Computer Notes VS Pen and Paper

Started writing a new draft for a no budget script this week that I’d love to direct myself sometime in the future (Hopefully within next few years). This is the first script that I’ve ever fully written the notes for on my Mac rather than pen and paper and have to say I think the notes have gone well.

I finally decided to give Scrivener a try using their 30 day trail and found that I could organise myself well on it. I’ve always preferred pad and pen because I’m quite instinctive with notes and tend to write out plenty of streams of idea’s rather than anything to precise, but the problem always comes with matching notes up to older notes as the process moves along. Searching through hundreds of pages for one thing you wrote at some point isn’t the easiest but the pro’s have always out weighed the cons.

But as I think more and more about travelling, and as it gets harder to search through my wardrobe full of note pads and folders, I’ve come to the conclusion that like my photography its better to have everything on the computer and backed up via Dropbox and iCloud. That news article the other week of the writer rushing back into his burning home to save his novel could so easily be me. (Well, probably not, but why risk it).

For me Scrivener works nicely as it doesn’t fill to formal. I’ve always found it harder to delete sentences on the computer than rip out a page from my notepad (No idea why) but with this I can link together ideas and colour code things and it just seemed to flow. I doubt it’s for everyone but it suited my style of note writing well. Part of me still wants to just sit there with a notepad but it doesn’t feel practical. Like I’d have to just write them up afterwards anyway so why bother.

Every time I look at the 50 plus full folders in my cupboard I wonder how I’ll ever find what I’m looking for. I’d love to turn all them notes into PDF one day (Maybe when I can afford an assistant) but that’s just not happening anytime soon. The other day while looking for a photo for Viewbug I found what I was looking for in minutes despite the photo being 10 years old and It just occurred to me that the same should happen with my writing. I spent a few hours looking for some script notes not too long ago and it involved moving around and searching through about twenty folder. That’s just too much hassle now. Would rather just have folders on my computer and Dropbox.

So I think i’m going to stick with writing notes on the computer for my next idea after this one and see how it goes. This current script is a second draft from an idea that’s a few years old where my next one is a brand new idea from scratch. Will be interesting to see if it works the same way for me coming up with all the initial ideas and story beats and characters. Hopefully will be fine. I’d miss pen and paper but as long as I can match the quality of my previous notes it just makes sense to move forward and use the Mac and obviously is much easier for backing up and never having to run into a burning building.




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