I like to think of myself as someone who doesn’t fetishize tools, but the truth is I can’t write without my special Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. I’m so dependent on it, in fact, that I buy multiple backups on eBay and keep them in my closet because they stopped making the model I like 15 years ago.

I use Word because I have Office. I tried Google Docs until I read the ToS and realized I was in jeopardy of having them own everything I create so I moved off of there and back to Word.

The one thing I’ve never done much of is note taking. My preferred approach to writing is to just have a general idea in my head and blast away in the word processor until I figure out what I want to do and then do another version or two. That’s fine, and it’s certainly fun, but it’s not efficient and now that I’ve challenged myself to write one new short story per month, I need to speed up the process.

I downloaded Notes today and have begun using it to organize my assault on the short stories I have planned. After a day’s use, it turns out to be a very useful little product. The interface is simple and clean and purposeful (it drives me crazy that I only use 1% of Word’s features) but the platform it’s built on is well thought out.

For instance, your stuff is private.  Encrypted private. After the nasty shock of Google’s ToS, that was a very nice feature to happen across. It also supports multiple tags per note. That helps with organization. For instance, #blog for posts and #story for short stories and #working for stories or posts I’m actually working at the moment.

The most useful feature, though, is just using it. Working out the bones of a story before writing it saves a ton of time and reduces the number of drafts necessary from 10 to 2 or 3.

You can download it here.



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