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[ if you take extensive notes ] -- any good solutions on finding/structuring/sorting notes?

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designforplayno...
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have you found some solution that works for you yet?

i use onenote, and other software

one problem is finding what you're looking for,

not able to able to find specific things within extensive extensive notes is a common problem

and where your notes are

onenote has very limited search as you know

many other problems, won't go into it...

if you take extensive notes, what solutions works for you?

--

the key problem is that the software isn't designed well

paper is highly limiting, and software solves a bunch of those ills

but the software has lots of constraints and limits as have been said on the Web

it would be good if ppl in the world could make something actually innovative though

i know it's a similar problem with todos --https://www.reddit.com/r/productivity/comments/6ecusr/i_pretty_much_wasted_a_whole_day_trying_out/

--

[ this is for users take extensive notes ] -- any good solutions on finding/structuring/sorting notes?

ElKobold
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I use google spreadsheets to

I use google spreadsheets to store everything. Tables with components listings, card drafts, statistical tables, future artwork descriptions etc.
I tend to put everything into different tables and ability to include calculations right there on the spot is very useful.

It's usually one document per game. Different aspects of the game are on different pages of the document and those which became obsolete can be hidden, so that I can go back to them if needed.

It also makes it easy to share with other people if you are co-designing.

JohnBrieger
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To analyze playtesting notes

I use a method called affinity diagramming sometimes when I have a large volume of playtest data to sort through – it's a technique used for grouping and prioritizing qualitative data that is mostly used in User Experience and Product design. If you ever see those shots of designers in front of big boards of sticky notes, that's what they're doing.

Here's a nice guide I like on using Affinity Diagramming (also called the K-j method)

krone9
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have run workshops for years

have run workshops for years with elements of that (but incomplete) - thanks for posting! Will definitely use.

richdurham
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Tools

If you're looking for better designed software tools, I suggest either Notability or Evernote.
Notability if you like to scrawl things and have a tablet (thats where power is).

Evernote if you collect heaps of links, lists, documents, type things. It's quite good at collaborative work as well.

pelle
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Org-mode. Git to

Org-mode. Git to version-control and sync between my different computers/phones.

X3M
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Excel

But how to organise, is for each their own.

I use paper and sometimes a sound recording for first notes. Then I work them out in Excel.
I use keywords in one of the columns. To sort or search on.

designforplayno...
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what to do about hidden info? you want to see/find them

"use google spreadsheets to store everything"

* what do you do about the problem of not being able to see all the text you write? in those little boxes?

* what you do when you too many 'tabs/sections' ?

both these problems are related to the main problem of 'unable to find' in the main question

ElKobold
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

* what do you do about the problem of not being able to see all the text you write? in those little boxes?

I have no such problem. All the text is visible.

You can always use:
a) Merge cells.
b) Text wrap.

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

* what you do when you too many 'tabs/sections' ?

a) Hide the ones I don't need (mostly old versions)
b) Name the tabs in a way that I instantly know where the info I need is.

designforplayno...
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please show how you solve this mess in ~3 steps, lines, points

sorry i forgot to say & imply that this has to be within the constraints of the current technological progress of the computer

(any computer doesn't matter, except for a supercomputer....)

obviously this means 'regular' computers

designforplayno...
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what's the best detailed review of 'notability'?

im afraid to check notability

since you recommended evernote

nobody uses evernote, ppl run from that thing

it's said all over the Web

onenote is significantly better when compared to evernote

---

but i'll check for a good analysis of notability since you didnt link the best detailed review out there

designforplayno...
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how does org-mode solved this the problem in the main question?

how does org-mode solved this the problem in the main question?

designforplayno...
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how to remember many discrete words?

"Excel. I use keywords in one of the columns. To sort or search on."

* how do you remember all the keywords for the many many many rows though?

this is related to the main problem of 'unable to find' in the main question

designforplayno...
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how to label perfectly with so much stuff?

"Name the tabs in a way that I instantly know where the info I need is"

* how do you do this? if there's actually an effective way, that would solve everything?

"I have no such problem. All the text is visible."

* oh you likely have few texts then
* if i have to merge/wrap, then it's just better use a regular 'note' program and not g-sheets

hiding causes this main problem in the main question

ElKobold
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

* how do you do this? if there's actually an effective way, that would solve everything?

I tend to have different tabs for different parts of the game.
If, for example, I need to find a specific technology card, I open the "Tech" tab and there it is. If I somehow have tons of those cards, I might split them in multiple tabs. And then use ctrl+f.
I really don't understand how it can be an issue to begin with.

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

* oh you likely have few texts then
* if i have to merge/wrap, then it's just better use a regular 'note' program and not g-sheets

I usually have plenty of text. (I wouldn't write a rule-book there, of course. )
Note program won't let me do calculations, cross-references, statistical analysis of my numbers etc.
Spreadsheets are also much better suited to simulate card layout.

designforplaynotmastery wrote:
hiding causes this main problem in the main question

Not really. You are one click away from seeing the full list.

pelle
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Org-mode (http://orgmode.org)

Org-mode (http://orgmode.org) that I mentioned about is all about keeping things organized and by default keeping as much as possible folded so you only see the parts of a large document that you need.

I mentioned in another thread recently my big document where I keep notes about almost 150 games. It is no problem at all navigating that file and never be bothered with any of the stuff I do not currently look at.
That is a reason I keep everything in one file, just make it simpler and faster to search and aggregate. When I get serious enough about a specific game I create its own folder for it somewhere (to store prototype graphics etc) and then it gets its own org-moder document (with cross-references so I can get from there to its entry in the big document and vice versa with a single click).

Works great for prototype rulebooks as well, since it has all the basic formatting needed as well as cross-references and being able to insert images. Exports to HTML and PDF and other formats. So I can do pretty much everything in org-mode until very far into development when I start to feel I need to convert it to something with more layout options (which, for simple print'n'play designs, sometimes is never).

Stormyknight1976
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Index cards

I use index cards, graph paper or college ruled paper or a tablet. For right now its all paper products due to finances.

Stormy

designforplayno...
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cos human memory is highly limited & flawed

"have tons of those cards, I might split them in multiple tabs."

if you have multiple tabs,

"And then use ctrl+f."

* how do you remember the specifics of each and every 'unit'

* there's too much little 'units'

"I really don't understand how it can be an issue to begin with."

* cos human memory is limited

designforplayno...
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how to see everything?

"plenty of text"

if plenty of text, back to the question 1-lvl up,

* how do you see all the text on the screen, it's impossible

'hiding'

when you hide the tabs/sheets, you have to scroll to see everything, and you don't know what order everything is

designforplayno...
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how exactly do you structure everything so there's no problems?

'org-mode'?

* how exactly do you structure everything so there's no problems?

maybe images/videos?

to progress towards an answer to the main question

designforplayno...
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effective > else

"to finances"

* almost all of these software are free

pelle
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:
'org-mode'?

* how exactly do you structure everything so there's no problems?

maybe images/videos?

to progress towards an answer to the main question

Sections and subsections, sometimes cross-references, some tags and attached values for meta-data. The very basic features of org-mode, none of the advanced features. All just pure text and very quick to work with, everything keyboard-controlled, very quick to filter and search and navigate around.

First video I found on Google, goes through the basics, including way more stuff than I actually use day to day for tracking boardgame projects/designs/ideas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgizHHd7nOo

Slower intro that actually explains what is going on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzA2YODtgK4

ElKobold
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

* how do you see all the text on the screen, it's impossible

I use this thing called scroll bar.

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

when you hide the tabs/sheets, you have to scroll to see everything, and you don't know what order everything is

1. I don't care about the order. Everything is named.
2. I only hide what I most probably won't need, unless I revert to an old iteration for some reason.

You original question was:

designforplaynotmastery wrote:

have you found some solution that works for you yet?

I've shared mine. And told you that it works for me and I have no issues whatsoever. Are you trying to convince me that I`m supposed to have issues with the approach I`m using? I`m confused by your agenda here :)

krone9
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I do pretty much the same as

I do pretty much the same as ElKobold - Google spreadsheets for mechanics and notes, including all game balancing calculations

Google Docs for Rulebook (and I make playtesting notes on a printed version - to be transferred later) - just because a printed version is easier to use whilst playtesting for me.

designforplayno...
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how exactly are the basics any better?

"goes through the basics"

pretty similar to onenote and the other software out there

* how exactly are the basics any better?

designforplayno...
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a solution solves the main problem fully & completely

"Everything is named."

there's so much stuff within each 'name'

* how would you find what you're looking for?

* there's so much stuff to remember, how is it possible?

'works for me'

the main question is given the context of the problem

looking for a solution given the main problem

designforplayno...
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non-digital? in 2017..

"because a printed version is easier to use whilst playtesting"

* what are the key ways it's easier for you?

that may be easier for us also?

krone9
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:
"because a printed version is easier to use whilst playtesting"

* what are the key ways it's easier for you?

that may be easier for us also?

When I started playtesting I would do it from memory with a laptop in front of me. I found that that meant I relied too much on memory and missed things (changes and tweaks) I'd made to the rules.

Then I wrote a new draft of the rulebook and printed it out to be more useful - first mistake was not putting page numbers on it! When I found issues in the rules I would then turn to the relevent section and scribble in blue pen notes relating to those specific rules (so they stand out at a scan through)

At the end of a session I then update my google doc with the amends, and where a comment is more general or a query rather than a specific solution, I add it to page 1 of the rulebook (in the google doc) for future consideration.

I found it much easier/quicker to make amends on the printed rulebook itself than picking up a laptop, finding the right content and then editing (and making a note that this is just a suggestion not definite rule yet)

Equally I tried recording playtests but the time to play back was prohibitive for me - I know others like this approach and tbh - whatever works for you is my opinion.

pelle
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:
"goes through the basics"

pretty similar to onenote and the other software out there

* how exactly are the basics any better?

Basics are probably similar as you say. Being a plain-text format and all keyboard-driven is a very good thing.

But also having all the advanced features, even if most are not used. I can still pick the ones I want, and now and then I find new ones that are useful and get into the habit of using.

One thing that people rave about a lot are all the built-in export features. They definitely look fantastic. I have for instance been writing prototype (and print'n'play) rulebooks in org-mode, but then manually moved all the text into other editors to make "final" versions to print or upload as HTML somewhere. It would definitely be possible to configure org-mode to export nice PDF and HTML versions instead to skip a few steps and also be able to keep the final document mixed in the same file as all the other notes and playtest reports and stuff that is in the org-mode file anyway.

ssm
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designforplaynotmastery

designforplaynotmastery wrote:
im afraid to check notability

since you recommended evernote

nobody uses evernote, ppl run from that thing

it's said all over the Web

onenote is significantly better when compared to evernote

It should be pointed out that EN has over 1 million paid subscribers, and has made well over 1 billion dollars, at best estimates. People are people and rarely run to praise anything, yet we tend to run out to bash things. Any online reviews are flawed because of this basic human nature. (Lots of people bash EN, but many more simply use it every single day and are perfectly happy with it.)
Personally, I don't care for EN, but I beta tested it and didn't care for it then either, for various reasons. It was once the new dog, then was seen as the industry leader, and now is trying to catch up. A lot of reviews for EN are also tainted by gossip about what happens at the company, or by a fundamental misunderstanding of what that , and related, technology is capable of.

I use a notebook. If it is important enough, I transcribe it to a computer.
I rarely have use for any cloud based systems since I am alone, don't travel much, and understand the underlying technology and dislike it.
Notebooks work well for me since I can easily flip pages this way and that to see what I did yesterday or last week. I can easily sketch ideas, flows, or anything else. I like that I can work in pencil, then go over what I like in pen, then go over that in marker for what I want to do & it gives me a little bit of a timeline & it is easy to mark why something doesn't work in a particular setting.

I tend to use ColorNote on my devices since it is designed to be just a notepad- offline, doesn't want me to use cloud, and works when I need it.

designforplayno...
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your experience shows how limited current software design is

"found it much easier/quicker to make amends on the printed rulebook itself than picking up a laptop"

* did you not try putting page numbers on the digital doc? if you did it would be the same as the paper

* having a paper sheet for 'quick notes' is helpful, using a tablet for quick notes would be a solution here

* haven't found a way to do this easily on a laptop/computer/else

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