I'm working on two big projects this quarter (and hopefully the quarter
to come), both of which requires understanding a large amount of
information, and one of which requires gathering information and
generating ideas. The way I organize all this knowledge right now is
purely chronological: I have a directory titled "notes", and it in goes
all my stuff, each in a file for that day (say, "20071030"). Obviously,
this method doesn't help with organizing my notes in a semantic way. I
did have a small habit of writing "idea" on one line if what follows in
an idea worth exploring, so I can
grep the entire folder and find all
my ideas. This doesn't do much for everything else though.
The idea I had is to organize it the same way GMail organizes emails: tags. Each piece of information, besides having the date that I found it, the source, and so on, would have one or more labels of what that information relates to. Then I can see everything that's related to, say, Linux, on one page, and everything about Windows in another. Obviously, using simple text files would not suffice, unless I have some syntax. I am however too lazy to write a command line script to read and/or add syntax, so I've just let it slide for now.
Later tonight I might import some of my notes into a TiddlyWiki, and see
how well it actually works.