Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

Creating and Organizing Prototypes

Prototypes are easy to make and manage. So much so that in my early projects I tried to use them for everything. That didn’t work out so well. These days I have fewer prototypes, but those that remain are one of my main tools for organizing material in my projects.

Making a prototype is as basic as basic can be. You simply:

1 Create a note (or select one1).
2 Open the Inspector with the menu or by pressing cmd-1.
3 Go to the “Properties Inspector” tab.
4 With the note selected, check “prototype.”

In the video below, I show the process. Near the end, I also point out that the order in which prototypes are displayed in the contextual menu is controlled by the placement of prototypes in your project outline. In other words, you can very easily arrange the contextual menu to suit your needs.

Next post: using prototypes to format shallow outlines.

1 I always make prototypes from new notes so that I know that all the attributes are set to default values. A note that is not new may display the default values without actually BEING a default value. Because default and non-default values that look the same can react differently in certain situations, starting with a fresh note eliminates the possibility of unexpected surprises down the road. Obviously, if I were more on top of things, there’d be no problem with making an existing note a prototype. Also, if I were athletic, I would have muscles. ↩

Posted November 3, 2014