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Author Topic: IDEA: Question and Answer Maker  (Read 4857 times)

Paul Keith

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IDEA: Question and Answer Maker
« on: February 01, 2009, 01:39 PM »
Lately, I've been finding that self-imposed questions have a high value to any writing activity but I can't seem to find a minimalistic general "Q&A" maker/organizer specifically designed for this purpose, preferably one without a Tree List and I've resorted to using The Form Letter Machine for this purpose. (Yeah, I know it's oxymoronic since TFLM uses a tree list but I just copy the questions and then answer it via paper or text file anyways)

Some examples for how Q&As are starting to show their potential:

StoryWeaver (Novel Writing Software)

Over 200 Interactive Story Cards™

Follow the carefully crafted path of 200 interactive Story Cards™ and every step of the way you'll know exactly what to do, and what to do next.

Each card focuses on a different important story point, and contains a wealth of information as well as tips & tricks for using that dramatic element in your story.

SuperNoteCard (Index Card Shareware Program)

Idea Prioritizer (Online To Do List Organizer)


Richard Hamming: You and Your Research

  • 1. What are the most important problems in your field?
  • 2. Are you working on one of them?
  • 3. Why not?

Leo Babauta's Big Rocks Theory (Productivity Theory)

What have I completed this week to advance these?

  • Mind
  • Body
  • Craft
  • Life

The list is just endless and I know this can be reproduced in any general notetaker but so can diaries/address books/to-do's and all kinds of general notetaking stuff.

The problem I see with general notetakers is that they lack several of these features:

Quiz Form - See Idea Prioritizer and other Quiz Maker programs that only allow for multiple choice quizzes

Quick backup of only the questions - This can be configured but I could see this become an organization nightmare once you rack up these questions

Question tagging separate from notes - Extra tag filtering can work this out but it becomes tedious and is an extra layer when trying to organize JUST the questions.

Answer logging - This is more inspired by DreamJournal's Lucidity rating and it can help with reviewing past answers or just seeing and rating your progress

Days/Week/Month Since Feature - Another incentive to help improve the habits for answering these questions

Right click - Quick add question from systray

PopUp Wisdom Like Random Question/Question Set - Could be useful if you can't just be bothered picking what questions you like answered

Keep only certain text - So rather than snip text into the application, you snip text out of it so you only need to review the core parts of your answers and the full version can be located elsewhere of your choosing. (Maybe a diary app of some sort)

Persistent Pop-up Text Box when entering questions - Inspired by ThinkingRock's way of adding entries by having the box always open. Alternatively a bulk one question per line import could also work.

Tailor made for questions database
- Biggest con of general notetakers is that they just aren't set up for you to read and receive the questions like you were answering a quiz but are set up for the questions to either be categories/templates that you write stuff underneath them and are even more unsuited for just reading the answers you just wrote.

The Form Letter Pros:
1. Ability to mix and match different question sets due to checkbox option
2. Ability to quickly edit question sets due to mini-textbox
3. Radio Button besides Checkbox
4. Trees are separate and can be quickly exported

Edit: My bad for not putting idea in front of the topic titles. I guess seeing the words "Post New Request" just made me assume everything in this forum was for ideas.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 05:16 PM by Paul Keith »


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Re: IDEA: Question and Answer Maker
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 06:20 PM »
Nice post -- there have to be some more recommendations by dc members on this subject.. come on people speak up!