Note-taking video

For my most precious notes, I adopted a workflow using Notepad (quickly capturing), Condensr (thinking), and WordPress (long-term storing).

Here is the transcript and description of what you see in the video.

I am right in the middle of my normal work. Suddenly …
(the desktop shows some open windows)

... an idea comes to mind: ‘Lorem’ has something to do with ‘ipsum’ !
(referring to the popular placeholder-text)

I fire up Notepad,
(double-click on a blue shortcut to C:\WINDOWS\system32\notepad.exe, equivalent to Start > All Apps > Windows Accessories > Editor)

type it in,

and save it in ‘lorIps.txt’
(I don’t think much about the name, because I can always see it contents with a quick eye saccade; for more, see
File > Save,
close the editor window)

I drop it into ‘new’ and return to my task.
(Pick the file icon and drag-and-drop it onto the icon of a folder shortcut to the folder called ‘new’;
press a task bar button to resume an app)

Some weeks later, I look at all the new notes and start to categorize them.
(Double-click the folder shortcut to see 30+ text file icons)

The art is to avoid premature pigeon-holing — to see new connections and to notice when a new category is needed.
Still, of course, most of the daily stuff goes quickly to the project folders of the Operating System.
(For more, see )

with the Condensr downloaded from the web.
go to the browser’s download sidebar,
start ‘dm.jar’ per double-click, once is installed and security warning confirmed,
the Condensr’s Main Window opens;
minimize the browser window)

I drag and drop the notes right onto the canvas.
(In the folder window of ‘new’, select all text files;
while the mouse-pointer is anywhere in the selected range, press and hold the mouse button, move it to the large left pane of the Condensr and release it;
many index card icons will appear there, each representing a text file;
click on the icon labeled ‘lorIps.txt’ and find its text in the right pane;
repeat that for another card icon.)

I can create new categories...
(right-click on an empty spot in the canvas pane;
in the pop-up dialog, click ‘New item’,
a new item appears;
right-click it,
in the pop-up dialog, click the red button,
the new icon becomes red;

click a neighboring icon,
press and hold the middle mouse-button (for alternative methods of the modified drag operation see the help text),
the cursor assumes the cross-hair shape,
drag it to the red category icon and release it,
a connector line appears representing the category membership;

repeat this connecting operation,
look into other items to see if they should be connected;

in reality, these connection decisions will take a lot of thought, but it is facilitated by an optimized mix of detail and overview,
for more, see )

and drop my reusable categories on the canvas.
(show desktop (minimize all windows by clicking on the extreme lower right corner, or by Windoews key + D),
I pick my prepared map ‘categories.xml’ in which I previously saved seven red icons labeled with silly demo category names;
I drag the file icon first down to the task bar button representing my Condensr app (a Java coffee cup icon);
when the mouse cursor touches this icon, the app window reopens, and without releasing the mouse button, I can drop my file icon onto the canvas;
the canvas scrolls upwards, and the 7 new Condensr icons appear;
I connect two items to two of the new red category icons, and rearrange a bit.)

After some time, the map might be finished.
(I may have suspended the important mapping work, and saved it in a map called ‘demo-later.xml’;
I reopen it by dragging it onto the icon of a .bat file which is sitting in the top margin of my desktop; it is called ‘launchCondensr.bat’ and contains the following content:
java -jar “%USERPROFILE%”\Downloads\dm.jar %1
where %USERPROFILE% will be replaced by something like C:\Users\yourname, and %1 will be replaced by the name of the file whose icon you’re dropping on the .bat icon — this is a small one-time setup investment that pays back a lot of ease later;
the map is opened, and I resize the window and pan the map by dragging its empty background)

I export it to my Localhost WordPress.
(from the Condensr menu bar, click Export > to WordPress WXR format)

I specify the color of my categories
(in the option page, click on the checkbox colored red,

and a folder for the export file
(browse to the destination folder;
ideally, when this is the folder of your text files, their last-change dates can be used later in WordPress;
click Save,
close the Condensr window,
the map and the command prompt window disappear.)

Now I switch to WordPress and import it.
(I have previously installed XAMPP from and WordPress from
the screencast shows it already opened as admin;
in the Dashboard, I click Tools > Import (which has been obtained via ‘Available Tools’ first),
click WordPress > Run Importer,
browse to the saved WXR file and click Open,
click ‘Upload File and Import’ (where ‘upload’ may be confusing and means here: to your Localhost web server),
on the next page, click Submit,
click All done. > Have fun.
the admin dashboard appears,
go to Local > Visit Site,
scroll down to see your notes in chronological backwards order)

I can browse the notes in context by category or by date.
(Click one of the category names on the right,
scroll down.)