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Messages - Dormouse [ switch to compact view ]

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General Software Discussion / Re: Notetaking software
« on: December 03, 2017, 01:37 PM »
I like RightNote, it just wasn't the ... ahem.. right note for me. Own a license and I used it for a while, but I just prefer how I can write notes anywhere on OneNotes pages and also the syncing abilities with my Android phone and certain notebooks for work purposes. It just works.
I have far too many licenses for similar programs that just aren't as usable as the multi-platform options: RightNote, TreeDBNotes, Ultra Recall and many others. I'm not entirely comfortable in switching to Microsoft, Google etc, but just working on everything is just so much easier and more efficient, though I will pay for Scrivener upgrades as they come along (hoping that the Android version will arrive some year or other).

General Software Discussion / Re: Notetaking software
« on: December 01, 2017, 08:27 AM »
What platforms do you utilize? Just Windows and Android?
Mostly Windows & Android. iOS sometimes. Linux rarely atm.
Don't use a Mac, but willing to get one if it has software I need (Vellum maybe) and there's no reasonable alternative elsewhere; that would be a commercial decision, but I have got by fine without it so far and I dislike the Apple ecosystem.

Community Giveaways / Re: Deal on Writing Software
« on: December 01, 2017, 04:29 AM »
It's a great achievement to complete by the deadline. I have never even contemplated the possibility of attempting it. Agree about the enabling effect of disabling the permanent quality control editor sitting over your writing mind; not that I have ever found such a switch myself  :-[

General Software Discussion / Re: Notetaking software
« on: December 01, 2017, 03:50 AM »
Can you unpack that last bit?  I'm assuming that it is shorthand for software (OneNote = One?)  But I didn't think that OneNote was cross-platform, unless you mean a limited version of cross platform.  And Simple- I equated it to Simplenote, but that may be wrong.
Quite right. Felt too repetitive, but I've now amended in favour of clarity.

I find OneNote pretty good across platforms. The functionality of each program is not the same, and only desktop has all features, but everything that has been done on a note is visible and editable on all platforms (or has been so far). Sufficient for me atm.

I do have worries about it though. All my previous attempts at major use floundered on huge, unanticipated glitches (eg tables). However, I have a number of those on my map now and the advantages are enough to make set off into the wilderness again.  My current/almost immediate future project is being done on OneNote. Taken quite a bit of time getting the program set up to do what I want. Had considered Scrivener, but no Android and 3 only in beta on Windows. Had considered, and started, a more convoluted system using Simplenote for the main cross platform use, but convoluted and switching all the time was a real drag; wouldn't have been so bad if my mind stuck to one path, but it doesn't - it always wants to follow multiple paths at the same time.

One big advantage of OneNote is being able to write/draw directly into any page. I'm almost purely on Samsung Notes (tablets and phones) and Surface now just because of that. Occasional use of older Windows/Linux machines and I have a specialist program that requires iPads. I hadn't intended to upgrade to the Note8, finally persuaded the free Dex offer and kids telling me that phone prices (£) seemed to be going up not down. However, it has transformed my pen use. Not sure why, because it isn't that different to Note 4, but it has. Now choose to write/draw a lot whereas before I would write/draw when it seemed necessary.

PS I do like the concept of paper. Have accumulated reams of notebooks and diaries over the years. All mostly blank. Just have to accept that I'm an old fashioned digital guy

General Software Discussion / Notetaking software
« on: November 30, 2017, 07:05 PM »
The great and glorious notetaking software thread seems to have petered out in early 2014 after years of active comment.
Is it because there's no interest in this category any more (a lot of programs/vendors have certainly vanished)?
Or that everyone has ended up on a few dominant programs (OneNote, Evernote ...)?
Or has the fundamental structure been repackaged into more specialist use (Scrivener)? Towards the end many vendors seemed to be frantically chasing a redefinition as personal information databases.

My preferences haven't changed much, and I still use notetaking software. The big thing that has changed for me is the absolute requirement for multiplatform use. My favourite programs never provided that, so I no longer use them. So almost purely OneNote, Evernote, Simplenote and Keep now. And Simplenote is fading out as I use OneNote more.

The new cms version of the site will go live this month
Already next month for me  ;D

And the strange thing I noticed today is that the offer seems to be left over from last year's Black Friday. As if they just 'forgot' to end it. It's on their website, so surely they must be aware. Still, it made all the difference to me buying it.

Pernickety - British
Persnickety - North American

Initial impression of ProWritingAid is that it is very detailed and pernickety. Does function as expected though and seems actively maintained and sold.
Masses of detail and masses of settings you can mould to your own needs. Does, however, allow you just to drill down to the information you are looking for. The Summary View may help some.
Will integrate with Scrivener and Word (& Google Docs and a few others) which is useful if you use either as there is no need to reformat.
Option to check for plagiarism (though a limited number of reports a year - presumably you can pay for more).
Has readability stats which I know I find useful sometimes, and I hate doing on the net.
In general, I would be much faster (and better) at doing most of these things myself; most of what I read (of all types) suggests that many other people would benefit. Time will tell how useful I find it.

Agree about the cost. I wouldn't pay the annual subscription. Or the usual lifetime rate. At least without being convinced of its value to me. But $70 seemed OK, given that I have a wide range of potential uses. Not sure when the offer will end; I'd assumed it would be Cyber Monday since it was going on well past the 25th but it was still there when I checked. Cross fingers for sufficient longevity to justify lifetime.

I suspect if you don't have time to set up a dock, then you won't have time to set up ProWritingAid.
I always had them and used TLB and Circle Dock on my last computer, but was determined to trial vanilla W10 on my Surface. I've done that and have get fed up with it. ObjectDock and Winstep Xtreme aren't playing that well together atm, though seemed fine when I first installed.

My current configuration:
I was looking for views on Winstep & ObjectDock today and came across this.
Intrigued by the Hemingway App.

Started Googling and reading/comparing. Grammarly, Stylewriter etc then came across references to ProWriterAid. Surprisingly positive in the main. And then I came across a blog/page which gave a link to a 50% discount on the lifetime version. So I bought it. Had never used it etc. I'm sure it will be worth it. Never thought about using programs of this ilk (my spelling, grammar etc is naturally good and extra steps are time lost), but I have spent a surprising proportion of my working life reading, editing and correcting other people's work as well as writing myself, so I can't see how it won't be useful.

wrt to the original question, I bought both. I've had TLB for many years, but do like the graphical bells and whistles of the docks. Used to use Circle Dock. Not sure which I will use or whether I will continue with both, but I've given the Start button a good go on my Surface but it doesn't cut it in laptop multi monitor mode.

Reported one so far - "Sorry, we're not about to help a lot more with the Desktop or web apps appearance beyond the themes that we offer and the colour schemes offered within. I can of course take this on as feedback to see if the team are able to offer more high contrast options as well in time, but I couldn't offer a timeline on that."
I'll take it a bit further, and I will report others that seem easily fixable. But my computer access time is already reduced and my emphasis now is trying to get a way of functioning more productively.

A substantial part of the problem is that no OS deals with the issues very sensibly. Simply doing a colour reversal covers most of the major problems, and is an easy solution to implement, but it leaves all the colours used potentially clashing or fading into each other. It's easy enough on windows to see what the HC effect is as a keyboard shortcut allows you to toggle between normal view and HC.

Living Room / Re: Password Managers ... vs. Not
« on: June 04, 2017, 05:13 PM »
I'm gradually switching systems again.
I still use Lastpass; it is very convenient, but I have never stored passwords to my financial accounts on it. It has a very long password that isn't stored anywhere but I can derive fairly quickly.
I am switching back to browsers for passwords for sites that don't store any of my personal or sensitive information (just email addresses). I don't always want Lastpass enabled.
I have a password manager on my computer (with copy on my mobile) with a very secure password that isn't written anywhere. Both phone and computer are encrypted. I am switching more to this.
It's not complete security. But is my current balance between convenience and security - or it will be when I have completed the transition and checked everything out.

General Software Discussion / High Contrast setting & programs
« on: June 04, 2017, 05:02 PM »
I've recently developed what I hope is a temporary visual difficulty when using computers.
I have ended up trying the High Contrast setting on Windows, and the equivalent on Android & iOS (reverse colours). It has had the much welcomed, apparently usual, effect of improving the legibility of text and reducing eye strain.
I am much struck however by two things:
  • It is an extraordinarily crude, and not especially effective, way of tackling the problem. Photos are very very strange.
  • Many programs can't be set up to work properly with HC set. Some simply don't work. Some are illegible in parts. Some insist on glaring large white spaces at me, when dark is what I need; it's even worse because everything else is now dark.

I'm now having to go through each program and app to see if it works well enough in this mode and if looks good and easy to use. Some are very good, some are very poor and most are considerably worse. It's clearly not something that most programmers check out. I don't really see why all programs can't have available themes with dark backgrounds and light text; can't be that hard to do, can it?.

I'll probably stick to HC going forward since it is easier on the eye anyway, and I will have got used to it and switched to using the programs that work best with it.

General Software Discussion / Re: Evernote and Rightnote integration
« on: October 11, 2016, 04:05 PM »
I use Evernote.
I rarely use Rightnote; when I do it is because it has the spreadsheet option.

Good luck. Hope it all goes well.
As ever, I'm really envious of US prices.

I'm still very happy with my Book.

Thanks for the suggestions

Have you tried Toodledo?

That's what I use with Pocket Informant to have my data available where ever I want it.

My problem would be that it's a web app and my web is often absent.
OTOH I notice that it is on the Sync option list of EssentialPIM, so if I like that but dislike syncing tasks through Google, I could always do it through Toodledo.

Aha! Looks as if I had a Toodledo account in 2010, which finally expired through disuse in 2013; I'd had disuse reminders annually but finally decided that if I hadn't once used it in 3 years there was no point in renewing. Can't remember what I disliked; I assume it has moved on since then anyway. I'll have another look.
Had another look. Will probably do what I want but would be $15 or $30 a year. I'll see how EssentialPIM gets on working through Google.


There is that now has some Google integration (haven't tried it, I'm happy using WorkFlowy with HandyFlowy on iOS). seemed quite interesting until I noticed the price for Google sync  :o. But very much designed around email management and I don't need another email app. And it only has a Chrome app rather than a full Windows client.
I've never understood why I seem unable to get into Workflowy despite several attempts.

General Software Discussion / Re: GemX - missing in action
« on: September 16, 2016, 11:49 AM »
Strangely, given the timegap, Do-organizer (sort of via HarmonyPIM) is now reborn as doogiePIM.
Newly rewritten (again!) and with a new developer who acquired the previous code, customer database etc. Cheap(ish) conversion/upgrade for previous customers.
Looks very similar atm. Google sync is apparently in development, as is an Android app. I don't like the Document element as much.
Looking at it, I can see that I might (still!) use it for some things, if it works reliably & if there is Google sync. Has a forum.

I feel like I’ve spent much of my life looking for ways to keep synchronized calendars on my desktop computer and whatever portable device I was using
Very much ditto
I have emClient. Used it for a while for email, but stopped. Too much time spent in syncing and checking database after unexpected closures.

I remember using PocketInformant on my Windows Phone; can't remember whether I had it on a Palm.

I was had a quick revisit (& Pimlical) not so much for a Calendar (because I'm very happy with my current system) but for ToDos. I think I have tried nearly all the programs out there (and bought a fair few) without anything that really works for me overall.
I really like AbstractSpoon's ToDoList but the Android app isn't so functional and only syncs via Dropbox.
I use Google Keep a lot because it works well everywhere, and is very simple. But limited.
I'd prefer not to work through an app specific cloud (my one big dislike about Notezilla), and am happy to try to work within the limitations of Google Tasks/Calendar for mobile syncing (I think).

What I really want is:
  • a simple, easy entry (task title only) hierarchical to do list
  • With the capability of adding a range of other attributes (category, tag, dates, etc etc) if I want them. I find it very helpful to structure projects.
  • With easy organisation and being able to see everything I want on screen.
  • And syncing on to mobile platforms, preferably through Google.

I have an EssentialPIM licence and I'm trying that atm having done a quick review of the options. Looks as if it might work.
I've been here a lot of times before ...  :(

If added sophistication is needed, there is always Pimlical (to sit on top of the Google Cal feed).

That's an example of a web site design that completely made me lose my interest in finding out about the software.  It's pretty terrible design.
I remember Pimlical from the old Palm days. Market leader then.
Looks very similar now.
I doubt it has the flexibility in views that I 'need' (so not very tempted to check it out personally), but I accept that it is probably very functional.

What's the problem with going through Google Calendar, or similar? There might be 2 steps, but they take place automatically in the background. And easy to replace a component if one is discontinued or you dislike its progress.

I use VueMinder Pro on Windows and Business Calendar on Android. I assume I had something on ios when I tried it out, but don't remember now. I have no problems with it and it all seems pretty seamless and effective. I have EssentialPIM Pro but have never used its calendar really.

And has carried on working.
Bought a mouse/keyboard combo just to use with it (Logitech MX800). Tried a cheaper one first (but mouse button didn't work) and then the MX800 (but had to return it because the i key didn't work - but knew it was a much better option for me). And in doing that worked out why the Dock was such a big issue for me.

I spend a lot of time leaning back in my chair, keyboard on lap, mouse on chair arm. Eyes about 4 or 5 feet from the screen. I use the backwards/forwards/zoom controls on the mouse all the time. Productivity slumps if I can't do it.

So now using the Surface most of the time as my main computer, though it still doesn't displace the Samsung. Happy bunny  :)

I think, maybe, I might have found a working solution.

The setup described above stopped working completely, let alone just being unreliable. I think I have tried every known type of cable, adapter and interface (active and passive) but the Surface Dock never simply worked/s with them although there have been occasional glimmers of function. Latest drivers and Windows OS installed. I considered getting other monitors; would probably have been cheaper in the end than all the cables and adapters etc but would have been a relatively big expense in one lump and I had no faith that even an approved monitor would work.

I found that the Surface was becoming by far my least used device. I used my Samsung Note extensively - a better tablet anyway - and also used my desktop quite a lot. And the Surface only when there was no alternative. A much nicer device than my other laptop but equally under utilised.

But now, I hope, (and actually believe) I have a solution. I have attached another dock. This time a Plugable USB dock. I attached it first to the Surface and then to the Surface Dock and it simply worked as if working was never something to be questioned. I am using both docks mostly because I have them both, but prefer to avoid regularly attaching and detaching the dock to the USB port; the MS magnetic charger/connector is easily attached and detached without any mechanical stress on the port. It is very early days, and it might turn round and bite me, but it feels stable just as it ought to be.

It will mean I use the Surface very much more. I've been happy to use it for portability and when I'm just doing one thing, but I really like a lot of screen space for my usual multitasking.

Device in general remains really nice.

Apart from the monitor issue, the dock usually works.
The monitor issue has really irritated me. Seems to be a widespread issue affecting many monitors and makes, and should,  I  would have thought, have been fixable but no sign of MS doing so. It would be easier if it worked or didn't work but when a solution works sometimes, but not always, you can never sit down to work knowing it will be there.

I've switched one of my big monitors back to my desktop.  Probably a better idea tbh. I can manage OK with the current set up so long as it keeps working and keeps its settings. Maybe I'd have fewer resolution problems if I'd got the graphics card option but saw nothing on the Internet to suggest that.

It has been a real pig to deal with and isn't stable.
The ports on the Surface and dock are mini displayport.
I have been through connections via Displayport, HDMI, DVI and VGA on the monitors.
Nothing worked initially on the dock. But I got them (mostly) to work direct. And sometimes they would then work on the dock. Though not necessarily twice. And not at the correct resolution.
I now have 2 monitors working from the dock. One on DVI and one on VGA. Not at the optimum resolution but functioning. Although the function has been coming and going. I can live with this although it is not what I planned and may not prove reliable.

Would have been easy to be diverted by Internet memes that said my intended monitors  (I switched one out. I hadn't got it working but may have been able to but changed my mind about which monitors to use.) didn't work on W10. I knew they did because they did before.

So, sort of OK for now. Judgement suspended.

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