At first, I liked the way the applications introduced me to the whole process but after trying Dramatica's Level 1 Story Guide on an article I was planning to write, I was really underwhelmed by the end result. Yes, it's really not meant for writing such things but the article I was testing it on fits the basic needs of a story with characters, transitions, chapters and the works except I could get away with just one sentence or paragraph to fill most of what the program asks so I saw it as a decent test for what it could produce.
Unfortunately, the end result is very outline-ish and this is bad for me because I really was expecting the program to unearth something while doing all these process but the events it produced were nothing I couldn't have thought of on my own using any kind of snippet taker. After trying IdeaMason, the entire thing just didn't feel like it was worth paying for. (though the bonuses that come with StoryMind is a nice offer)
StoryMind is basically a subsection in Dramatica's Story Guide and it basically asks you to type something and lets you see it later on for reference but compared to IdeaMason's plethora of ways to insert footnotes/citations and references, it really came short.
Note that part of my decision was influenced by the fact that I felt I could reproduce the same thing in Compendium by copying the questions and answering it through the program's user interface and I would get a more concrete view of my content because of it's mapping structure.IdeaMason
At first this is my Liquid Story Binder/Offline Diigo and I really came into it feeling like I was just shy of cashing out on it and the drag and drop way of doing things really really felt so tempting to use and the ability to basically have a YeahWrite entry only the tabs working per item rather than per entry really REALLY got my hopes up but once I tried it, I found it was too rigid in it's structure. For ex. I want the reference to be basically a blank notepad like Opera's notes panel but with the ability to remove the folder view but the program insists on puttng an entry box when entering the information to satisfy such rote questions as the name of the link, etc. etc.
In the end, what I end up getting was a jazzed up combination of a notetaker combined with the Form Letter Machine except with drag and drop rather than copy to clipboard. Even the links which I at first thought had Web Capturing wasn't to be. One thing it got slightly right was the mini-preview mode but the fact that I couldn't find a way to get a fullscreen preview/reader mode really made it feel like I was better off with Compendium. Not that I was looking for this program to replace Compendium but it really made me feel like it was the Compendium equivalent to my search for a YeahWrite/Diigo replacement and by that I mean, Compendium was one of the programs I really found invaluable to me and if the program now were to be made lighter and more stable with the exact same features, it would be almost be an ideal program that doesn't have any glaring flaws for my own purposes. (though it still wouldn't be good enough to be the only notetaking program I would use.)Olympus DS-50 Tape Recorder:
Dear Sir/Madam,Search for Alternate Programs Added:Two-pane Notepad
Thank you for your e-mail and interest in our products.
While appreciating your interest,
we are sorry to inform you that there are no dealers or retailers
of our voice recorders in the Philippine.
Therefore, regarding availability of DS-50,
please contact our distributor of digital cameras
at the following address.
*** Distributor in the Philippines ***
Axis Global Technologies,Inc.
20 North Rd., Cor. 3rd Ave., Cubao,
Unfortunately none of our voice recorders
including the DS-50 is water proof.
Therefore, we are unable to guarantee the use of
our voice recorders in a bathroom.
We are not planning to introduce water proof
voice recorders under present circumstances.
Thank you for your understanding.
Customer Support Center
OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP. Tokyo, Japan
Through using these programs, I ended up feeling that maybe there was a much simpler solution to what I needed. IdeaMason's Composition Drag and Drop feature which allows one to first filter contents before dragging the snippets into a full article really made me realize the value of a two pane outliner and it reminded me of how for a long time Opera's notes panel felt really useful to me despite it's bare bones feature and I finally got why it was that way.
Basically the freedom I got from Opera's Notes panel was the fact that aside from a preview/reader mode, it really was a good basic user interface design for my needs if you replace the browser area with a notepad section. Add in the tabs and light mem consumption of YeahWrite with a better export and I really felt it would be good enough to replace Diigo and Yeahwrite for me even if the snippet area might not have the capability and features of Surfulator.
All I really need is to replace Diigo with any highlighter app like Scrapbook and Wired Marker, copy paste the highlights and then paste them into the program and voila! The hideable notes panel means I can get my full screen view of the contents and as long as it can be set for preview mode, I really believe it would be good enough to work.
Unfortunately, I can't find such a program as most of the outliners I've seen waste too much screen real estate by adding a tree-hierarchy to it's 2nd pane while others like creating a two column template for OneNote fall short because you can't hide one side with ease and really OneNote has too many advanced features that doesn't bode well for experimentation. Case in point, I was curious by what the linkify feature's use was and used it but I ended up having my entire snippets turned into links which I couldn't undo because OneNote has no unlimited undos to my knowledge.The Form Letter Machine + EverNote/Surfulator + Advanced Clipper
Well the core functionality is basically the same as above. I only mentioned this because I'm currently trying to manage through using the combination of Scrapbook + The Form Letter Machine as my alternative to Diigo but it's so clunky because it has no web clipping functionality but it does so many things right like a previewable non-editable reader with a mini-edit box as opposed to the reverse which makes it really great for reading the snippets that pretty much my only worry is it's lack of a backup and export feature and it's lack of an auto-save but it will have to do for now. I also haven't tested how well it handles tons of information especially without a tagging feature.