I've been reading one of my Christmas gifts, Mike Rohde's wonderful The Sketchnote Handbook. Now, I can't draw worth a damn, but I do take photo notes daily. So, while we mostly talk about photography as a art or business pursuit, I think one of it's most useful functions may be as a visual note taking device.
Plain-text note taking apps have been the rage for a few years now. But I believe, for us visual thinkers, there are times when words (or words alone) just won't do. Just this past week, I've taken photos to remember where I parked, what someone wrote on the back of a business card, a snail mail letter I needed to reply to, the latest plans to our new home, a return address from an unexpected card and a car with eyelashes on the headlights I wanted to laugh at a few more times before it got to be an annoying trend.
Sometimes these photos are attached to projects and sometimes they're just-in-case reference items for the future. To store the notes, I've gone back to Evernote (something I never thought I'd do). Even though it strips meta data and exporting is an issue, the frictionless nature of the photo OCR and the ubiquity of the service means I spend no time on organization. The less time you spend capturing and organizing your photo notes the better, because, chances are, you'll never need to retrieve the majority of what you consider important today. Why waste time? Evernote is the perfect tool for embracing impermanence.
I admit to having an older brain that no longer wants to be bothered with facts, like where I put a three-thousand pound vehicle. Photo notes are quickly becoming my go-to way to remember without having to recall.