What's your note system?

How do you take notes? Do you draw a map? Do you have any advice on that?

I “draw” a map in a word processor (any) that generates bulleted lists. I find that works better than graph paper because exits are often counter intuitive, especially when a map is necessary, and redrawing the map to incorporate more space is painful.

I have gotten into the habit of saving the game when I learn something worth remembering, and I note it down as the save-game name.

Otherwise, Trizbort (mapping utility) also functions very well as a note-taking utility.

On my iPod, though, which is where I do the vast majority of my IFing nowadays, it’s a combination of features. I use Grafio (flowing-chart utility) for mapping and, occasionally, for notes; iFrotz also allows you to take notes; I still do the save-game-note thing (though it’s rather pointless on iFrotz as it has, as I said, a built-in system)…

…and I increasingly find myself just taking a snapshot of the screen to refer to later. Presto, instant note, and not just notes, also cutscenes or events that seem to have crucial infomation.

Pretty handy, the iPod Touch approach to IF.

Another two thumbs up for Grafio here.

I use IFM (Interactive Fiction Mapper). It uses plain text files for mapping and note taking and can produce graphical maps, item lists and walkthroughs.


I map by hand, usually on graph paper, and get annoyed at games that deliberately make this tricky.

(Except Adventure. Because Adventure.)

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A quill from a stork’s feather, ink from oak galls and extra fine parchment from lamb’s hide.

No, pen and paper all the way, sometimes with different colours. It helps me focus, take it slow and get ideas while writing.

I start with taking short notes for every location, putting questionmarks after things that might later turn out to be (parts of) puzzles. Later I make a list of verified puzzles and mark them off as I solve them.

I use paper with 1cm² squares to draw maps, promising myself each time that I will make a neat and orderly map this time. However, since I tend to like long and big games, by the time I’m halfway through it’s more a collection of squiggly lines and boxes and circles that only I can decipher.

Some people hate mapmaking, but for me it is a great source of fun.

I used to hate taking notes for games. I’m not in school, yo. :stuck_out_tongue: However, I’ve been playing a lot of gamebooks lately and they’re literally impossible to play without taking notes. And I mean literally; it’s part of their core mechanic. And so I’ve gotten used to it a bit.

Since all of my IF gaming is done on my phone, I just use a text editor app. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but I prefer Acode for Android. I also use it for programming. It has a lot of handy features like being able to move blocks of text up and down that come in handy when organizing notes.

I generally don’t map unless I’m stuck in some stupid maze where I’m forced to map. In that case, I draw it in ascii using that editor. Since it’s a code editor, it’s already set to monospaced and can indent/outdent blocks of text, which is handy when you need to add another room to the west.