The technology of note-taking is pretty extensive, what with tablets, laptops and smart pens. Bradford Morrow, however, doesn’t think that digital note-taking will replace the physical journal. Many writers use the notebook or paper napkins to write on the go. Morrow talks about he uses the journal as a tool to understand more about the theme that he is working on for a novel. It is beautiful to read how he carries his notebook around and sketches in it, takes notes and tapes any pictures of note. Incidentally, I read another article about how the lyrical writer Michael Ondaatje has created such notebooks which have been the inspiration behind his marvelous books.
If you are writing a novel, you could use this idea to fashion your research. Read this story.