Microsoft has been slowly releasing clients for OneNote for various platforms, including iOS for the iPad, Windows Phone 7 and Android, all of which automatically sync changes up to a document on SkyDrive. This is pretty cool, so a couple months ago I decided to get over my general wariness of hosted online services and start using it to keep notes of things when I'm away from my computer.
First it was just my To Do list (which I'm constantly adding to, but never seem to remove stuff from), but then I started using it to jot down ideas for potential blog posts. I've been using Twitter for my quick ideas for a few years now, but recently I've gotten more and more frustrated at not being able to write more than a few sentences - an actual paragraph of thought. Most of the time, I don't need much more than that to express a nascent opinion or idea, but 140 characters is almost always too little. But the problem with just writing that stuff directly to my blog is that I redesigned it a year or so ago to reflect my recent style of posting - longer posts, written once or twice a month. Dumping a bunch of random thoughts here as I get them as it is now would've hidden the longer posts and look sort of awkward. So instead, I decided to hold off on posting the ideas until I fleshed them out a bit more and put them into OneNote instead. It's been working really well - I simply flip over to it as I'm reading news on my iPad or phone, tap out a quick idea using full sentences (which I can do surprisingly rapidly, despite using just my thumbs on the on-screen keyboard), and then flip back.
Here comes the rub... I never got around to fleshing any of them out and now I've got an absolute ton of paragraph sized ideas in OneNote sitting there waiting for me to do something with them. There are about 70 or so different paragraphs totally 9,000+ words. Considering the longest post I've ever written is like 3,500 words, this is a decent sized chunk of text. I can't believe I let this queue up so long. Going back and trying to flesh them all out into longer posts would be nutty, and putting them into one long post would be a jumbled mess and probably would never get read.
What I'm going to do instead is actually post them all individually like they probably should have been in the first place. I'll have to redesign the site a bit, but that's ok as it looks like I might be posting this way for a while as I sort of like it. I don't think the design will need much change, actually, I think I'll just add some sort of 'big idea' flag to the database so I can write longer ideas once in a while and have them listed in a more prominent way. Then the rest can be considered posts more akin to what you see on Facebook or Google+ (which both happily support actual paragraphs and images), or if I think about it, more akin to what I used do all the time back when I first started blogging. My blog used to be just where I'd write up random ideas and thoughts as I got them, even if they were only a few paragraphs in size - not sure why I decided that was a bad thing. And besides, I'm putting too much crap on Facebook lately anyways - I'd rather have that stuff here.
So, prepare... A deluge of posts is coming. After that, we'll see if I can get into a rhythm or not. Maybe all those ideas I have in OneNote just represent a backlog of thoughts, and after I dump them all out, they won't come to me nearly as quickly any more. We'll see...