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I find inspiring maps and/or brief, 1-line design tips (i.e. "when satellite image is used as a basemap, I like to desaturate the tarnation out of it" that I may want to consider later using in a project or as inspiration as a design for a future map, from a variety of sources (blogs, tweets, forums, here) during my daily internet browsing and online interaction.

I'm curious to hear how each of you, especially cartographers and others specializing in map design store all of this information ?

Right now, I store these bits of information across the sources that I find it on: favorited tweets, bookmarks in my browser (do you use tags ?), pinboard, favorited gis.se questions, and a text file (with the tidbit of information and the URL of where I found it).

I occasionally notice that I ended up bookmarking it in a different place, or not knowing that I had that information already saved somewhere until after I needed it.

Where do you find it efficient to store these tips ? Do you only look at these saved tips when you're looking for something specific or is it beneficial to occasionally review them without a specific goal in mind ?

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suggest community wiki since this could have many good answers –  user3461 Nov 26 '13 at 14:13

2 Answers 2

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Evernote for keeping track of tips, tricks, and how-to's. I used to keep snippets and the like in text files, but the search functionality of Evernote is awesome (you can even embed PDFs and it will find within the PDF [this is a Premium feature]) as is the tagging and categorizing abilities. Plus, it's available on just about any platform, so I have it on all my computers (Macs and PCs), my Android phone, and my Android tablet. Plus, you can always get to it on the web as well. The free version suits most people just fine. Plugins/apps exist for most browsers too, so clipping and storing web content is a breeze.

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While I also use Evernote occasionally, I have been using Google Bookmarks to bookmark links to my tips, tricks, how-to's, and blogs that I find on the web. The downside of this approach, of course, is that you can't just "jot down an idea" because you can only bookmark an existing link.

On the other hand, much like Evernote, being able to have access to those links from just about any device (Android has apps that will tunnel into Google Bookmarks) or any web browser (both the IE Google Toolbar & Firefox plugins make it very easy to add new bookmarks), is great. When you create a new bookmark, you can add multiple "Labels" (think tags). What I like most about "Labels", though, is that each Label becomes a "virtual folder", and an individual bookmark is stored/sorted into ALL of the "virtual folders" that you labeled (tagged) it with.

So lets say you bookmark a single site and give it the labels "cartography" and "python". If you had put that into a traditional browser "bookmark folder", 6 months down the road, of course, you don't remember which folder you put it in and can't find it again. With Google Bookmarks, your options to find the same bookmark are:

  1. Search the bookmarks by keyword (easiest if you know what you are looking for),
  2. Browse all the bookmarks in the "cartography" virtual folder,
  3. Browse all the bookmarks in the "python" virtual folder.

By having the "virtual folders" based on the "Labels", it is easy find your stored bookmarks later, and there is no real "file structure" organization needed, other than limiting the number of labels you use. It also makes it easy to save something and then, when possibly looking for something else at a later date, stumble across an old bookmark and think "gosh, I could really use this now".

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