Do you print something out so that you can make written comments on it on the sides, or want to make notes as you read online?
If it's for printing and unless you print out so that you can lie on your favorite divan OR ON THE FLOOR OR WHATEVER, and possibly go to sleep while reading, I have found that it is far easier to do the folllowing, and then there is no retyping, and it all goes much faster.
First, load the manuscript or whatever onto the screen and collapse the window to a little more than half the screen widthwise but full screen lengthwise.
Second, click on File and open up a txt file which you collapse into the other half of the screen. Just make sure that they do not overlap too much or you will constantly be having to click back and forth. Make your notes as you scroll through the text. To make it even better, use a word file to make notes so that you can make corrections to your notes as you write.
Third, be sure you use word wrap if you are using a txt file.
Tricks to help organize:
Instead of using a txt file, I sometimes open an email which will allow me to check for spelling. This also give me the possibility of using all sorts of direct links, underlines, italics, colors, etc. Just be sure that you do not have an address up at the top or you might accidentally mail your notes to who knows who.
1. Unless you are commenting on the text line by line, make a series of headings for what you are doing, such as topics, or types of comments, or types of errors. Shift between them to write your comments.
2. Underline important points or write in caps
3. Use copy to insert important parts of text into your notes.
constantly save. See below the replication of a previosus month's note on save while typing.
4. Before you do any final editing, make a copy of your notes so that you will not lose anything s you move lines around and delete and add for the final presentation.
5. Use numbers or letters or if it's to go into a html file so that you will have some order to your thoughts and headings.
Saves me a lot of time, and when I am finished reading and making notes, I am finished.
Hold the presses! I just ran across some new software by Adobe called Buzzword. You create a document on-line which is then stored in their servers, and can contact it from anywhere if you are on the move or at work, etc. It's free, and it's private. You can share the writing of it or even the reading with someone by just emailing them, and they can enter that one document while all the rest of your documents remain private. It has all of the features you would ever need in order to partition the page, create text, add pictures, retrieve older versions of the doc, upload files into it, and a lot still coming as they add to it. And, the part I like, saving as I type using Ctrl and s. It is part of the new interface between the web and the PC. Give it a try at
Some Excellent References
Excellent notes on making notes
Note Taking Systems suggested by above reference.
50 Ways To Take Notes (original link Deburca Blog) All sorts of ideas most of which I have not tried but one or two may be the answer for you.
© copyright 2008 J. Morgan Thomas All rights reserved
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