I read an article the other day that talked about the concept of "Personal Knowledge Management". I had been a casual OneNote user in the past as I like the idea of having all of my thoughts from meetings, brainstorming, etc. full-text searchable. This article inspired me to take a much more dynamic and rigorous approach in "managing my knowledge".
One of the hindrances of using OneNote to have a digital record of all of my thoughts and ideas is the fact that I was keeping OneNote notebooks at work, on my laptop and my home computer and didn't have a good way to sync them up. This only highlighted how much cross-over the note taking was -- I would think of stuff that I needed to do at home while at work, and think of some cool new ideas for projects at work while at home. In order to be successful at keeping a good notebook, I needed a single notebook that was with me on any computer that I used, therefore making it simple and easy to use the app instead of the app using me.
I recently acquired a 1GB iPod Shuffle to accompany me on my runs. I highly recommend this gadget by the way if you enjoy listening to music while exercising. It's so light I hardly notice I have it with me when on the trail, yet I have inspiring tunes to help me over those tough hills and finish that last mile.
Well, even on my longest runs, I found that my play list was more than adequate and it was only taking up a fraction of the space on the iPod. I noticed that I could partition the space on the iPod to use some of it for data as this was essentially just a USB memory key with some software for playing the music files. I carved up some space on it and then set my OneNote options to point to the notebook on my iPod shuffle on all my machines. It works like a charm now.
The only downside that I have run across so far is that if I forget my iPod one day then I don't have my notebook with me and can't store it. However, in that situation, I just start a new one and manually copy the new pages over into my iPod Shuffle Notebook later. That being said, it's a rare occasion when I don't have it with me. It's so small and light, it goes right into my pocket the same way I automatically pick up my wallet, keys, and cell phone in the morning. Now, if someone could only figure out how to combine a wallet, key ring, and cell phone into an iPod Shuffle like device, I'd be golden.