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New user
Winnipeg, Canada
80 Posts

Profile of citizenc
I'm currently working on a couple of close-up routines of various mediums and I'm encountering some difficulty. The actual mechanics of creating a routine is simple enough; what I'm having trouble with is keeping track of all of the various effects that I'm using.

I started out using a notebook and pencil. That got frustrating quickly as I like to play with the order of effects almost constantly. Then I tried post-it notes on the wall of my bedroom, which wasn't bad. Tried recipie cards too. Still rather inefficient.

Tried using Windows Notepad. Needless to say, that was somewhat useless. I've since been trying to use Microsoft Visio, but I'm encountering a few logistical problems. See, when designing my routines, I'm trying to keep a lot of information straight:

o Do I need a horizontal surface, or can the effect be done in the hands?
o Is the effect completely impromptu (pull a deck out, give it a couple of shuffles & go?), or does it (the effect) need some sort of preparation?
o Are there specific cards needed? (Ie Colour Monte, or Bizzare Twist?)
o Is a gimmick required?
o Is a gimmicked DECK required?

etc etc etc

Part of the problem I'm encountering is not only trying to contain all that information, but also having a centralized list of all the effects, along with their various properties, so that I don't ... well ... forget any. Stupid memory.

I was thinking about writing a PHP/MySQL database script -- that would certainly work, but it would take a while. Does anybody have any suggestions? What do you use for keeping track of YOUR magic?
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Regular user
175 Posts

Profile of natswift
I see that you've tried "recipe" cards. I use the larger version of these. This way I can re-arrange routines easily and add/change material as my repetoire evolves. Works good for me anyway. I've heard of other guys doing the same thing but using different color cards indicating different type of effects.

Anyway let us know what you come up with.
Never forget to dream!

Nathan Smith
Daryl -the other brother
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Special user
594 Posts

Profile of Daryl -the other brother
I use software I downloaded for free off the internet. It's called showman and was designed specifically for magicians. It keeps track of everything, props, tricks, routines, scripts,shows,ect. with cross-reference and note taking. I tried to find the link for you with no success (I downloaded this a couple of years ago)

It was designed by Wayne Lampel of Salvation Station. You can E-mail them at

Hope this helps.

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New user
Winnipeg, Canada
80 Posts

Profile of citizenc

Any chance you have the original archive? Or could zip-up the software?
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
17197 Posts

Profile of Father Photius
The Ostrich Factor, by Gerald Munson (Gerald is his user name on the forum), I believe he lives in Denton, TX, is an excellent book with good ideas on such and keeping notes straight. I bought it and found it an extremely valuable tool for methods of keeping track of effects, practice planning, keeping new ideas, and much more. Do a search of Ostrich Factor and you will find info on it.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
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Special user
545 Posts

Profile of kOnO
You might check out "MagicBase Booking Software" Its available from Hank Lee and other magic dealers

here is a link to it;page=1

It is a lot easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
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