A while back, I kicked around the idea of organing my RPG campaign information into a format other than the traditional “gazetteer” layout, i.e. a bound 8.5″ by 11″ notebook with each entry/encounter/adventure following the next. I’m a big fan of index cards, and use them pretty extensively at work to organize information, so I wanted to do something similar with my game. I also wanted something I could take on the road, both to games and when I am traveling about and get an idea I want to put down for a later gaming session.
After fooling around with several different formats, I’ve come up with something I think works very well. Better yet, it is remarkably inexpensive. I came across a “MiniPadFolio” at Staples, which costs $2.50 each if you buy more than one (I did). The MiniPadFolio measures about 5.5″ by 7″, and contains pockets for index cards, a small tablet, and a pen holder. The cover has an elastic clasp to hold it together. The index cards cost a dollar, bringing the whole kit to just under $4 total.
The cards (which can be up to 4″ by 6″ as seen in the photo) are organized by topic like “Location,” “NPC,” “Encounter,” or “Monster Stats.” For a gaming session, I have the cards organized with places the PC’s are likely to go, monsters they will encounter, etc. that I can just pull out as necessary without flipping around pages. I use the tablet to keep track of hit points, initiative, etc. for each combat.
What’s really nice is that it tucks nicely into my laptop bag, and travels easily. I have the second MiniPadFolio for my wife to use while she’s on call, scoring those extra karma points for when I have another gaming session go longer than expected.