When it comes to writing, the hardest part for me is getting new ideas for articles. I used to just hope I’d remember them long enough to either start writing about them when I had the chance or write down the idea itself in a list. That’s when I started using Wunderlist to manage my writing ideas, but I soon stopped using it since the developers didn’t update the apps with the bug fixes that it needed so badly.
Then one day I had nothing to do and I stumbled upon Simplenote, a note-taking service that’s name pretty much explains itself. You’ve definitely heard of it before, so I’m not going to give you a tour of what it’s able to do, but rather tell you why I like it. In addition, I use Wunderkit (developed by the same people as Wunderlist, but far better) to manage my tasks. I’ll also be giving some thoughts on that in this article, so keep reading for some reasons why you should use these two services to organize your ideas.
Jot Down Thoughts with Simplenote
The first thing I generally do when I think of something to write about is add it to my Simplenote “Writing ideas” list because it automatically syncs to all my devices for convenient viewing. Not only that, but they’re also good at keeping the updates coming with either bug fixes or new features. I will almost always use an app that has reliable developers than one that has better features.
I also use Simplenote for quick thoughts and other lists because it’s really great for these types of things. For instance, instead of creating a document with Pages on my Mac or iOS device, I just open up Simplenote and type in exactly what I was going to say. With me, it can be anything from a list of what I want to buy in the future to college stuff. I even have an entire list of my email addresses in there.
One thing I’d love to see in Simplenote eventually is an automatic bullet maker for list notes. This would be great for those times when I don’t feel like pressing the “-” key every time I want to create a new list item. It might take away a little of that “simple” feel that the service has, but there are always areas new features can be inserted.
Organize Tasks with Wunderkit
When I have a few things to do in my Simplenote list, I head over to 6Wunderkinder’s Wunderkit and add them to my “Writing ideas” project. After that I generally comment on them with some additional details on the the key points I’ll give in the article. If it’s an editorial then I try to make sure I log all my thoughts in the comments so I don’t forget what I wanted to say when I begin writing the article.
Once I have everything added to my tasks list, I’ll try to organize each task by importance or priority, depending on what editor asks me to do something first.
After that, I’ll usually put a due date on the task and add a reminder so I can at least try my best to get it done by a certain time. I don’t use tags in Simplenote or Wunderkit right now, but I’m sure I’ll make use of them sometime in the future. If something needs to be done immediately, I favorite it and make sure it gets done by the end of that day.
Use Wunderkit as a Journal
Now that everything has been added and organized, all I have to do is finish a task. If I leave something for any amount of time, I like to comment on the task with a short summary of what I wanted to say next. This ensures that I don’t miss any thought in the article, which is very useful when writing and can also be helpful in other tasks.
One other useful feature of Wunderkit is the Stream. When I open this up, all my recent activity is available so that I can either see what task I was doing last and where I left off or what I should be doing next. I can also update my status – like on Facebook – by typing it in at the top and pressing enter. I’m not sure about others, but this really helps me to both stay on task and make sure I finish the correct task with everything I wanted to say.
The last thing I can see myself using Wunderkit for in the future is school. When I was in college, things were a bit scattered and I never really got things done when I was hoping to. I think Wunderkit can come in handy for journaling my activity and making sure I stay on task. There’s a lot more to staying on task than just that, but Wunderkit will definitely come in handy when I return to college later this year.
Try It Out
You’ve now seen how I use a combination of Simplenote and Wunderkit to keep my ideas with me everywhere and make sure they aren’t lost. There are lots of applications for this, but I’ve only been using it for one so far. Do you think these tools could come in handy for things that you do each day? Let us know in the comments below.