First, I wish to announce that, after heaven knows how many plays, I have reached “first down”! Yep, a little over 10 yards woven. I cheerfully admit that football players do it a lot faster than I did, but they’re running, not weaving!
Someone asked me, a couple blog posts back, whether I use Microsoft OneNote to track my weaving. The answer is 50% yes. I do use (and love!) OneNote, but I don’t use it for my weaving. The problem (for me anyway) is that I have lots of different files for each project, and while OneNote is great for taking and organizing notes, you can’t gracefully tuck Fiberworks PCW files, spreadsheets, and full size .jpgs into it.
So instead I create a file folder for each project. Each file folder contains:
- the spreadsheet file used to calculate warp requirements, weft requirements, and dye formulas
- Any drafts associated with that project
- Original-size images AND reduced size images for each photo of the project-in-progress
- Anything else related to the project.
If it’s a big project, like the wedding dress, I may split it up into multiple folders. For example, the wedding dress file directory looks like this:
Muslins and patterns
As I go, I’ll add directories for the coat, etc.
I have my weaving directories organized like this:
1- In progress
Waiting in the wings
(planned but not yet started projects)
(projects I’ve already finished)
The reason for the “1” at the start of the “In Progress” is just to put it at the top of the folder. I use those folders all the time but rarely use the others, so it’s important to be able to find stuff quickly.
This organization scheme works for me because I’m not a prolific weaver. It might (possibly) be less viable if I were weaving a shawl a week for 20 years, but it works for me now. (I might add that I have another folder simply for experimental drafts.)
If I need the written history of a project, I refer to my blog. 🙂
Now, about OneNote. I use it primarily for two things: to record my chocolate experiments, and to keep track of Weavolution doings. It is unparalleled for organizing notes, IMO. For Weavolution, I have several section tabs – one for development meeting minutes, one for business meeting minutes, one for potential new features, one for a development to-do list, etc.
Inside each section tab I have pages and sub-pages. What I’m currently using it most for is tracking what the developers need to do and what they’ve already done. Inside the developers’ to-do section, I have a page for “Not yet sent to developers” where I file all the non-urgent bugfixes, new features for estimation, etc. that I’m aggregating before sending to them.
To make tracking individual items easier, I put each item in its own subpage. When I need to send stuff to the developers, I just export the “Not Yet Sent” page and all its subpages to a Word document, and send it off to the developers. Then I move all the subpages to the “In Progress” page. When the developers come back with estimated fix dates, I add the fix date to the title of the page (so it shows up in the tabs and I can track it). If the date passes and I haven’t heard that it’s been fixed, I move the page to be a subpage of “Need to discuss”, and then I know I need to bring it up at the next meeting with our developers.
And so on. It’s been vital to the development of Weavolution – I literally couldn’t function without it. I highly recommend it for tracking information, to-do lists, etc.
(After reading through the notes on OneNote a little more, I see that you can indeed embed files into it. I’ll have to think about whether I want to use it or stick with my file folder system…I am intrigued by the idea of tracking all my weaving projects in it! I do love the software…so I will experiment a little more and report back my findings.)
Some people have also recommended Evernote to me. It’s a web service that organizes notes, photos, etc. – is anyone out there using it, and if so what do you think of using it for weaving projects? Leave a comment if you’ve played with it!
Peg in South Carolina says
I too use this folder method of keeping project stuff together. I have not organized the sub-folders as neatly as I would like, however. I will have to work on that!
Microsft OneNote sounds very much like JotNotes, which is what I use for collecting notes.
I also use a program called InfoSelect for its ability to randomly collect stuff, stuff that may or may not get better organized into JotNotes or some other form. It also has my ToDo lists and To Buy lists. Has a calendar, but right now I am using Firefox’s calendar. I have a very early version of the program. It has gotten very expensive. So far upgrading has not seemed worthwhile.
I’m not a good record-keeper, but I do have to keep track of files that I make when I’m designing liftplans in Photoshop. I have a folder in My Documents called PS Liftplans. Within that folder, I have various subfolders (e.g., “40 shaft shear”–using the PS shear filter–or “bread in foreign languages” for a bread cloth in which the word bread is woven into the cloth in four different languages). It’s the organization within these subfolders that really matters b/c there’s a sequence to creating these liftplans. When I first started doing this, I simply named these files. But I quickly learned that I had to think like a computer if I wanted my list to be in the correct sequence that I made them. So they have names like “1base file” or “3in layers.” That way, when I list the files, I see them in the order they were made, and I can easily go back to the one I need if I want to make changes.
Alison Daykin says
I use a spread sheet I developed to calculate my warps, a spread sheet my partner developed, based on one I got at College, to record my woven swatches, to which I add swatches of yarn used when it’s printed out. I keep all these in a folder with the swatch or a photograph of it.
I keep these folders with the relevant sketchbooks, so that I have a complete record of my thoughts, written, drawn and woven!
thanks for the details on how you use OneNote. I think I’m the one who asked you about it before. I’ve been experimenting with it for organizing projects, because although Outlook Tasks are wonderful for each individual action, I find them frustrating for organizing project information. And it looks like OneNote is good for how I think.
I was trying Evernote — who can do better than free? — but I found myself frustrated with it. It clips things well, but the format in which it presented the notebook information made it difficult for me to read it.
to give you an example, in planning a new weaving project, I have one section in OneNote that enables me to group together all of the yarn notes, potential weaving drafts, internet links, and a few pictures all on one page. I can move some to subpages as I need to, but for now it is small enough that it is one page, visually grouped together, EXACTLY like a paper notebook. Evernote would allow me to put them all in one notebook, but each item is visually separate, and the software doesn’t allow me to move them around in relationship to each other the way I can on a OneNote section page.
Peg, it may be similar to the JotNotes, but OneNote allows you to use pictures, internet links, etc. not just text. It is much like what you are using for your project notebook — MS Publisher, right?
Now, OneNote isn’t perfect — it doesn’t allow me anywhere online access the way Evernote does, nor does it copy to my mobile phone so that I can see my projects anywhere. Evernote DOES do this. Now if I could just combine them!