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7-Day GM Organization Challenge

Gossamer#3592

New member
Silver WoA
Can you check whether it also happens with this video? https://campaign-community.com/index.php?resources/sharing-log-entries-via-streams.392/

I also tried the directly linked mp4 file, and I can move the time bubble backward but not forward. But only in Chrome. In Firefox, this works perfectly well.
I was using Chrome. I also just tried in Edge and same issue. This video link you provided here does work (in both browsers); I can slide it around. But the ones in the emails don't.
 

GM Rob

Member
Gold WoA
I'm jumping into this challenge a few sessions into a brand new campaign. What could go wrong with that!? The campaign is a sandboxy, West Marches-ish campaign. In the past I've mostly run published adventures so this is a bit of a change for me. I took a run at Notion.io as a planning environment, but I've found it a bit too cumbersome when I get to the table.

So, what do you find you need to be able to actually do (from a document/organization perspective) as GM at the table. I find myself regularly digging for some piece of data I know I put someplace. An NPC's stat block, a location map, the name of the weapons shop we went to last session, etc. from the Buckets video, it seems like those things just go in Pages and get labeled with the right bucket. Am I close?

I have buckets that seem reasonable set up in Campaign Logger, and I'm in the process of trying to figure out where to put all the materials I've already prepared. Any suggestions on how to start? I'll noodle around in the rest of the Forums as well as this doesn't really seem completely an "organization" thing.
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
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Hey @GM Rob!

I find myself regularly digging for some piece of data I know I put someplace. An NPC's stat block, a location map, the name of the weapons shop we went to last session, etc. from the Buckets video, it seems like those things just go in Pages and get labeled with the right bucket. Am I close?
Yes! This was a key reason we built Campaign Logger. You remember some bit of something - a name or where it's located or that it was noted two sessions ago or some other detail - and that's the only memory hook you have.

I found Evernote search terrible for this type of thing. Ditto other apps.

So I recommend making Search/Filter your friend. You'll find this in numerous interfaces in the app, sometimes at the top, sometimes bottom:

1669471666825.png

You can search Tags and normal text. For example, you could start typing @JohnnFo to bring up a Page about your campaign's villain. Or just johnn or nnfour

This box searches within your content as well, not just titles.

And you can click the disk icon to save frequent searches.

Use Pages like you would pages in a campaign book. And use Logs for notes, sidebar, and indirect information. For example, I have an Ideas Log and a Session Notes Log.

1669471901501.png


And if you click on a Tag or Page name, you can see all references to that in your Pages and Logs.

Here's a quick video I just made to demonstrate. I hope it makes sense.

It's meant to convey you can find all mentions of something by clicking on its Tag. You can search for it too. And as you click around it's circular.

This means you don't have to remember where exactly you filed anything. Just start a search or clicking around and you'll find it fast. And you don't have to put things anywhere. Just type a Tag or create a Page and the thing exists and is findable in several ways.

https://share.getcloudapp.com/Z4umPdoB


I'm in the process of trying to figure out where to put all the materials I've already prepared. Any suggestions on how to start? I'll noodle around in the rest of the Forums as well as this doesn't really seem completely an "organization" thing.

Pick up your favorite world or campaign book. Look at the Table of Contents.

Each chapters is essentially a Tag type (@ ! # $ etc.) for Pile & File.

Then look at what's on each page in each section. That's the type of info you'd put on a Page for a thing, whether it's a location, NPC, item, new spell, etc.

Then use Logs for throwaway details like quick notes, temporary details like ideas, session notes, transactions, and supplementary information. Related Resources perhaps might be a good metaphor. Such details don't clutter your main Page entry, but are there and linked to it.

If this is the wrong type of answer than what you were looking for, let me know.
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
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@Gossamer#3592 @quozl @ChimpMasaki @JochenL I have updated email links that will allow video scrubbing. Alas, this will not work for any emails already received, but it will work for upcoming ones.

And if you restart the challenge by re-entering your email in the form from the invitation, you'll get the good links starting with the first message onward.

Holler back if you encounter any wandering monsters!
 
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UbiquitousRat

Member
Gold WoA
I truly want to learn to use Campaign Logger but I can’t figure out how to use it at the table to make quick notes in a way that avoids me saying, “Hold on guys, just need to type a note.” It’s also why I rarely remember to scribble down notes during sessions. How do you overcome this barrier? I figure maybe using my iPad is a good tool for this but I generally play online with my PC using Zoom too. Oh, I dunno.
 

JochenL

CL Byte Sprite
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
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I usually have an entry in edit mode. Being able to type without watching the keyboard is very helpful. I occasionally save by hitting Ctrl+S, which keeps the entry in edit mode. When the current scene is over, I quickly create a new entry and start the edit mode to begin anew. The time between scene breaks is perfect, IMO, to allow a bit more interaction with CL.

Also: Don't try to write perfect sentences; don't try formatting; don't fix your grammar or orthography. Just jot down quick words as they come up.

After a session, take 10 minutes to clean up your notes as long as your memory is fresh. This is the time to add missing tagging, too.
 

UbiquitousRat

Member
Gold WoA
I usually have an entry in edit mode. Being able to type without watching the keyboard is very helpful. I occasionally save by hitting Ctrl+S, which keeps the entry in edit mode. When the current scene is over, I quickly create a new entry and start the edit mode to begin anew. The time between scene breaks is perfect, IMO, to allow a bit more interaction with CL.

Also: Don't try to write perfect sentences; don't try formatting; don't fix your grammar or orthography. Just jot down quick words as they come up.

After a session, take 10 minutes to clean up your notes as long as your memory is fresh. This is the time to add missing tagging, too.
Thank you, that's really practical and useful. I didn't know the logger can be kept open and saved with CTRL-C. Adding the tags at the end seems a good tip too - I find the thought of tagging a little intimidating, but only because it's not something I am familiar with. I guess, really, I am in need of a good orientation and some practice with the tool.
 

JochenL

CL Byte Sprite
Staff member
Platinum WoA
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
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Gamer Lifestyle
Borderland Explorer
Thank you, that's really practical and useful. I didn't know the logger can be kept open and saved with CTRL-C. Adding the tags at the end seems a good tip too - I find the thought of tagging a little intimidating, but only because it's not something I am familiar with. I guess, really, I am in need of a good orientation and some practice with the tool.
Try the following:
  • Put CL on one side of the screen and https://davebirss.com/storydice-creative-story-ideas/ on the other side
  • Open a log entry for editing and begin telling yourself a story based on the dice you see
  • While you tell yourself (aloud or in your head, whatever suits you) take notes in the open log entry
  • Try to look at the dice, not CL (typing errors are totally OK!)
  • Hit Ctrl+S in important moments or natural pauses
  • When done, hit "Log This" (or Ctrl+Enter)
  • Review your notes
  • If they capture your story appropriately, clean them up and lean back
  • If not, roll again and repeat the cycle
This should not take more than a few minutes of practice for a few days and then you can be confident the first time you take CL to the table.
 

UbiquitousRat

Member
Gold WoA
Try the following:
  • Put CL on one side of the screen and https://davebirss.com/storydice-creative-story-ideas/ on the other side
  • Open a log entry for editing and begin telling yourself a story based on the dice you see
  • While you tell yourself (aloud or in your head, whatever suits you) take notes in the open log entry
  • Try to look at the dice, not CL (typing errors are totally OK!)
  • Hit Ctrl+S in important moments or natural pauses
  • When done, hit "Log This" (or Ctrl+Enter)
  • Review your notes
  • If they capture your story appropriately, clean them up and lean back
  • If not, roll again and repeat the cycle
This should not take more than a few minutes of practice for a few days and then you can be confident the first time you take CL to the table.
Well, that‘s hugely generous and cool as a practice task. I can make this my 15 minutes of prep action for a few days. Thanks!
 

ColoradoTrekker

New member
Platinum WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
I have amassed a very large collection of digital assets over the years and have not found an organizational layout that I truly like yet. So, when I saw the 7 Day GM Organization Challenge I figured I would jump on board and see if it fits.

After the first two days, I do have some questions for everyone.

In terms of buckets, where is everyone filing their resources dealing with monsters? Things like the Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press? I have more and more books that don't really feel like they fit under homebrew as they are more polished and playtested than most homebrew, but they are not official resources either.

And, that leads me to my second question. I know Johnn is using Campaign Logger in the videos, but that seems more for organizing information and snippets for a specific campaign than for organizing files in general on your hard drive. I was looking at calibre and that seems to use a flat file folder system with a database to organize things. That might work fine, but seems to lock you into using one tool. I could just create a folder hierarchy on my hard drive, but that limits search and tagging. So, what tools are folks using to organize their files? Anything that lends itself to the best of both worlds?
 
I have amassed a very large collection of digital assets over the years and have not found an organizational layout that I truly like yet. So, when I saw the 7 Day GM Organization Challenge I figured I would jump on board and see if it fits.

After the first two days, I do have some questions for everyone.

In terms of buckets, where is everyone filing their resources dealing with monsters? Things like the Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press? I have more and more books that don't really feel like they fit under homebrew as they are more polished and playtested than most homebrew, but they are not official resources either.

And, that leads me to my second question. I know Johnn is using Campaign Logger in the videos, but that seems more for organizing information and snippets for a specific campaign than for organizing files in general on your hard drive. I was looking at calibre and that seems to use a flat file folder system with a database to organize things. That might work fine, but seems to lock you into using one tool. I could just create a folder hierarchy on my hard drive, but that limits search and tagging. So, what tools are folks using to organize their files? Anything that lends itself to the best of both worlds?
For file organization I have goodnote on my ipad and computer so i can write physically and easily type! I have a folder with some book pdfs so i can just screenshot to reskin but i have a ‘journal’ where i have my buckets as bookmarked ‘chapters’ and ive been really enjoying it! If you wanna see any pictures let me know!
 
For beginning organization I found a great tool on donjon.bin.sh which has GREAT tools, but had a campaign generator based on a PDF by Matt Colville. Which I thought was good but at least to me a little outdated, so I thought I would post my remake of that here if anyone wanted to use it! Sorry its a little grainy I thought my dpi was higher 😅. As an example here’s mine filled out so far too!
 

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BahneGorkDK

Active member
Wizard of Story
Gamer Lifestyle
I was in the process of trying to organize my hard drive materials when this challenge arrived in my inbox so I eagerly joined. My biggest issues is that I have a ton of pdf materials from drivethru rpg and dms guild that defaults its organizing by company name which isn't helpful in finding specific things. So I have started dumping it into piles like you suggested but I was hoping to go further and create a database like adventure lookup where I could do queries to find specific things. However, after hearing your story at the start of the day 1 video I am wondering if that is too much. I know it would be a lot of work but just wondering if the time sink would be worth it to actually have a sense of what I truly have to work with. Thoughts?
I have recently begun importing pdf files into Calibre Ebook Management. Because there i can put tags on the files, i can write notes on the files as well and i can create new columns for the view of files as well. Its basically a database, that can do a metadata lookup via google/amazon as well, so if there's data "out there" on the book it might find it for you. Your adventure database has already been done as a online tool for everyone "Adventure lookup" exists :) yay! I think it was a project Matt Colville launched. https://adventurelookup.com/adventures. here's the launch video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3OllWSRhuI.
 

JohnnFour

Game Master
Staff member
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Gamer Lifestyle
Demonplague Author
Borderland Explorer
In terms of buckets, where is everyone filing their resources dealing with monsters? Things like the Tome of Beasts from Kobold Press?
I have a folder called Systems.

Inside that is D&D.

Inside that is a folder per edition.

And then I used to have sub-folders for Adventures, Worlds, Encounters, Monsters & NPCs, Treasure, etc. But I don't do that any more. It's one level too deep for me, but it might serve others perfectly.



And, that leads me to my second question. I know Johnn is using Campaign Logger in the videos, but that seems more for organizing information and snippets for a specific campaign than for organizing files in general on your hard drive. I was looking at calibre and that seems to use a flat file folder system with a database to organize things. That might work fine, but seems to lock you into using one tool. I could just create a folder hierarchy on my hard drive, but that limits search and tagging. So, what tools are folks using to organize their files? Anything that lends itself to the best of both worlds?
I use the free version of Total Commander [https://www.ghisler.com/] for my Windows laptop. It searches external drives too. While I don't have tags, I find I'm only a few seconds away from seeing the title I quest for in a results list.

It's the same reason I write most often in plain text. Get to the simplest core version of something as possible. Then build on that to the minimum level needed to get the value/outcome you want. I had files stuff in Evernote, Access, and Excel. I've also used DTRPG's file manager and special search apps where I could add tags and whatnot. But simple Windows directory searches gets me to the simplest and fastest solution for how my weird brain works with files.
 

JochenL

CL Byte Sprite
Staff member
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Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
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Borderland Explorer

Hiruma Chico

New member
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Hi. I am doing the Day 1 Create Buckets exercise and I have an existing tool (Realm Works by Lone Wolf Development, no longer actively supported), but I am keen to try Campaign Logger as a possible replacement. So I have created a free CL account and now I am ruminating about my own buckets. In the old tool RW, there are the following "buckets": Sources, Events, People, Groups, Places, Things, Other. Some of these pretty clearly and easily map directly to alternate named items in Johnn's personal list of buckets from the Day 1 video, but one question I had was whether Groups would belong in Johnn's Cast bucket or his World bucket? I suspect it would be the Cast Bucket, though for myself, I might want to make Groups its own bucket. Just curious.
 

Hiruma Chico

New member
Gold WoA
Wizard of Story
Wizard of Combat
Also, I've used the Sources section in the old tool RW, to put my pre-mission briefings, post-session recaps, plus links to rulebook PDFs, etc. Sounds like these would be separated with the first items in Johnn's Timeline bucket and the rulebook links going to "Files". Would I be correctly interpreting that?
 
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