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NoodleTools How-to Guide: Create & Use Notecards

Tutorials that show you how to create a personal ID, work with projects, create citations, and do other tasks in NoodleTools

NoodleTools in 60 Seconds: Creating a Notecard

How to Create a Notecard

Overview

When you create a notecard, you (a) save the author's original words, phrases or images from a source you intend to use in your research and (b) think about how to express those ideas and expand on them in your own words. Create one notecard for one idea or fact, and link each notecard to a source citation.

Step 1.

Navigate to either the Sources screen or the Notecards Tabletop View screen.

  • Adding multiple notecards for a particular source? Use Sources.
  • Already organizing notecards into groups and piles? Use Notecard Tabletop View.

How to create a notecard, Figure 1

Note: You can open the Notecards Tabletop View directly from the Projects screen by clicking the orange "Notecards" icon (in the "Contents" column).

Step 2.

Click the green New Notecard button if you are on the Notecard Tabletop View.

How to create a notecard, Figure 2

Or, if you are on the Sources screen, click the "New" link next to your citation in the "Notecards" column.

How to create a notecard, Figure 3

Step 3.

Enter information where applicable:

Title (required) >A few words describing the notecard's main idea.
URL The URL in your citation might not be a direct link to the content. You can add a different URL here if it helps you get directly back to the source.
Source (usually required) If you created your notecard from the Sources screen, this field is auto-filled. If you created your notecard from the Notecards screen, be sure to select the source citation here.
Page If there are page numbers associated with the material you are entering in the "Direct quotation" field, enter them here (you'll need them for in-text citations or footnotes).
Tags Add short (1-2 word) tags to help you identify and label concepts within each notecard. Type a comma between tags (for example, typing frogs, climate change will add tags "frogs" and "climate change").
Direct quotation What should I enter in the "Direct Quotation" field on a notecard?
Paraphrase or summary What should I enter in the "Paraphrase/Summary" field on a notecard?
My ideas What should I enter in the "My Ideas" field on a notecard?

Step 4.

Click the Save and Close button when you are done.

Important note: Notecards are auto-saved as you type. Clicking Save and Close at the end saves a final time, but you can use the Manage Versions option to retrieve past saves, if your work is interrupted or your computer crashes. See "How to view the auto-save history of a notecard (and revert to a previous version)."

How to Choose a Good Title for a Notecard

Overview

The title reminds you of the main idea without opening a notecard.

Instructions

Type a unique word or short phrase in the "Title" field. If you already have the exact same title on another notecard, the software will remind you: "A notecard with this title already exists."

How to choose a good title for a notecard

Step 1.

Draft your title.

Capture the main idea in a few words that remind you of the content.

Tip: If you have trouble writing a title:

  • Reread the author's words several times. Rereading helps you understand information more deeply.
  • Annotate the author's words. Change the color of important phrases or highlight a sentence. Interacting with the text helps you analyze the information.
  • Break up the author's quote. Limit your notecard to a single topic or idea. If you've picked out several important ideas, consider splitting the author's quote into two notecards.

Step 2.

Edit your title.

Delete unnecessary words. In a project about honeybees, for example:

  • Edit "The life cycle of a honeybee" by deleting the topic (honeybees), articles and prepositions (the, of a) to get the title "Life cycle."

Compress sentences.

  • "Collect and share data with scientists" becomes "Collect data for science."

Target the unique idea in the title. Then add tags or create piles to organize.

  • "Fear of bee stings is a myth" could be either Fear or Myth.
  • Or, if there are other notes about fears or myths, use Stings as the title.
  • Then tag or pile notecards with the general term (e.g.,"myths" or "fears) to organize them.

How to Insert a Video in a Notecard

Overview

YouTube videos can be added to a notecard within the Direct Quotation, Summary or Paraphrase, or My Ideas fields. While the feature is optimized for YouTube, certain other video streaming service that provide an iframe embed link may also work.

Step 1.

On the Notecard Tabletop View, Notecard Detail View, or the Sources screen, create a new notecard or open an existing one to edit.

Step 2.

In the "New notecard" or "Edit notecard" window, place your cursor in the field where you want to insert a video. An edit toolbar appears.

Step 3.

Select the Embed YouTube Video icon button in the edit toolbar. An "Embed YouTube Video" window appears where you can copy and paste the video's embed code or shared video URL (both will result in the video embedded via its iframe code in your notecard).

How to insert a video in a notecard

Step 4.

To locate the proper URL to copy and paste, open the YouTube video in a separate browser tab and click "Share" under the video.

To use the embed code: Click "Embed" to view the code. If you want to begin at a different time in the video, click the checkbox "Start" and enter the time to begin the video. Click "Copy." Return to your NoodleTools page with the "Embed YouTube Video" window and paste the code in the first field.

To use the video URL: Click "Copy" next to the youtu.be URL. Return to your NoodleTools page with the "Embed YouTube Video" window and paste the URL in the second field.

Step 5.

Click the Save and Close button when you are done editing the notecard.

How to Insert an Image in a Notecard

Overview

Images (both local files on your own computer and online images) can be added to a notecard within the Direct Quotation, Summary or Paraphrase, or My Ideas fields and resized if necessary.

Step 1.

On the Notecard Tabletop View, Notecard Detail View, or the Sources screen, create a new notecard or open an existing one to edit.

Step 2.

In the "New notecard" or "Edit notecard" window, place your cursor in the field where you want to insert an image. An edit toolbar appears.

Step 3.

Select the Image icon button in the edit toolbar. An "Image properties" window appears.

How to insert an image in a notecard

Step 4.

If your image is on the web, enter the image's URL under the "Image Info" tab.

If you have a file on your computer, choose the "Upload" tab. Click the Choose File button and locate the file, then click Send to the Server to upload it. NoodleTools will populate the URL field under "Image Info."

Step 5.

Many images are quite large, so it is a good idea to provide an image width (300 or 400 pixels is generally a good size to fit nicely on a notecard). The lock icon next to the size fields allows you to lock the aspect ratio, which is also recommended.

Step 6.

Click the OK button when you are done.

If you need to edit the image's properties, right-click the image and a select "Image Properties" from the pop-up menu (or left-click the image and select the Image icon button in the toolbar again).

How to Restore an Accidentally-deleted Notecard

Overview

Notecards are auto-saved as you work on them and moved into a recycle bin (not trashed permanently) when you delete them, so no matter what happens you can be assured that your hard work is not lost!

Hint #1:

If you accidentally deleted the content of a notecard, as opposed to the notecard itself, please see "How to View the Auto-Save History of a Notecard (and Revert to a Previous Version)."

Hint #2:

If you don't remember deleting the notecard, you can take a look at the project's 30-day log to identify the date/time it happened.

Step 1.

On the Notecard Tabletop View, click the "more options" icon button (three dots). Select "Undelete."

How to restore an accidentally-deleted notecard, Figure 1

Step 2.

In the "Restore deleted notecards" window, check the box next to the notecard you want to restore. Click the Undelete button.

How to restore an accidentally-deleted notecard, Figure 2

Step 3.

The restored notecard appears on your Notecard Tabletop. Note: If the notecard was originally in a notecard pile, it will no longer be in that pile when you undelete it -- you can drag it back into the pile if required.

How to View the Auto-Save History of a Notecard (and Revert to a Previous Version).

Overview

NoodleTools auto-saves your work in notecards and you can view and revert to earlier versions of it.

Step 1.

On the Notecard Tabletop View, Notecard Detail View, or the Sources screen, open an existing notecard to edit.

Step 2.

In the "Edit notecard" window, click the Manage Versions button at the top right of the window.

How to view the auto-save history of a notecard, Figure 1

Step 3.

On the left side of the window, the current version of the notecard is displayed (and "Current version" is highlighted on the right side). Note: If there are no past versions saved yet, just click the Back button to return to the notecard editing window.

How to view the auto-save history of a notecard, Figure 2

Step 4.

To view an earlier version of the notecard, click the date and time on the right side. NoodleTools will display the version that was auto-saved at that time. To restore that version, click the Use this version button in the upper-left corner.

Or, if you want to stick with the current version, click the Back button to return to the notecard editing window.

Step 5.

Click the Save and Close button when you are done editing the notecard.

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