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Author Topic: TreeSheets - an interesting and innovative note taker (freeware)  (Read 14987 times)
mwang
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« on: March 24, 2009, 09:03:16 PM »

Caught this one on the mind-mapping blog: TreeSheets - fast, visual organisation for notes.

Its homepage is here: http://treesheets.com/.

It has a very unusual approach, and its interface might take some getting used to (its unorthodox use of mouse wheel, e.g.), but having tried it for the last two days, I have to admit it's very addictive. The first time you launch it after installation, a short tutorial (sample) document is open. Follow along and you'll be amazed at what it can do. (And if you're not impressed, or don't like its approach, it's pretty safe to uninstall it right away, for you've seen all it can do.)

Warning: it's a very young product, so don't expect it to do everything your favorite note taker can do.

[edited to add screenshot - mouser]
« Last Edit: March 24, 2009, 09:05:44 PM by mouser » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2009, 09:05:55 PM »

Looks interesting.
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surftwo
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« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 07:25:31 AM »

Nice program......I found a couple of other ones similar to treesheets.......like tobu and incollector.
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Dormouse
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 07:50:33 AM »

Also seems to have similarities in concept to InfoQube (SQLnotes)
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mwang
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 03:22:24 PM »

tobu is all about tagging, TreeSheets doesn't do tags. Can't comment on incollector, which I no longer have any recollection.

InfoQube is a totally different beast, which is much more powerful, but also more complicated. TreeSheets draws tables alright, but that's not what makes it unique.

Edited by mwang: to clarify the subject of the last sentence.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 03:44:05 PM by mwang » Logged
rgdot
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 03:26:33 PM »

Can't comment on incollector, which I no longer have any recollection.

 Grin

This looks interesting, in pure note taking terms I am happy with CintaNotes but will try this as well
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surftwo
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 09:11:57 PM »

Or just use Scrapbook or Qeepit works like a cardfile system.




EDIT: removed links to questionable sites - app103
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 05:21:36 PM by app103 » Logged
kartal
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2009, 09:30:56 PM »

This is only a nice start

-It does not support drag and drop from other applications
-It looks like "enter" does not make linebreak
-No way to use tab for indenting
-No image support
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mwang
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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 10:21:55 AM »

kartal, you're impatient, aren't you?

-No image support
In fact there is, just not by copy-pasting yet. Inserting image file does work, though.

-It looks like "enter" does not make linebreak
In fact it does. Every cell is a line, and hitting [Enter] does end it. Try hitting [Enter], then start typing again, and you'll see.

-No way to use tab for indenting
Try [Ins] (to add a sub-grid), for in TreeSheet, an indented paragraph is like a sub-grid.

I did say its approach is unorthodox, didn't I? You really have to follow through the sample file (tutorial.cts) to know what it's doing, which took me 10-20 min., top. I've never seen an application with so unfamiliar an UI that I could learn in such short time, and got me hooked so quickly.

I have my editor (EmEditor) in the system tray all the time, so I could quickly open it and dump any random bits in it. Now, while EmEditor is still faithfully there, I find myself reaching for TreeSheet more and more often.

Now things would probably be different if I have a favorite power note taker. I'm still evaluating Rightnote, InfoQube, myBase, and MyInfo, but can't decide on one yet, since each has obvious flaws for my purpose.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 10:32:55 AM »

Nice! I was looking for something like this for a long time.

Hopefully this could substitute the idea of IGoogle/Netvibes Sticky Notes in an offline format.
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kartal
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2009, 12:22:36 PM »

Well linebreak-indents and grid cells are different things. Having no real linebreak will make organization of infocells very hard in my view. I personally prefer a hybrid approach rather than creating a grid cell for every line or an indent. So my points are very valid from my point of view even after you explain or me going through the tutorial in the first place.  The grid idea is great but it is not that new. There are alot of people who use Excel(or alike) for note taking.

My main argument against indenting or line breaking via grids is readability. The information that is organized under such organization looks more structured less informative. It might work for some people but not for me I guess. I am not against structured blocks but readability and information relationship is very important when one needs to go through notes(adding or reading).



I personally have an issue with applications that do not have support for drag and drop, image copy pasting. In that respect bringing an image via file dialog is not very productive approach in year 2009 especially one needs to use it as a "note taking " application. If I need to go through menu maze to bring information into my note taking application, I would not call it a note taking application anymore.

Beside all my negative take on it, i really like the zooming into the grid idea. It is really intuitive.

After evaluating 100s of note taking applications(you name it) in last 4 years, I have decided upon

-Wikidpad for bulk note taking (plain text based, freeform tagging, easy and non limiting topic connecting)
-Onenote for specialized-sharable (drawing, freeform layout, peer to peer notebook syncing, easy notebooksharing)
-Freemind for organized note taking (freefom, easy branching, image support, drag and drop support, html support)




kartal, you're impatient, aren't you?

-No image support
In fact there is, just not by copy-pasting yet. Inserting image file does work, though.

-It looks like "enter" does not make linebreak
In fact it does. Every cell is a line, and hitting [Enter] does end it. Try hitting [Enter], then start typing again, and you'll see.

-No way to use tab for indenting
Try [Ins] (to add a sub-grid), for in TreeSheet, an indented paragraph is like a sub-grid.

I did say its approach is unorthodox, didn't I? You really have to follow through the sample file (tutorial.cts) to know what it's doing, which took me 10-20 min., top. I've never seen an application with so unfamiliar an UI that I could learn in such short time, and got me hooked so quickly.

I have my editor (EmEditor) in the system tray all the time, so I could quickly open it and dump any random bits in it. Now, while EmEditor is still faithfully there, I find myself reaching for TreeSheet more and more often.

Now things would probably be different if I have a favorite power note taker. I'm still evaluating Rightnote, InfoQube, myBase, and MyInfo, but can't decide on one yet, since each has obvious flaws for my purpose.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 07:33:12 PM by kartal » Logged
mwang
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2009, 10:04:23 PM »

My main argument against indenting or line breaking via grids is readability. The information that is organized under such organization looks more structured less informative. It might work for some people but not for me I guess.
To each his own, indeed. It struck me as odd at first, too, but somehow grew on me quickly. I don't know why. I guess it's because it's similar to map tools (Google Maps, etc.), and I've always like maps (including paper-based maps).

I personally have an issue with applications that do not have support for drag and drop, image copy pasting.

There are a number of improvements needed for TreeSheet to be a regular on my system, and image copy-pasting is one of them as well. I guess/hope this could be implemented quickly since its data structure supports images already.

I personally don't use drap-n-drop much, though. My main working window (Word, Powerpoint, Freemind, or Firefox) is almost always maximized, so it's hard to drag-n-drop things between applications.

After evaluating 100s of note taking applications(you name it) in last 4 years, I have decided upon

-Wikidpad for bulk note taking (plain text based, freeform tagging, easy and non limiting topic connecting)
-Onenote for specialized-sharable (drawing, freeform layout, peer to peer notebook syncing, easy notebooksharing)
-Freemind for organized note taking (freefom, easy branching, image support, drag and drop support, html support)

I've also tried a lot (less than 100, but not too far behind), especially since I joined DC and read the several threads on note-taking, and SuperboyAC's review. Still can't find the one.

My main gripe is (the lack of) unicode support. Many otherwise powerful note-takers don't support unicode (Asian text especially) fully, making them useless to me. Big names in this category include MyInfo, Surfulator, ActionOutline, TreeDBNotes Pro, Zoot, and Treepad, just to name a few.

Wikidpad, unfortunately, is one of them, and it doesn't draw tables, which is quite important (though not essential) to me. RightNote, which I learned of only recently (from you, right?), also has some issues, though still tolerable.

OneNote is not considered because it belongs to the Office family, from which I'm trying to move away. I tried it briefly, and while it's powerful, it's too bulky for my system to stay on all the time.

Freemind is a newcomer on my system, but I like it a lot and it's one of my main working tools now. I've found it a surprisingly effective tool for presentation, replacing Powerpoint on many occasions. Especially since it's cross-platform, I could use it on my notebook (mainly on Linux). (Now all I need is something to really replace Word then I'm MS Office-free.) When I'm attending conferences or meetings, I use Freemind to take notes, since only it and Firefox need to be open at the time. On my main desktop, however, I would prefer something lighter, if I can find one.

Thanks for sharing, though. I appreciate it.
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kartal
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2009, 10:59:57 PM »

You can try Keynote if you have not. I think it is good with unicode. Someone is maintaining the project.

http://code.google.com/p/keynote-nf/


I think that main the issue with Treesheets is that it is not freeform, maybe little bit as long as you have everything planned out before taking notes. When you are trying to take speedy notes you do not want to think about where and how you want to put the note.Having this grid structure creates invisible connections between cells that can make false impressions on the content of the notes. Other than this particular issue I think this is a fresh new approach to note taking.

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mwang
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2009, 03:24:21 PM »

You can try Keynote if you have not. I think it is good with unicode. Someone is maintaining the project.

Unfortunately it doesn't handle unicode well, either. Thanks, though.

I think that main the issue with Treesheets is that it is not freeform, maybe little bit as long as you have everything planned out before taking notes. When you are trying to take speedy notes you do not want to think about where and how you want to put the note.

Not really a problem here. Alongside cells for structured stuff, I set up a unstructured notepad cell, where in my cursor mostly resides. I summon Treesheets from the system tray with a hotkey, then type away. Organization can wait.
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Paul Keith
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2009, 07:26:04 PM »

Unfortunately this isn't for me either. It's interesting though how kartal says Freemind is freeform when these two apps is basically the same thing.

You could even say Freemind is the MS Word where as TreeSheets is the Excel of the same model.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2009, 12:44:07 PM »

I just found rightNote and it might be my ticket out of oneNote dependency.
Should work well under wine too...
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superboyac
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« Reply #16 on: January 22, 2011, 09:30:18 PM »

This is one of the coolest programs I've come across in a long time.  I really hope this one matures well, this is very awesome.  There's so much you can do with it.  Wow.
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superboyac
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« Reply #17 on: February 17, 2011, 05:24:27 PM »

Treesheets is turning out to be a great place for me to brainstorm ideas.  I've been using it all week at work.
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« Reply #18 on: February 17, 2011, 05:49:26 PM »

+1  Thmbsup

It is a remarkably nice application.

I was never a big fan of OneNote. This looks like it can more than fill the gap.

I'm tracking one big live project using Treesheets in order to get a better handle on all it's capabilities. So far, it hasn't disappointed me.

With a little luck it might be able to finally retire XMind for some types of brainstorming I do.

 smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #19 on: February 17, 2011, 06:03:51 PM »

Yeah, nice to know you're experimenting with it also.
My only complaint with it so far is that i can't figure out how to easily hop in and out of levels in a hierarchy using keyboard shortcuts.  I keep wanting to do in, out, up, down operations that I'm used to with outliners, but you can't really move out of levels without dragging and dropping.  I must be missing something.
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mwang
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2011, 03:24:43 AM »

My only complaint with it so far is that i can't figure out how to easily hop in and out of levels in a hierarchy using keyboard shortcuts.
Tried ESC (out) and Shift-Enter (in)? It's certainly unorthodox, for TreeSheets uses the more traditional keys for other purposes. Be careful with ESC, though. When in the middle of editing, ESC means cancel, and everything you've typed would be gone. Hit Enter first, and then ESC to back out one level.
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2011, 07:57:58 AM »

I've played through the tutorial. This is a very cool piece of software. But I have one question: Why?

I have no idea how could anyone organize anything in TreeSheets. Perhaps I am too dumb to imagine how on earth it could be used to "replace for spreadsheets, mind mappers, outliners, PIMs, text editors and small databases."

Anyone has a real-world examples?

Edit: found examples in example folder. Now wondering how could play todo with it.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 08:07:41 AM by electronixtar » Logged

Paul Keith
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« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2011, 08:25:13 AM »

These types of applications are a lot like InfoQube.

The best real world example is the developer themselves. Often times, they can't find a specific app for their needs but they have the capability to do something more powerful and they have often been exposed to spreadsheets and tree outliners and so a natural progression of that is to create an even more powerful set of flexible program using mostly cells as the basis.

For TreeSheets in particular, the most important thing to understand about this is that it isn't a program that answers a need as much as fills a need. When people are searching for that one program because there's no other program that fills their requirements fully - this program becomes it.

However if you're just treating this as a program where you are looking for a to-do list, these can often seem needlessly complicated or lacking a checkbox.

The most important thing though is to treat this as a grocery list with a calculator. (Check the first sub-grid example)

In that context, it's a more powerful to-do list as it's to-do mixed with an outliner view mixed with a spreadsheet like grid.

...but again, only if a basic checkbox isn't good enough for you and only if the alternative you are looking for is working and looking more like a database outliner than say a notetaker.

The mindmap replacement comes more from the fact that you can have a cell that's on the left or right side or that's zoomed out and then zooms in as well as the inclusion of images.
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superboyac
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« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2011, 02:16:02 PM »

I've played through the tutorial. This is a very cool piece of software. But I have one question: Why?

I have no idea how could anyone organize anything in TreeSheets. Perhaps I am too dumb to imagine how on earth it could be used to "replace for spreadsheets, mind mappers, outliners, PIMs, text editors and small databases."

Anyone has a real-world examples?

Edit: found examples in example folder. Now wondering how could play todo with it.
I think the description overstates the program's capabilities.  It may be able to do all of those things, but not easily (from what I've seen).  I find it handy for making outlines, that's all.  So it's outline creation with a nifty interface for it.  A lot of other programs do outlines, yes.  but what treesheets offers a certain freedom in the outline...i'm having a hard time explaining it.
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« Reply #24 on: February 25, 2011, 04:45:09 AM »

This is good. No portable version?
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