I’ve been using 3×5 note cards for a while now. The biggest benefit is being able to distill scenes or ‘beats’ onto individual cards, forcing me to work in manageable chunks and not get distracted by other parts of the story. Note cards are also easy to shuffle.
But there is one downside that I’ve been fighting; Note cards require a lot of space to lay out flat and get the bird’s eye view of the story. It is also physically difficult to cross-reference characters, places, or historical events within your note cards without the use of stickers, highlighters, or some system of special markings. Managing note cards and their associated materials becomes a task in itself.
This means when you set aside time to work on your story, and begin laying out the note cards it’s more like a big event — out come the stickers, highlighters, pencils, erasers, extra note cards. It’s like dumping out your basket for a full blown craft session. If you enjoy that kind of exhaustive ritual, more power to you. But if you’re like me, you value space, efficiency, and effective use of time not spent wrangling all these physical materials then you’re in luck.
SuperNotecard is for you.
SuperNotecard is the virtual equivalent of your story craft basket. You can lay down an infinite number of cards on the workspace, organize them into decks, and cross reference them to other cards or decks in many different ways. It gives you all the power you’d have with ordinary notecards, but with infinite supply and without the physical clutter in your house or apartment.
SuperNotecard is not entirely different from Text Block Author, the little freeware brother of which I’ve mentioned in previous posts. The difference is mainly in the cleanliness and intuitiveness of the interface. SuperNotecard beats Text Block Author hands down in that department.
How did I find SuperNotecard? When I mentioned Text Block Writer on this blog, the one and only Ian Hocking posted in the comments that he uses the Mac-only Scrivener software. I had a friend load the Scrivener demo up on his Mac, and sure enough Scrivener impressed the socks off me.
The problem is I don’t have a Mac.
Thus begun my epic Google search on “Scrivener for Windows.” After digging through dozens of forums, in some of which the Scrivener creator stated himself that there would be no Windows version, I found one poster’s reference to a windows equivalent of Scrivener called SuperNotecard. I downloaded the demo and before long, I was sold.
The demo works for 30 days, at which time you pay a modest $29. SuperNotecard can be used for both fiction and non-fiction projects. An alternate version of SuperNotecard exists which is aptly titled SuperNotecard for Scriptwriting. It too has a demo.
If you enjoy using 3×5 note cards but get tired of the hassle and clutter, then SuperNotecard might be as perfect a solution for you as it is for me.