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Last post Author Topic: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer  (Read 12640 times)

Josh

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I open this question up to the mighty masses of donationcoder.com

I am looking to organize quite a bit of data. This data ranges in type from personal documents (birth certs, marriage certs, etc) to financial docs (loan docs, mortgage docs, utility account info docs, etc) to educational (transcripts, required tax income verification forms, etc).

The best way for me to describe the program in question is a CHM file creation tool which allows either embedding of, or even better direct viewing, documents, images, and various other file types. The program I am looking for would ideally operate in the following manner.

You start out by creating a "Book" of sorts. At the root is the title of this book, in my case - Josh, which can have subbooks which contain subbooks of various topics. Each subbook has an associated default "page" where you can put info about the contents, little notes, etc (Basically a miniature MS one-note style system).

Each book can then, as said above, be broken down into sub-books to further organize the varying types of data. After you get to a certain point, I want to be able to add pages to these books. The pages will be of varying types. I would like to be able to either embed documents directly into said pages (html or xml preferred) or, even better, insert a document, image or file as a page directly without need for the backing XML/HTML page, but still allowing for it if the type of document warrants it. Ideally, each page would allow for thumbnail generation to get a quick glimpse of the pages in each "book" without opening them all them completely. Of similar function, or perhaps a substitute, is just displaying the associated icon of the program used to open each document so you know it's type.

Internal viewing of most common document formats would be a must (doc, xls, ppt, pdf, various image formats, etc) so that an external application would not need to be open, but could be if the option were chosen to open each file in its associated external application.

I think I covered many of the high points, what do you think? Does such a beast exist?

skwire

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 03:04:35 AM »
As we talked about in IRC, I use MyBase for such.  http://www.wjjsoft.com/

Dormouse

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 05:35:01 AM »
I use Ultra Recall.
Comparison between editions.
Manual
On BitsDuJour a few days ago - but that might not help you now (though always worth asking).

I'm sure InfoQube could do this too. Or will be able to do what it doesn't do now.
Ultra Recall is pretty complex, but I've not yet got to grips with InfoQube (previously SQLNotes).

Development of Ultra Recall was (very briefly) suspended which introduces a slight questionmark about the future if the income it produces does not hold up. But that will be true for other programs too whether they say it or not.

sword

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 05:53:49 PM »
I use WordPerfect. Master documents, sub-documents, linking, XML, preview, searching.

IainB

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2010, 06:46:18 AM »
@skwire: Could I ask you some Qs about myBase please:
  • How long have you been using myBase for?
  • What are its pros and cons?
  • What plugins/addons have you purchased for it, and how did they fare in your view?

(Thanks.)

skwire

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2010, 07:45:58 AM »
I bought it back in 2005 and have used it darn near daily since.

Pros:
  • It can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be.
  • The database engine is fantastic.
  • No skinning on the main interface.
  • MDI interface (I love MDI interfaces).
  • Well done RTF editor.
  • WebCollect plugin.
  • HTMLTree plugin.
  • Tons of export options including one that will create a stand-alone read-only executable.

Cons:
  • Development is slow. IMO, this isn't a con but it is for some people.  I don't buy software for what it could be.  I buy software for what it is at the time of purchase.
  • Tables within the RTF editor are a pain.
  • The find-as-you-type search feature is kind of kludgy but I rarely use it.

The WebCollect and HTMLTree plugins do their job well.  Does that help a bit?

Josh

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2010, 06:42:40 AM »
Does anyone know if it is possible to configure mybase to store each node/child/sibling as an individual file rather than in it's database format? This program is otherwise good to go but I would like to store each file in a hierarchical structure in the filesystem.

skwire

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2010, 09:21:24 AM »
Does anyone know if it is possible to configure mybase to store each node/child/sibling as an individual file rather than in it's database format? This program is otherwise good to go but I would like to store each file in a hierarchical structure in the filesystem.

I highly doubt this is possible given that their database engine is a key part of MyBase.

rjbull

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2010, 02:01:30 PM »
is possible to configure mybase to store each node/child/sibling as an individual file rather than in it's database format?

I think that's how AM-Notebook does it?

Josh

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 02:03:00 PM »
The only issue I have with AM-Notebook is that I don't think you can attach files to notes. Otherwise it would be good in my books. I have quite a few documents in various formats that need to be attachable and viewable. That is why I want files individually stored so I do not lose everything if a database corrupts.

tomos

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 03:46:28 PM »
Re the idea of storing notes seperately:

InfoQube's (IQ) notes are html and are stored seperately from the database file by default
The HTML pane displays content (web &/or notes) related to items
The HTML content can also be stored/saved as MHT (as html it cannot yet store images locally AFAIK)

IQ_066.pngQuestion - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer

Reading your first post Josh: I think IQ could fit the bill
e.g. I can create links to files (or to other items, or to urls) in the Grid (left side in screenshot) & in the html pane
or
I can simply open e.g. a PDF file in the html pane and next time I click on the related item in the grid the pdf file show again - I believe the files shown in the html pane can also be saved in a folder in same directory as the database file. (I work mostly with files linked to items in the grid myself)
I have Softmaker/Textmaker and I find the html pane opens doc files externally - I believe with Word installed it shows doc files within the programme

This would not be covered:
Quote
Ideally, each page would allow for thumbnail generation to get a quick glimpse of the pages in each "book" without opening them all them completely. Of similar function, or perhaps a substitute, is just displaying the associated icon of the program used to open each document so you know it's type.
and
I'm not sure what you mean by a "CHM file creation tool"

IQ is still in Beta:
Pros - very responsive developer
Cons being it has a learning curve cause the interface at times not yet so user-friendly, and also cause it's so flexible (- but having a fair idea what you want to do with it helps - you'd get a lot of help at it's forums too)
Tom

TucknDar

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 05:56:55 PM »
The only issue I have with AM-Notebook is that I don't think you can attach files to notes. Otherwise it would be good in my books. I have quite a few documents in various formats that need to be attachable and viewable. That is why I want files individually stored so I do not lose everything if a database corrupts.
You can attach files within the notes, if that's what you mean. They won't be viewable, but they'll basically function as links to the files (and thus open in default program for that file type). Ctrl+F7 (or right click and select "Add link to other note"). It's not that obvious, though, since I take it you expect it to only be able to add link to another AM-Notebook note. However, you can select "All Files" in the Open dialog, instead of just Notes, and then you can add your .doc, .pdf or whatever.

rjbull

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2010, 02:33:54 PM »
I want files individually stored so I do not lose everything if a database corrupts.

I know what you mean, but the big advantage of a single-file database, as I see it, is that it's easy to back up, provided one takes the trouble to back up.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2010, 02:55:33 PM »

criss

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2010, 02:14:58 AM »
A way to oganize files "within" AM-Notebook is to use Local Website Archive from the same author. AM-Notebook has a tab to display the Local Website outline, but you cannot mix this with the notes-outline. On the other hand Local Website Archive is very good at archiving websites and is also able to store different files (f.e. email messages and PDFs) within it's outline.

wales

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2010, 01:02:06 PM »
Josh

Give Mind Jet Mind Manager a try.  You can link to word docs, excel etc also to webpages.  You can also add notes and links to folders + more.  "http://www.mindjet.com/products/overview"  Trial available.

wales

JohnFredC

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2010, 07:12:23 PM »
Hi
My favorite is MHSoftware's InfoStore...

It's paradigm is an hierarchical tree of folders, notes, and data tables.  Not the most full featured of tools, but fantastic at quick and dirty which, honestly, is what I need mostly.

As a programmer/developer, I can honestly say that InfoStore's keyboard interface is the best I have ever encountered.  In the beginning I was put off by it for reasons you will understand if you try the software, but after a while I acquired a taste for it.  The design is minimal-key-strokes-necessary... most of you understand how hard that is to architect.

Highly recommended.

I used SQLNotes (now InfoQube, I guess) and wanted to like it so much... but it does not support the hierarchical organization of tables and documents... a serious failing, IMO.

The best tool for these kinds of things is MS Access, though.  An experienced software guy can do this sort of thing relatively easily:

http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/8025/smjxpbrowsedeals.png
Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer


The problem is that if you are not a developer experienced in building application GUI's, even though Access is easy to use, you still end up with the Access interface which, post Access 2003, frankly sucks.  Access XP is the best, IMO. 

How did the Visual Studio RAD environment paradigm succeed anyway?  I hate it.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 07:30:17 PM by JohnFredC »

Armando

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2010, 07:54:09 PM »
I used SQLNotes (now InfoQube, I guess) and wanted to like it so much... but it does not support the hierarchical organization of tables and documents... [...]

What do you mean ?

tymrwt33

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2010, 06:19:48 PM »
Ultra Recall

tomos

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2010, 06:58:05 AM »
My favorite is MHSoftware's InfoStore...

It's paradigm is an hierarchical tree of folders, notes, and data tables.  Not the most full featured of tools, but fantastic at quick and dirty which, honestly, is what I need mostly.

As a programmer/developer, I can honestly say that InfoStore's keyboard interface is the best I have ever encountered.  In the beginning I was put off by it for reasons you will understand if you try the software, but after a while I acquired a taste for it.  The design is minimal-key-strokes-necessary... most of you understand how hard that is to architect.

Highly recommended

that sounded interesting, so I went to have a look & clicked on buy to see the price - but link was dead - so I emailed site. Answer was:
Quote
I regret that InfoStore is not currently being sold; but expressions of interests are recorded, and we will contact you again if we decide to release an upgraded version.


PS I dont understand your InfoQube comment either...
Tom

PPLandry

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2010, 09:31:28 PM »
I used SQLNotes (now InfoQube, I guess) and wanted to like it so much... but it does not support the hierarchical organization of tables and documents... a serious failing, IMO.

The best tool for these kinds of things is MS Access, though.  An experienced software guy can do this sort of thing relatively easily

InfoQube database model is different than other relational databases, such as Access and as such, it is not a competition... it is complementary, solving problems that are not well suited to something like Access.

So... if, as you say, Access is best suited for a particular application, then it is best to use it. InfoQube is best for less structured, more multi-facet type applications.

HTH
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz
« Last Edit: April 12, 2010, 09:38:05 PM by PPLandry »

Armando

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2010, 12:44:32 AM »
[slightly off topic]
Ah. I think see what  JohnFredC was after -- the actual DB model.
IQ is more of an associative DB ( http://en.wikipedia....iative_model_of_data , http://www.adit.co.u...ative_databases.html )
[/slightly off topic]

In any case, it boils down to answers to a few questions :

about You
1- what do you want to do ? (Josh's first post is pretty clear)
2- what compromises are you willing to make ?
3- how much time and efforts are you willing to invest to achieve what you want to do ?

about the app
4- will this or this app be able to help you achieve something close to what you want ?
5- What compromises/sacrifices will you necessarily have to make if you use this app ?
6- how long (how much effort) is it going to take to achieve what you want with that app ?

Etc.

I don't think there's an application out there that does all Josh wants, without some time investment and without any sacrifices.

Ultra Recall could do some or most of it, probably, like IQ, for sure. Other apps too... It depends on the answers to the above questions..


Josh : did you try a few of these apps ? What are your impressions ?

Josh

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2010, 01:30:58 AM »
I have tried most of these and I think I am going to settle on MyBase for my purposes. I have attempted to contact their support team on 2 separate occasions over the past 2 weeks and gotten no responses which is the only thing I am apprehensive about. If I am going to spent $80 on a product, I expect to be able to reach the support team when needed.

IQ was far too obtuse for what I needed and the other products seemed more apt for purposes other than what I required. I like the ability in MyBase to export the data to various formats and styles (HTML pages, exe files, etc). I can even dump the entire db with attachments to a file structure.

So it looks like MyBase is what I am going to utilize.

Armando

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2010, 09:56:41 PM »
Thanks for the update. I'm interested to know how well MyBase will help you reach your goals.

I tried it almost 3 years ago when I was in a similar quest and decided it wasn't for me. At the time, I almost went the Ultra Recall way, but I refrained as I found it wasn't flexible enough and I hated the calendar and other aspects of it. I then tried IQ AKA SQLNotes... And I really didn't know it would become a major aspect of my computing life (I totally understand that some will find it "obtuse"... Although most of the obtuse stuff have been ironed out by now... The next big "problems" to be cleaned out are the way filters work and stuff like that. IQ's still evolving, and I know that some pretty big changes under the hood are coming quite soon. The current version is very stable).

Anyway, back to myBase... If you don't mind, I'll share with you some of the "reasons" why I didn't chose it at the time (there were many others, probably, but these are the ones that come to my mind) :

- It was hard to automatically break a document into many items and organize these quickly into an outline.
- I didn't feel like importing a whole bunch of documents into a DB, but preferred to link these to a DB (and view them from the software, "remotely" so to speak)
- there were only 2 virtualization levels, the tree itself and the labeling system (another user, cnewtone, noted that)
- some functions were slow sometimes : the searching function, the loading of saved Web pages, the pasting of big documents, the switching between "Webpage" view and "text Note" view, the indexing... - The fact that myBase didn't index automatically was a bit of turnoff.. But this might have been solved.
- didn't like that I that had to manually give titles to each of my inserted notes and made sure they were in the right category, and that was a slow process (other software -- like zoot or ultra recall at the time -- could almost automate these processes or provide other keyboard ways to speed up the process).
- Web clipping and "quick note taking" features were less sophisticated (the later being actually inexistant, I believe).
- Wasn't that fast to use the outline to quickly enter text, paragraphs, etc. as with other outliners.
- Drag and drop options weren,t that great (I remember it wasn't as developed as in other apps.)
- I also think there was no calendar or any easy ways to manage dates (but this was really a personal preference...)
- it wasn't as easy to create new fields/filed attributes, play with them, etc. But this I don't remember precisely.
- Could items have multiple parents, easily ? I'm not sure...

It could very well be that all these things were solved -- e.g. : the indexing feature is now supposed to be much faster, so...
Note that Google Desktop Search is supposed to index mybase, which could be real handy, depending on your usage.

I might actually install the latest version during the weekend and see what changed in the last 3 years. I'll probably be pleasantly surprised.

In any case... keep us posted !  :)

ha14

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Re: Question - Does anyone know of such a program? - Data organizer
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2010, 04:11:45 AM »
Hi
There is c-organizer pro
http://www.csoftlab.com/

and if you go to this link and at the buttom page you will find a link that will let you to purchase with 50% discount
http://www.techishar...ith-c-organizer-pro/

This organizer offers also syncing capability to windows mobiles or palm but the conduits should be purchased separately and installed.

In short, this is a Planner, Address Book, Password and Bookmark manager, Notebook, and a Calendar of Events combined into one powerful, easy-to-use application. All data can be shared in real-time on a network. You and your assistant can be in using your calendar at the same time!
Moreover, you can synchronize your C-Organizer Appointments, Tasks, Contacts and Notes with your Pocket PC or Palm devices!

You can also create MS word type looking documents.

Hope this can help you or others