What's the best way to keep track of all my notes?
The social web includes more and more options for tracking personal information and sharing knowledge. If your work (or life) involves keeping notes, brainstorming, or collaborating with others on document creation, it's worth taking the time to find the tools that support your personal style and collaboration needs. Our own toolkit includes software for producing documents together, creating and sharing mindmaps, and keeping our personal notes organized and accessible from anywhere.
As much as we love Word's "Track changes" feature, we'd be happy to leave those endlessly circulating documents back in the 20th century. Upload your Word doc (or Excel spreadsheet) to Google Docs, and share your drafts and notes with your colleagues so that everyone makes their changes in the same place, in real time.
Sometimes the most useful notes are diagrams, not text. If you're a visual thinker, you may already have explored mind mapping, a technique for diagramming the relationship between different ideas or pieces of information. Now you can take mind mapping to the next level with digital tools.
If you like to take notes in a visual way, and you want to share your notes with colleagues and collaborators, MindMeister may be your dream tool for brainstorming and outlining.
It hurts us to think of all the orphaned Word documents floating around our laptops (and perhaps yours). Instead of opening document after document in search of those meeting minutes or call log, keep all your notes in one place with a dedicated notetaking app. For Mac users, Voodoopad is a great option -- worth comparing with our new favourite, Evernote.
Imagine browsing through all the notes on your computer as easily as you browse through songs in your iTunes Library. Imagine keeping all your notes permanently, effortlessly in sync between multiple computers or on your iPhone. Imagine snapping a whiteboard full of notes with your camera -- and having them instantly full-text searchable thanks to handwriting and character recognition. Imagine all this, and you've got Evernote: the Cadillac of notetaking apps, available for Mac or Windows. Did we mention it's free?