As a writer, I have my own personal way of cataloguing my story ideas and notes. Some writers may jot down their ideas on index cards and keep them in a index card box…or other writers may have an entire wall of post-it notes (btw, I bought a big package of post-its, in multiple colors, to track my novel and short story plots–hey, it was suggested to me years ago, and I tried it, but I think I’ll try again).
So–how do I catalogue my story ideas and notes? I email my story ideas to myself, with the story idea in ALL CAPS in the subject header. This way, as I riffle through my email inbox, I know that anything with ALL CAPS in the subject header is a story idea or something pertaining to my fiction.
It’s worked well for years–I can sort by time (click date sent on my inbox) and I can sort alphabetically too (click subject on my inbox).
However, after years of relying on this brilliant system, I finally ran into a flaw (every system has a flaw).
Our mailserver went down a couple days ago, for an entire weekend. It is up and running now and I find an empty mailbox refreshing…but it also means that my entire archive of ideas and notes are…GONE….along with old emails from friends, and the kind of information that gets exchanged via email (addresses, for instance).
I think that if you’re running on gmail or yahoo or any of the other free email systems, you’ll be fine. But if you’re running your own mailserver–this system has its major pratfall.
And now I throw out the question to you–how do you catalogue your story ideas?