We ramble about code, technology and life. Sometimes we actually code...

My note-taking habits

by Kyluke McDougall on 14 September 20143 min read

Yes, they're strange and a little weird to set up but I like it and it works for me.

Blog posts

My blog posts are all stored in Dropbox as Markdown files. Dropbox because it's easy to use for the different devices. It works with Jotterpad and I can very easily sync my files. Dropbox getting hacked is not a concern of mine because nothing personal is kept on there, only temporary blog posts.

My blog posts then get edited either on my PC using Sublime Text and the MarkdownEditor plugin, which is really cool by the way, and Jotterpad on my Tablet and phone (sometimes a good idea hits when I've only got my mobile on me).

These files are always synced using Dropbox across my devices, which means I can start my post at home, work on it at a coffee shop and finish it while sitting in traffic.

30 Seconds

This is a new system for me, I've posted about it before on a separate blog of mine but it was initially inspired by this post. This for me is quite important because we don't often get to the core of the meeting and sometimes miss what it's really about because we're too preoccupied with our own agendas.

These notes are important to me, so I write them in a notebook. Why do I do this? This is why.


The sparkfile is based on an idea I got from this blog and it's something I'm still toying with. This works almost hand in hand with my blog posts and gets edited in the same manner.

The idea behind the sparkfile is that ideas are fragile, they go as fast as they come and before we know it, we have no idea what we were even thinking about.

So I use a sparkfile. I small file that I have on Dropbox that just contains snippets of ideas or thoughts that come and go through my mind.

Some of them turn into blog posts, others I'll keep for later.

Meeting Notes

Meeting notes are very simple. Evernote. Now I know a lot of people either love Evernote or hate it. I have neither feelings towards it. It stores my meeting notes, I can create handwritten notes using my Tablet and its stylus and I can access that info on any device. I'm happy with that.

I only have two notebooks. A company notebook and a personal notebook.

Personal Notes

Personal notes, are, well, personal. So I keep them in a book, leather bound of course :)

These notes are used to sort my mind and give myself time to really spend time with certain thoughts. Be it personal or business related. They follow and work very closely with the blog posts and often a personal note will turn into a blog post or vice versa.

The reason I choose a book the same reason I keep my 30 seconds in a book.

Note taking can be used to sort ideas and thoughts in your mind. It gives you time and a space to give them a chance to grow into something. Otherwise they're almost pointless.