"Project management", i.e. keeping track of ideas

I split my working time between teaching and doing research, and I often come up with brilliant ideas for new research projects, to deal with in the future, some day, when there is enough time for it. Once upon a time a wrote them down in a notebook (physical, made of paper), or on a piece of paper, with the result that I would have to come up with the same idea later on because I couldn’t find the old note.

Now in the digital era I have tried all kinds of “digital notebooks”, from simple text files to GTD-software, different kind of notebook software, Evernote, etc. The problem is that so far nothing seems to work. All I need is a way to quickly see a list of all ideas in waiting, be able to pick one and possibly add some comments, or a link to some relevant article, and so on.
In Evernote the list disappeared among everything else I collect. In Wunderlist my ideas disappear among normal daily to-do’s (because I deal with trees and projects typically lasts for years or decades).

Then I recently realised: “… a list of all ideas in waiting, be able to pick one and possibly add some comments” sounded a lot like when I am working in Scrivener, so I tried it, and it seems to work! And, when an idea goes from the waiting list to active, all I have to do is to move it from the waiting list to a new Scrv project and all my comments are there when I start. Nice! :slight_smile:

Have you tried Scrivener’s pop-up Scratch Pad?

Shift-command-return, and there it is, no matter what program you’re working in (as long as Scrivener is open).

I keep a to-do list there, and various ideas or clips from articles or whatever. When I get time I shunt the files to their various repositories using the Send to Project command at the bottom of the window.

The To-Do list stays where it is, added to or subtracted from as needed.

And: if you keep the Scratchpad folder in Dropbox you can access and add to it from an i-Pad or phone (I have a Drafts action `send to Scratchpad’ - works very nicely).

Tried it before, but didn’t get the hang of it, but now I can see what you both mean.
But, the last comment, about the Drafts’ action, I didn’t understand.

Sorry - I was referring to this iOS app:


Once you have written a note you can send it using built in and configurable `actions’ to any Dropbox folder, another app etc

A Send to Scratchpad would be nice, but I don’t find it in the list of available actions for Draft.

Wow! Ahh! I get it! :smiley:
I now have Draft on my iPad saving to a specific txt-file in Dropbox, which is then visible in Scratch Pad when I move to my MacBook.
A really neat trick to save Scrivener-project-related thoughts or ideas, and it fits well into my “project management” Scrivener project.

Yes - works very nicely: my system is probably overkill, but I have a Dropbox folder called Scrivener Scratch Pad and it’s pointed to by Scrivener itself and by Ulysses 3 (as an external folder) because sometimes I just like writing in Ulysses; and it’s also indexed by DevonThink Pro so its contents appear in any searches or groups I make there.

Very nice idea - thanks.

Could you please explain what the name is of that file, inside the folder, in Dropbox?

The Scratchpad on my MBP is “seeing” the specific folders, and all is displayed correctly when I select notes that were originally created in the Scratchpad, before moving them to Dropbox.

I’ve set up Drafts - it’s writing the text files to DB - but the Scratchpad window for that folder remains empty.

Are you using “TXT.rtf” as the filename in Dropbox?
And what are your Preferences settings for Scratchpad inside Scrivener?

Sorry for all the questions - but this is a really useful link that I would like to try and get working!

Draft need to save the files as .txt
Otherwise they become empty.

I agree and keep a separate folder in the Binder for notes like these. And also this is why I use Simplenote on my iPhone, syncing with the five or six notes files in that Binder folder.