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.)