Integrating Moleskine & other paper-based notes

As I went through the Scrivener tutorial, I got really excited about ways that I can integrate some of my old-fashioned paper methodologies with Scrivener. For example, I use these colored note cards from Levenger to collect story ideas that come to me whenever. I carry blank cards in a Levenger Pocket Briefcase and when a story idea crosses my mind, I capture it on a card. I use a different color card to correspond to each of my specialties: food (green), wine (gold), travel (gray), spa (blue), blog posts (white).

Since index cards can be tinted in Scrivener, I’m going to start a project called Story Ideas, and fill it with index cards that mirror my handwritten ones. I suspect I’ll be able to pitch stories more effectively if I get these thoughts captured in a way I can review easily on Scrivener.

Another thing I want to try is scanning my Moleskine pages on a flatbed scanner and then bringing them into the Binder as Research. (I use Moleskines as a reporter’s pad to take notes when traveling, interviewing, etc.) Then I can split the Editor screen and refer to my handwritten notes while writing. This will keep me from fumbling through all those Moleskines during the creative process.

How cool is that?

I’d love to hear how other people use Scrivener to bring their handwritten notes into play.

I just type up all my Moleskine notes into the appropriate place when I return to my desk, crossing them out in the notebook as I go. Scanning them seems like a lot of effort :wink:

Typing them up also serves two useful functions; first, it allows me to expand and rewrite them slightly, assuming that the notes themselves were very brief and fragmented (which my handwritten notes inevitably are). Second, it embeds them a little more deeply into my memory - mainly because of the first point. If I have to think about whether or not something needs re-wording, then I’m concentrating more fully on the text itself.

If I scanned the Moleskine pages in, I fear I wouldn’t remember half of what I’d written, and so would have to trawl through every scan whenever I sat down to write, just in case there was something relevant in there. Also, I will often end up with notes for two or three different books on the same Moleskine page, and I really can’t be bothered having to slice the images up before importing them :slight_smile:

What antony wrote. There’s a lot to be said for typing up.

There are two circumstances in the past when I have scanned in. I used to make a lot of notes and diagrams on A4 pads, the pages got very untidy when physically filed and I scanned them in as a means of preserving them. I also used to put the scanned-in images up on the screen as sources for pounding the keyboard. But other than that, no scanning, just typing up - I find it can make a relaxing break from the task of writing the damn book!


What antony said.

The notes get written in many different places – waiting room, coffee shop, rest area on the bike path, kitchen table – and so include a wide range of ideas and comments and observations. Some are intended for a specific project, some are random, and some are for my own amusement only. The first two categories usually wind up in Scr, though in different docs or different projects; the third usually winds up in Journler. Scanning them just isn’t a practical way to store them. Besides, entering them as text is the first step in (always necessary) editing and revising.

Thanks for weighing in with your Moleskine > Scrivener experiences.

It seems I use Moleskines differently. I don’t carry one around with me day in and day out. I only use them when I’m traveling, or interviewing, so my handwritten notes are nicely segmented by topic. (I use Levenger note cards for capturing ideas on the fly.)

I’ve never been disciplined enough to type up my notes when I return, and as much as I agree that it would be better that way for the reasons you cite, I know myself well enough to say that it’s not going to happen. Life is just too hectic. The moment I return, I’m pulled back into the whirlwind pace. So, for me, scanning would be a good thing. At least that way I would have my notes easily accessible, by project, and thus more useful to me when I do get back to writing on that topic. And scanning is something I can delegate to the high school student who assists me. :wink:

Well I went back to taking notes and then transcribing\ editing

The passive voice demon has reared its ugly head.

It gets worst, copy is rubbish. So …

After readying this thread I went to the bookstore and got some moleskin and took out the fountain pens and cleaned the nibs.

I got three soft cover and one reporter type. I am using one of the soft covers for characters, another for plotting, and the third for background. I have been religiously transcribing every day… and I will probably tackle chapter one either this week or next week.

It is slower going… but the quality is that much better.

So for the moment I am carrying a moleskin (four of them actually) at all times now… and the laptop is staying home.

Good to hear!

I can definitely relate to your experience. There’s something about the flow of ink from a fine fountain pen that brings out my muse. I keep my box of fountain pens on my credenza…within arm’s reach. I find that incorporating fine pens and good quality paper in my writing keeps me grounded.

Keep us posted on your progress. :slight_smile:

I find it brings out ink smudges and writer’s cramp first.

But then, I am a lefty.

Well I finished doing treatment version one for the novel today… whoohooo!!!

I already see more motivations for the characters, who are coming next. I also went to the bookstore today and they had other notebooks on sale, with fine paper. So I got three of them, realizing that this is the way it works. I know tomorrow I will start tacking the other characters… and already sent this draft one to my other puter for printing… so I can start expanding it.

Reality is that I had to trash attempt four at the same novel… yes I have outlined the damn thing on the puter several times… but that cute passive voice came back with a vengeance… and academic dry style writing, appropriate for a thesis is not good for fiction. Now if I were writing the history of Kir, which I just may anyhow for the background… that is a different story… but I am not writing my graduate thesis… and this is the United States… thanks short form… short sentences, active voice… oh never mind. I am sure some literati think this is best.

Me, wishfully looking at some of the british writings… ah longer sentences and a lot of extra “u”…

Oh and there is another benefit…

See hand was starting to hurt… this ahem forced vacation from the keyboard actually has stopped that.

I guess that will also avoid carpal tunnal… yep classic signs and symptoms of it

Between the vacation (needed) and the fact that I’m not typing that much…

I sort of wrote an answer to this over in the digital pen thread, but a short reiteration:

Since I don’t/can’t write fiction in longhand, but do write story notes, research, etc., with fountain pens on nice smooth paper, I’m able to just scan in the pages with a Fujitsu ScanSnap document scanner and give the resulting files a clear name and add a few tags for later searching.

I don’t bother typing the notes in since all I need from them is to be able to find them again and reference them. (Some research notes do get typed, though.)

Though I have the option to scan to various types of files, I usually just scan to PDFs.

I do wish I could write fiction in longhand as I enjoy the act of handwriting, but since I type much faster than I can write, I usually can’t do more than a page or two before moving to a keyboard.

Can’t you just learn to write from right to left? Leonardo did it well…


I think what Aeonalina means, is, she`s an Outback Socialist Radical!!

Take Care

I see. A Maoist, refusing to write as a refusal of the old culture.


Quello è Paolo corretto. Triste, molto triste. :frowning:
Take care