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A webmaster's journal

format or software for journal

     
4:20 am on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Similar to many of you (I expect), several recent events here have made me realize that it is not enough to keep a couple of binders on my desk with printed test results, notes on IP addresses that warranted attention, and annotated print-outs of things that worked and things that didn't. Not to mention the inevitable little scraps of paper.
I need a journal -- A daily or 'as necessary' record of what I did and why, with cross-references to those relevant print-outs and other things.
So, what general format has worked for those of you who do this?
At my age and given my shakey hand-writing, keyboard entry might be better for me. Is there any commercial or FOSS software with a suitable format, the right headings, blanks and spaces for recording those things that are important to us?
Any suggestions? Thanks.
4:50 am on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The basic tools all work.

Word processor
Spreadsheet
Database

Anything else is merely a repackaging of the above.

I use an Access database simply because I've had it since 1997. Built once, keeps on ticking (updated to 2007, of course). (Was originally dBase when I was running BBS systems in the 1980s-90s)

Do the same with sql or whatever.

Other softwares of use are project management (gantt), time and billing, FAQ .... all can be shoehorned into use. Infinitely better than yellow post its stuck on the monitor. :)
5:01 am on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I just put notes in a text file. I always have my text editor open and minimized ready to add ideas/info.

The file resides in a protected directory on my server, so I have access from my mobile devices. I'm only at my desktop a few hours a day, but do a lot of work from mobile.
5:52 am on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That's what Evernote was created for.
The user can add text, links, tables (not so well), images or anything else.

It is available from your desktop (or online for Linux) and as mobile app, so you can eccess it everywhere.
6:19 am on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I had some unimportant stuff on my phone's Evernote app and one day it vanished. Went to the cloud account to find it and it was in fact gone. Don't trust it now.
7:49 am on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Most times you want full control of your journal ie, do not depend on a third party to keep your records alive!

Text editor is minimum (as keyply notes above). Spreadsheet or database for the more anally retentive for rapid search/range operations over time/field criteria and it MUST BE YOUR PRODUCT IN HOUSE.

Aside: in these days of privacy intrusion revelations gone amok, do you dare share?
1:46 pm on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One of the tools I use is OneNote. I've used it for years and find it invaluable.
Whichever system you choose, your notes need to be easily searchable and you should take time to periodically review and cleanse.
11:27 pm on Apr 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, everyone. Lots of good ideas above, several of them I had half-thought about but others had never occurred to me at all. Thanks for the encouragement, as well.

For starters, I will give RedNotebook a try. It seems simple, runs on Linux, can search for tags at least, files and images can be inserted, uses local storage(!), offers back-up and export, etc. It will help to replace my scraps of paper and can apparently store some of the docs that I would otherwise print out. Maybe more. It's a start.

Thanks to all of you for getting me going in the right direction.
2:51 pm on Apr 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hmm... That looks like it might make a good fishing journal. :)
2:55 pm on Apr 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@martinibuster
Which one the one that the OP decided to try, despite the fact that no one mentioned it let alone suggest it?
6:18 pm on Apr 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I just put notes in a text file.
Every now and then, when I open the notes for some in-progress--or even completed & posted--ebook, I find at the bottom of the file a slew of notes about html, or access control, or ideas-for-future-projects. I wrote them down in whatever document I happened to have open at the time, and promptly forgot all about it.
7:08 pm on Apr 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Every now and then, when I open the notes...
Like finding change in the pockets of pants you're about to wash?
8:46 pm on Apr 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS -- Guess I should clarify my choice. Evernote looked good but, as far as I understood, it seems a user is only a client of remote storage, and that would have been messy. Onenote looked good but is not available for Linux users (me). So I had to cast about to find an alternative. Even found one relevant article that recommended ten or so different programs, but most of them didn't qualify for my application so I ended up trying RedNotebook. Not sure that I like it yet and might end up just creating and updating a text file in any old editor. Whatever works, as they say.
 

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