Evernote (a great program, but not as simple to use, plus I'm not sure it has the same functionality with tables). Bookmarked research sites instead of linking them. But I've had to come to a sobering truth.
My software is slowing my daily writing progress. I find that unacceptable.
It's one thing when I procrastinate or spend too much time with my thesaurus, but it's another matter entirely when I'm desperate to stay in my groove and have to wait for a little circle to spin for two minutes before I can access my notes!
I do not have a solution at this point. Friends use Scrivener and love it. It looks ideal for me. Tons of organization, ways to incorporate pictures for research, index card scene breakdown--you name it. Everything for the book in one place. It's pretty reasonable, too, at only $40.00.
My writing budget has been depleted, but I plan on purchasing Scrivener as soon as my budget allows. It just doesn't make sense to get frustrated and lose precious minutes each writing session.
In the meantime, I'm researching Evernote more to see if I can easily make tables to chart my progress.
What do you use for organizing your research, notes, and all things book related?
Have a terrific day!