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Messages - Dormouse [ switch to compact view ]

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I bought something once. Realised it was a Chinese ripoff of a Mac product (including the image), reported it and got my money back. They didn't remove the app though.

I fully agree with the conclusion that multi platform usage will be increasingly important. And not just a cloud application. I think Scrivener is vulnerable here although it's trying. Seems to be years away from an Android version. And hasn't tackled the Dropbox issues despite frequent complaints about syncing.

I use OneNote because it "works" with this functionality.

Unless smaller publishers get on board with this, I fear that Apple, Google and Microsoft will dominate even more than now. Not easy because it can't be a cheap road to follow.

General Software Discussion / Re: Notetaking software
« on: February 06, 2018, 02:29 PM »
(Then there are web programs.  Does Quip, Qippa, Clibu, Nimburs, the CMS WebAsyst or other online programs ever work effectively in this manner? This is another question.  I always think that the functionality will be reduced when you get to nitty-gritty stuff.)
I don't really know if they work effectively. I never really consider them because I need to be able to work when I don't have access to net; so local is essential for me. Cloud is OK if it is on top of local.

I might well return to RightNote for this element, its Windows implementation I always felt was crisp and solid.
Agreed, but I haven't been using it recently because it's not multi-platform. That won't bother you if you wouldn't use it on iOS. Very traditional approach and I like the spreadsheet and tables.

I like multi-platform, Evernote does that, but it is not really (to me, so far) a Research Assistant, like I think  RightNote and Scrivener might be.

Can you explain a bit more of how you like the various products in multi-platform?  My multi is mostly Windows PC and iOS Tablet. Are they keeping your info in the cloud, Evernote style?  (Which does allow action when offline.) Is there a modest or large cost?  Which one do you like the most.

I need a master research and/or writing assistant.  (This is in addition to using Linoit as the visual traffic cop.)
My usage is primarily Windows & Android, but also need iOS sometimes.
My views are largely the result of my experiences over the years and may not be entirely adjusted to now they are now. I am aware that you can (and people do) use both Evernote and OneNote to do everything, but it has never worked like that for me and neither are ideal.
I use Evernote for snippets. I find it much the best for webclipping (have tried OneNote & many others) but I find that Evernote works best. Have also used it for some writing, some classification & do use it for information storage. Especially stuff that isn't classified. The search seems pretty good. Works well on all platforms.

As Iain has frequently explained, you can use OneNote like that and I suppose that might work for me if I lived in it, though I doubt it. OneNote feels too heavy and cumbersome to do the stuff I do in Evernote.

But it is probably the best as a research assistant. You can put everything in it, and have it visually organised and available when you use it. But best if you are actually doing your work using OneNote (whereas you can use Evernote just as a data store). That's how I'm using it atm. Though I don't find it entirely comfortable (absolutely hate the strange limitations particularly tables). Probably doesn't work well unless you commit and use it a lot. I also use the Onetastic automations which are a great timesaver for some aspects. Have managed to set it up with a corkboard a la Scrivener, though huge amounts of time disappeared into designing the cards because of the strange limitations. I have not problem in using Evernote and OneNote together.

I think both can be made to work with Trello, which I'm about to try out more intensively.

I use a pen quite a lot in both Windows and Android and both OneNote and Evernote will work with it or with dictation.

I think I'm right in saying that they both offer local modes and encryption, but their advantages need the cloud so you have to be comfortable with their privacy and security for the information you put in.

Just my own experience. I know I haven't pushed Evernote as far as it can go, and that I'm only scratching the surface of OneNote; I've always given up before, but suspect I'll be sticking with it this time unless something better turns up.

I also use Google Keep a lot. Mostly because it is fast, reliable and easily accessible. But not really for research.

Costwise, I think that they can all be used perfectly well free, but have improvements available for cost. I have Office365 which gives me the other progs & a reasonable amount of storage. Am also subscribed to Evernote Pro, but don't think I would lose much reverting to free

I think the biggest problem with starting all these programs, apart from the surprisingly steep learning curve to get them rolling smoothly, is all the decision making around structuring the information and usage. In OneNote it is about what Notebooks, what sections and what you have on the pages, as well as all the entries on each page. Tags are an afterthought.

With Evernote, it is about Notebooks to an extent but a lot about tagging structures.

Other people must do it much better.

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  :)

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