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Capture that thought: squirrelling away the things you come across

At its simplest, Shooglebox is a repository for all the interesting things you come across.

It could be things related to a current project you're researching or working on.

Or just something more random you spot and think "That could come in useful some day" – a quote, a picture, a web page, a video.

Shooglebox: Capture that thought

Everyone uses different methods for capturing snippets of material they might want to come back and refer to.

  • Writers from Shakespeare to Swift used a commonplace book – a large book of blank pages they filled with quotes, facts or extracts from pamphlets they'd read or plays they'd seen. Things they'd come back and use in their own writing.

  • Many people still use physical notebooks to jot down things that inspire them, saying the act of writing by a hand seems to help the brain absorb information more effectively.

  • Some artists store the material they find in shoe boxes – choreographer Twyla Tharp starts every dance project with a big cardboard box and fills it with all sots of sources of inspiration.

  • Some researchers use 5x3 index cards to capture information and file them away. Joan Rivers and Ronald Reagan kept drawers and drawers of jokes and one-liners written out index cards. And the German sociologist Niklas Luhmann created an index card-based system that was designed to constantly surprise him whenever he referred back to something he'd filed away.

  • And, increasingly, there are online tools and apps like Evernote , Dropbox and Google Drive for storing notes, research and reference material .

Shooglebox isn't designed to replace your favourite way of taking quick notes or highlighting something you want to come back to.

We believe in using the closest, easiest and most relevant tool to hand.

That might be a note book and pen by your bed at night; a marker pen as you read through a book or document, sticky notes as you discuss something in a meeting, drawing on a whiteboard, cutting things out of a magazine, bookmarking or grabbing web pages using your favourite apps.

Where Shooglebox helps is when you want to pull all the things you're gathering into one place, in a simple visual card-based format, and lay out your cards in a way that helps the brain absorb everything and spot patterns, themes and connections.

And then to spark new ideas and insights – and help you sort the resulting material into something you can share with others.


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