Note on Notes

“NOTES, do you make them? Have you tried taping and transcribing them? What works for you?”

When I put this topic on the schedule, I was actually asking about notes for writing, but I did not make myself clear.   It worked out fine, though, as several posts had interesting insights in them on other uses for notes.

I believe that I covered most of my need for such things under a past topic: LISTS.   However, something came up just last week that made me add to the ‘note’ that I send to my interviewees; (I neglected to advise that most of our readers, along with ourselves, are writers. I believe that it would have made a difference in the interviewee’s answers and explanations.)


At any rate, as for my own writing, well, I just had better be near my computer or at least a device that has Word or another program because scribbled notes don’t cut it for me.

My handwriting was never wonderful, and now that arthritis, (and the fact that I think a lot faster than I can write), makes most notes difficult, if not downright impossible, to decipher.

I spend more time trying to figure out what in the world I was trying to say than actually getting it onto a screen, because really, it is so much easier to think and write that way for me.

I LOVE word processing! I would never attempt a long short story, a novel or, Heaven forbid, a play, without word processing. I do not believe that it would ever be possible for me to get them finished. Poems and songs were hard enough for me to write out and type.  Stories flow, when I get myself to the keyboard. I may change things around, I may add ideas, but generally, it comes, and as we have discussed before, sometimes the characters have minds of their own and I let them take over when they assert themselves. I have been kicking myself for not getting some of my works finished sooner, but I can tell you, had some of them stayed on my constricted ideas of the plot, I know they would not have been as good as they are,(or would be worse than they are, you can take your pick!)  I easily edit and make adjustments which are clear to me immediately, otherwise, my writings on paper not only are in poor handwriting,  there are also a lot of scratching out, differently chosen words inserted with arrows leading to the right spot, words and lines circled, (and those also have arrows leading to where I decided I have them in the wrong order, or “where I had the word order wrong”, see?)

You should have seen my song lyric papers, while trying to get the rhyme and syllable count down. I can make the changes clearly and quickly at a screen, with a keyboard. I may have stuck with songs and looked harder for collaborators had I had word processing. (Some musicians were willing, but we didn’t mesh, but I digress, as usual.)


Have you tried recording notes? I had a mini tape recorder, or actually, I had two; they fell apart one right after the other. I have a number little tapes with story ideas, story starts, notes for stories, recipes, tips, and ideas,

and all are stuck on the tapes, irretrievable.

Please don’t be too upset; they were probably going to be stuck there anyway.

I would try to transcribe them and without being a fast, clear writer, (or fast at the keyboard), it took a ridiculous amount of time for me to try to get the notes from the tapes to paper or screen, and I had given up anyway, until I had enough time.

[Yeah, I’ll let you know if that ever happens.]

No matter. They are so old, I bet I have already used them or that they are pretty bad anyway.

(Let me be honest; not every idea is a brilliant idea.)

It would never have been worth it to hire a transcriptionist, a thought that had crossed my mind at one point.

It took me up until quite recently to be smart enough to use my smartphone. I have Word on it and anything that I put there will go straight to The Cloud and, (drum roll, please), I can do Speech-to-Text.  My notes are in print, ready to pull up, ready to cut and paste, ready to be edited into a started WIP, or to begin another.

Or not, because, like I said, not every idea is brilliant.

But at least I won’t forget or lose a decent thought.

If an edit comes to me in the shower, I can get it down as soon as I get reasonably dry. If I am out, I can type while someone else is driving or dictate an idea to Bixby, (the Samsung voice-activated assistant), to open Word, or to take a “Samsung Note” for me, which shows up as an icon on my home screen, and can be sent to The Cloud, where it can be pulled  up on the computer.

I feel so free… and I feel like a fool. I’ve had those tools for years and never utilized them.

Stand back and watch me work!


About Tonette Joyce

Tonette was a once-fledgling lyricists-bookkeeper, turned cook/baker/restaurateur and is now exploring different writing venues,(with a stage play recently completed). She has had poetry and nonfiction articles published in the last few years. Tonette has been married to her only serious boyfriend for more than thirty years and she is, as one person described her, family-oriented almost to a fault. Never mind how others have described her, she is,(shall we say), a sometime traditionalist of eclectic tastes.She has another blog : "Tonette Joyce:Food,Friends,Family" here at WordPress.She and guests share tips and recipes for easy entertaining and helps people to be ready for almost anything.
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11 Responses to Note on Notes

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    I’ve been categorized by some youngsters as a caveman because of my mistrust of — & refusal to utilize — the so-called “cloud.” With all the hacking and phishing and pirating that’s ALREADY part of my life (writing and otherwise), to me the cloud seems like a convention center with a welcome mat for cyber crooks.
    No lectures, please, anyone. Just expressing my opinion.
    * * *
    Had to laugh about your audio tapes with content that can’t easily be retrieved.
    Years ago (27 I think), when we purchased a new (demo) Saturn, the deal tossed in a cool little video camera. Not those big clunky things that weighed 20 lbs and used a full-size VHS cassette. This was a teeny thing about the size of a primitive 8mm film camera… and it used a unique size of micro-cassette. We had a lot of fun with that thing and even had my son’s buddies borrowing it from us for events. At one point, I could have shown you a box full of those micro-cassettes.
    Unfortunately, we never found a PLAYER for that size cassette. We could only view them in the teeny 2 inch screen attached to the camera.
    Long story, short. All that content — wherever that box may be — is as lost to current technology as would be a Beta-Max formatted video. No machine plays it and we never had a clue how to hook it up from the camera to anything that could conceivably play it. Of course, 1993 was before everybody had their own electronic gizmos that can do everything but drive you to the dentist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have many, many, many ‘slides’ that my uncle took and used to show, and when the young man who talked my husband into letting him practice at our wedding to be a photographer’s main camera broke, the rest of my wedding, (little as it was), is on slides. You guessed it; we can’t see them, except on a cheap little viewer that is small, awkward and isn’t clear. My uncle’s projector still works, but there is no way to obtain its proprietary bulb that burned out.
      I CAN get them converted to pictures,I suppose, but the expense! If the slides are as bad as the wedding photos, it is hardly worth a dollar. As for my uncle’s, I can’t tell you how very many there are and they are so redundant,i f I won the lottery big-time I would still hesitate.
      As for The Cloud, well, I am not too worried about a few notes up there.I do not keep full or close-to finished works, and since it’s under my married name, (or it may be The Husband’s), unless someone is seeking out something specific, (which they won’t be looking for mine, I am sure), the likelihood of something being stolen anyway is so low, with all the millions of pieces of info being saved a day, I think a person would really have to be targeted to have to worry. But, my completed or almost completed works are on my PC, my external drive AND flash drives, not ‘out there’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy can I relate to trying to figure out what you’ve written down. LOL Usually we’re in such a hurry, the writing is later indecipherable. I do that with my shopping lists too. LOL Yet people are always telling me what a beautiful hand I have when I’ve written a letter. But that’s because I take my time. Notes, on the other “hand” are another story.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Glad you found a recording that works for you! Can’t wait to read the result of those recordings. I’ve used my phone to record lectures that I’ve attended, but never thought about using it to record brainstorming sessions. Probably because my scattered mind won’t let me focus on just the story at hand. My thoughts tend to jump all over the place.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m the same way when it comes to word processing. I can sit down and write and the ideas just flow, but notes… Not for me.

    Liked by 1 person

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