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Up to now I've gathered so many sketches, wireframes, icons and mockups for all different kinds of projects and customers I have supported or worked for. Digital and on paper. I have noticed that I desperately need a new system to organize all my documents.

I continuously find my self grasping through my folders containing all my notes, looking for solutions from other projects that might be useful to the one I am working on at present. I don't like the way I'm working now, having all my ideas tucked away in between tons of paper in a folder on a shelf. I wan't them accessible, fast and at any time. Maybe even when visiting a customer out of office.

I think ideas have to flow together. I don't like having them separated. I need some sort of solution to grasp trough my sketches and documents for inspiration while grouping or clustering them. This should be fast since while I'm searching, an idea starts to form in my mind. At that point it is so delicate, it can be eliminated within a second by any kind of mental (or physical) distraction.

To me creative processes always need feedback or at least a fresh eye looking over them. I wan't others to criticize my work so I can improve and make things better now and in the future. I want others to see what I am working on so they have insight on my work. I want them to take part in a typical iterative design process. I also see developers tracking and telling me, that this and that is possible, that this and that feature might exceed our budget and so on.

I want to keep track of any kind of version of any kind of idea. Ideally with timestamp, tag and annotation feature. Not only to document my work but to show me when and how much time or effort I spent on a project.

What I'm looking for? I'd like a graphical based versioning system. Something like git for programming. Has anyone any idea or maybe a workflow one uses that would fulfill my needs? How do you manage all your drawings and ideas when you create concepts? Please do share your insight.

EDIT (tools I'm using now)

I'm using all sorts of tools depending on where I am and whats accessable to me at that moment: A4 paper, a sketchbook, iPad (App: upad), post its, whiteboard, Flipcharts, Axure and a graphical tablet.

Axure is pritty nice, since it involves SVN versioning! Down side to that though is its unflexibility when searching through the text based versioning system.

Evernote provides some nice automatic ocr (text recognition) when uploading pictures. Versioning and especially searching for notes in evernote is desperate unfortunately.

For now I'm trying to keep everything digital, taking pictures of my paper sketches and gathering them in folders and subfolders, making .txt notes on my ideas. I'm also trying to use my ipad and tablet as often as possible. But at the end of the day I always find my self spending more time organizing and searching rather than beeing creative.

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Hi! Welcome to UX.SE! Check out the help center and about pages to learn more about getting the most out of this community! Your question is what's called a "shopping" request, asking for ideas on a tool to use. This is too opinion-based to be on-topic on a Stack Exchange site. –  norabora Jul 23 '13 at 16:30
    
Can you please explain what tools you are using because I believe there are already tools out there that can do the job. –  Michael Lai Jul 23 '13 at 22:35
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2 Answers

What my suggestion is would be to use paper as draft for ideas, and transfer them to digital. I think the programs for doing wireframes and mockups already allow you to do some type of manual versioning (because it is hard to do visual comparisons meaningfully for the computer). You just have to work out a good system where the branch points are, or keep everything on one big document (which I do since I am using Visio most of the time). I'd love to see a graphical versioning system but since we do so much copying and pasting with drawings I can imagine that it would be quite a nightmare. Combining a time tracking software (which will also allow you to monitor the time you spend on different applications) with your existing programs will do the job since I don't think many programs have or need a built-in timer.

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I second this, and would like to add that mobile phone cameras nowadays can do a decent enough job at quickly capturing sketches, and transferring them to your computer/uploading them to the cloud. I'm sure using that quite often, also during meetings where we sketch on a whiteboard. –  Dirk v B Jul 23 '13 at 22:55
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@Kiorrik - Definitely see people these days taking the phone out after a meeting. For some reason tablets and electronic whiteboards are not being used enough. I like pen and paper but I don't like to cut down more trees. –  Michael Lai Jul 23 '13 at 23:10
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For all my digital & paper (scanned) notes I'm using Evernote. It has built-in optical character recognition (OCR), so I can search the full text of any scanned document.

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This isn't really a versioning system though, no more so than printing everything out and storing everything in a physical folder. You have some wireframes and sketches digitised - then what? –  JonW Jul 24 '13 at 7:50
    
@JonW Yes, it's not literally a versioning system, but you have some kind of versioning functionality, i.e. searching, grouping by date, sharing with others, receiving email notes from others etc., which is really different to storing everything in a physical folder. –  ekapros Jul 24 '13 at 9:45
    
@JonW, you could get version control over your notes with the note history feature. –  Igor Gubaidulin Jul 26 '13 at 6:24
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