I have also discovered cool tools available through the platform, such as the library, the queue and the favorites. I am not using them though because while I was alone in my corner, I used another tool to achieve similar results. It is called Evernote.
Evernote is a free web application that you can download and install on pretty much every device. Here's a screenshot from my computer:
You start by creating notebooks (upper left corner in the illustration above). As I use Evernote in pretty much all aspects of my life, I got three main notebooks: Crafts, Personal and Work. I've got other notebooks inside each three to keep things tidy. When the notebook "Knitting Patterns", inside "Crafts" is selected, I can see the list of all the notes in this notebook, with a little thumbnail, in the middle of the screen. That makes it easy to browse through the 600 free patterns I've collected on the web. To search through my collection, I've created a set of tags that I use every time I import a new pattern.When I want to see a pattern in particular - let's say the gloves by Drops Designs - I select the note and it appears on the right side of the screen.
That is pretty similar, I believe, to what the Ravelry library offers. However, I can expand my library content with Evernote: in addition to knitting and crochet patterns, I also got a notebook on techniques and references for both crafts. If I see an interesting article on set-in sleeves in Knitty, for example, I store it in my notebook! I also got notebooks of various stitches for both knitting and crochet, a notebook on things related to this blog, a notebook on yarns and another one on design ideas.
The really cool thing is that you can store pretty much everything and anything in Evernote: text, images, pictures, files (including Word and Excel), videos, name it!! And you can access your notes from anywhere with an internet connection.
An unrelated but cool experience I had with Evernote is our last family camping trip. We wanted to visit Charlevoix, a region of Quebec fairly far from Montreal. We had never been there before. So a couple of weeks before our departure, I created a notebook with information on camping sites, maps, and attractions. I put in the phone number and address of friends that are now living there. I was pregnant, so to play it on the safe side, I downloaded maps with the regional hospitals. We could access all that information through my husband's iPad on the way. I was so useful!
Anyways, in a next post, I will show you how I organize some of my knitting notes. In the meantime, why don't you try it out? It's free!!
*** UPDATE ***
I have written a follow-up post on Evernote. Find it here.