by J J Cohen
I have come to believe that I am incredibly old fashioned when it comes to note taking for research projects. Typically I scribble upon xeroxes and book margins, letting my notes remain lost in the things themselves. Sometimes I annotate and sort web items via Zotero, a handy Firefox add-on. Sometimes this blog serves the same purpose. I had also been using a Microsoft Word "Notebook" but really that's just a bare bones outlining tool and I don't like it very much. Right now I am test driving Circus Ponies' NoteBook, and although initially I have found it a little confusing all in all it is a visually smart organizational tool ... though again I am not so sure I want such a flat kind of outlining device in the longterm. Maybe NoteBook is nothing more than an electronic simulacrum of its paper predecessors, and I need to make a more radical break. I mentioned Tinderbox here before but haven't tried it -- not just because it is so expensive, but also because I might be too old fashioned to make the cognitive jump the program seems to demand.
So I wonder: how do you take notes when you are engaged in research? Have you found electronic organizational tools that are worth investigation?