Your NaNo Guide: Note Taking

Published for my Clearing Out Drafts Goal.

This was supposed to be published a long time ago – for NaNoWriMo 2015 – and for a while I thought about keeping it in my drafts until NaNo 2016, but ultimately I decided to go ahead and publish it. Otherwise I might not ever.

I prefer taking notes – for class and for writing – by hand rather than on my computer. It’s been proven to improve your memory (and goodness knows I need help with that) and its just more fun! But if taking notes on your computer or phone or tablet works for you then keep doing it. This is just how I do it.

Short Term

I keep a page of notes in my planner, this includes character names (so I don’t forget how they’re spelled) and locations and the like. The planner works great because I always have it with me during NaNoWriMo (because I’m at school and the planner is always in my school bag).


  • Its always with me /Β Small and portable
  • Having less space makes me really think about just writing the important things


  • Not a lot of space to write
  • I might need that space for other things later

Long Term

I have several notebooks – I call them my ‘story note books’ affectionately – and I keep scribbling in them. This lets me write a lot of information, and because it’s hand written I’m more likely to remember it and I can sketch things (family trees, languages, maps, pictures, etc) out so I don’t forget them. And because I change my mind a lot, switching names, relationships, etc, I can always go back and find earlier drafts if I change my mind.


  • Lots of room to write
  • Isn’t carried around all the time, so I don’t have to worry about dropping it somehwere


  • Sometimes I lose the notebooks
  • Forgetting which notebook has the info I need
  • I don’t have it with me at all times

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