Friday, April 15, 2011

Sticky Notes are My Friends

Most of my ideas happen when I’m working on something else. I may be reading sales ads and the light bulb turns on. Heck, I can be staring at the wall and an idea pops in my head. But sometimes I don’t have the time to write it all down and need to research before committing the idea to my file. If I write down key parts of my idea, I will remember it for later on. So I write my ideas down on sticky notes.

My monitor is my holding place for those beloved notes. There is a note to research a subject, information on my characters, dialogue I’m going to use, and much more. They are my mind on paper like Twitter is your thoughts online. I placed them in one location because sometimes those little notes fall off. (It has nothing to do with the fact I take them off, write more on them, and place them back on the monitor. *whistles*) They all gather at the bottom of my monitor, and I can pick them up to replace the sticky back or start a section in my file for it. Otherwise, an idea will be lost somewhere in the house and I’ll find them when I no longer need them.

The real beauty behind sticky notes is the different colors they are available in. Currently, I’m using three colors to decorate my monitor. Pink is for things I’m for sure going to include in my WIP. Blue is for information I need to research. Lime green is for anything related to characters, setting, scenes, and plot. I place the notes on the monitor based on type: on the top research items, on the bottom items you are going to include and either side for everything else.

When there is no more room on my monitor, then I’m behind on updating the file for my WIP. It is time to sit down and work my way through each sticky note. File the ones I just completed, or I put back any I still need to work on. All notes are taped onto paper once I finished with them. That way I can reread them at a later date.

My system may be a little off the wall but it works wonders for me. Do you use something similar or something else to write your ideas down?

23 comments:

LJ DeLeon said...

You know of course, the office supply store is the fatal trap for writers. We go in and never come out. LOL. Love how you organize. I use blue, pink, and yellow.

Brinda said...

Sticky notes are also my friends. I use them when I am doing editing and revising. I use the standard ones to write notes on and the "flag" size just to mark pages that I need to revisit because something is not quite right.

Alexis Morgan said...

I have a few stickies decorating my computer right now--not color coded or anything, but definitely information I want to keep handy. I love your suggestion of using a different color for different purposes. Also a great excuse to hit the office supply store to see what new colors are available. 8-D

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@LJ DeLeon Thanks! If you are trapped, you can't spend any money. It may not be a bad thing.

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@Brinda Flag size stickies are great!

Margaret Fieland said...

I keep them online -- in the same folder as my work in progress. Or I embed them in the document prefixed with FIXME:

Alexis Morgan said...

I keep thinking that if they would put a coffee shop in the office supply story, I might just move in.

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@Alexis The perfect combo! I'll move in with you.

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@Margaret I tried online but it didn't work for me. Writing it down by hand works best for me.

queenofenglish said...

Great idea to color code the notes. I also bought software that did that on my computer.
Didn't though. I didn't want to be that organized.

MM the Queen of English
http://queenofenglish.wordpress.com

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@queenofenglish I brought the sticky software but in the end I still used my physical sticky notes.

Micole Black said...

Marilyn, you and I are kindrid spirits! I have a sticky note addiction!!! I have every color, shape, size, you name it I have it. Sticky notes are the best thing ever!

I have a systems a little different than yours but I think I like yours better. I write notes like you do, but I put them all in a notebook in layers on a page. I also pull pictures out of magazines and "scrapbook them for each WIP. I will also put sticky notes on the scrapbook pages for pictures of scenes that I have, clothes that my characters wears (like maybe what scene she or he is wearing it) things like that.

It is an necessary illness for writers like me!

Thank you for sharing. Sticky notes are a writers best friend.

Hugs

Micole

Anonymous said...

I use sticky notes and colors for story and character arcs and post them on my story board, this lets me know if I wrap up a threat or need more conflict/love or descriptions etc. Marian

Stacy McKitrick said...

No sticky notes for me, but I think I have a pad of paper located in nearly every room of the house (with a pen nearby, of course).

And because of that, I have a stack of loose paper piled up near my lap top. Even after I record them on my word document (for all notes), I can't seem to throw them away. Maybe I need to tape them like you do your stickies! Or just put them into an envelope. Why I can't throw them away, I'll never know.

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@Micole I would be kicked out the house if I owned so many stickies. Lol!

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@Marian I never taught to use an story board for my stickies. But I do have a stack of index cards waiting to be used....

Marilyn Muñiz said...

@Stacy I don't know exactly why I don't throw them out either. Rarely do I reread them. Maybe I don't want to throw out an idea.

Stacie Carver said...

I prefer the little sticky notes to the bigger ones. I only need a few words, so little is better.

Rosi said...

Sticky notes of all shapes, colors, and sizes, index cards (Did you know you can buy Post-It index cards?), and little notebooks I carry with me. But organized? Not so much. I do find long-forgotten treasures here and there that start me on new projects.

Anonymous said...

I have lavendar sticky notes, and white ones, alone with the usual pink, yellow, green and blue.

Pat

Ella Gray said...

Great post, Marilyn! This is yet another reason why my workspace is a lamentable mess, LOL.

Shelley Munro said...

I like stickey notes too and have some around, but I'm more likely to scribble a note in my notebook. That's where I do all my plotting.
Did you know you can get stickey notes to put on your computer? I have some on my desktop, which come as part of Windows (the recent one) but there are other widgets you can use that a re similar to post it notes.

Melanie said...

I do both, the computer ones and the physical ones. I discovered the blessing of stickies when I was doing Nanowrimo. I would get an idea, start writing the idea down and end up with a days word count. I've got stickies in layers on pages in journals. I discovered that I am a visual-spatial learner and stickies spatializes information.

My desktop stickies serve the same purpose. Capturing links when I'm researching, miscellaneous non-story related stuff when I'm trying to focus on writing. Journal, homework, you name it. Love the desktop stickies.

Now, about that coffee-office-shop...?
m

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