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MoonHunter Sayeth 20180326

MoonHunter

Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
RPGnet Member
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GM's Tool: The Little Books.
Not those little books (which are usually phone files these days.)

Most players have a different idea about GM Tools than GMs do. GM's tend to need more tools than most players realize. Better GMs tend to have some extra tools, beyond the basics. That is what we are talking about in this post.

The GM's "Little Book" is not their black book or digital equivalent. It is the same thing as a writer's little book. It is a book (or digital equivalent) that the creative keeps with them to capture ideas that they have. These ideas could be "in the wild", or on a website, or in a book, or a movie, or what ever. These little books (little because the small size makes them easy to keep with you), are full of notes, ideas, and if they are digital - urls and images. Each one is a captured gem of an idea: a npc, a plot (or plotlet), a setting piece, a piece of a scene, a writing prompt, some useful information for later, and so on. They could be for stories, games, or just some nebulous project in the future.

These gems are great. They Feed The Beast that is the creative's muse or imagination. Yet, they are easy to forget. They might rattle around in their subconscious for a while. To use them, the creative needs to remember them (or find them again).

The reason why creatives have the little notebooks: So they can look through it and remind themselves of "those little gems". You can copy down the entire piece of information or a detailed enough note to be able to find it again Note: For Gems in a book., list books and page numbers (and sometimes column or paragraph number) if you don't want to write the entire thing down - just a title and a location to find it again.

Now what is the notebook? Anything really. A collection of note cards or napkins would do. But to be honest, not very well.

The traditional "little notebook" for writers and other word using is a Moleskine® notebook. Its an author thing. Famous authors do it. An artist might use a Moleskine® sketchbook. (Again teachers and famous artists do it.) Many of us on the beginner or student track sticks with a simple spiral bind of lower quality (and price). The nice element of a traditional physical notebook is that it reminds you it is there by the function of its presence. So it reminds you to enter things in... or browse it when you need to.

Many people have moved away from separate notebooks. They use their phone these days... keeping their notes in a digital format. There are so many options in the digital space, you need the ones that work best for you. Keep, Evernote, Onenote, Bear, and even Drive (or some other online storage program), all work for your digital notebook. The advantage of digital is usually the search functions and they are always there, because most people are never far from their pads or phones.

If you are more of a collage/ visual type and/ or a net infovore, then Pinterest is the program for you. A feed of other ideas, the ability to select and hold (pin) interesting visuals or websites/ articles in folders you easily create. When I need inspiration, I browse my folders... occasionally reading an article or website. (I use pinterest for rpg gaming, comics/ supers rpgs, writing, fan stuff (also useful for gaming), figure images, and some other random things).

And there is no one way. I have used two modes at a time for notes at any given time (notebook/ digital or digital drive and pinterest). I go through my box of ideas when ever I have some time and some interest.

The act of writing something down helps you remember it, as does looking at pieces of it again and again. (See Magic 3x5). Still the act of looking through your notebook (no matter the form) will refresh your memory, stir the subconscious, and perhaps inspire something.

Blog entry
Now all of this topic came up was "I was a bit stuck" a few days ago. I kept focused at it all and came up with nothing. I stopped trying to force it and rummaged through my notes, and now I have five partial blog posts set up.

The act of note booking and reviewing it (to Feed The Beast ) really does work. I have gotten inspiration from my little online notebook for my last few/ next few blog posts.
 
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