Chris Padilla/Blog / Notes

Keeping a Junk Drawer

I admit to being a notes nerd.

I keep most of my dev notes, blog ideas, To-Do lists, and research notes in plain text. I have neat little folders on my computer to keep them in place. I even use tags and record dates on my notes!

I day dream about implementing more organized systems like the Zettelkasten Method (as Idiscovered through the Draftsmen podcast) or using Wiki software (as advocated for by Andy Hunt in Pragmatic Thinking & Learning).

Those dreams usually crash on the reality of the non-linear and subject-hopping pattern my brain runs un.

Essentially - With notes, not EVERYTHING can be organized.

What helps keep a notes nerd like me at ease with this is an idea of a junk drawer.

Daniel Levitin in his book "The Organized Mind" closes the book with how our brains are naturally good at categorizing, and the "Miscellaneous" category totally counts as it's own category.

This manifests in a few way for me: it's my hand-written, physical notepad where I write stream-of-conciouse-notes through the day.

Study notes from Drawabox

I'm also starting most days with Julia Cameron's brain dump method of Morning Pages.

Even in my markdown system! I have a "" file where I grab links I might want later. If I notice a category is emerging, I can pull out a new markdown file and place them. But, for most things, it's just fine that I capture them and let them float down the river as I continue to add links.

date: 2023-01-18
tags: art
notes: Resource for how to draw hands.

date: 2023-01-13
tags: music, production
notes: Tips on creating music with a director. From Infinite Journeys, a CG animation project. Point Lobos is the artist. My favorite tips are 1. Record midis before recording actual tracks when possible. and 2. Don't get emotionally attached to your music. Be ready to chop it up. It becomes a new piece.

date: 2023-01-13
tags: tech
notes: Jim Nielsen's Favorite blogs

Even with music writing - I have an improvisatory, molecular ideas folder. "Cool baseline.mp3", "Pretty Piano Flourish.mp3". And then from there, some of those get pulled into fleshed out songs.

The junk drawer keeps me loose in the same way gesture drawing does. It keeps me quick to jot something down, with no judgement of the process in the same way I would be if I were writing in a blog CRM or a tweet.