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Last post Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 506607 times)

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #275 on: June 16, 2006, 10:10:42 AM »
So, aignes, you are the author, right?  I assumed so because you are also the author of Website-Watcher.

I tried your suggestions for opening multiple databases and it worked.  Thanks.  It's kind of awkward to work with because the tree on the left can only show one database, and when you switch to the tab that has a note from the second database, the tree doesn't change with it.  It looks like the only way to change the tree view is to use the "Change note location" option.

But your software has gotten me thinking.  Would people prefer to have multiple databases open at once, like in Surfulater and Mybase?  Or would people prefer to have the ability to open several notes from the same database at once, like in AM?  I'm thinking people would rather have multiple databases open, but the tabs for individual notes are nice also.

hornet

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #276 on: July 02, 2006, 06:08:40 AM »
I have been using Info Select for my note taking for the last 8 years or so.

http://www.miclog.com/is/index.shtml

It is a free form data base type program (with extras).

One of the features I like is the "transporter" which allows you highlight text in any program and transport it into info select.

I also like its ability o search for words within its database.

It has the ability for databases, spreadsheets, tables, calendars and even email (which I don't like).

I don't think it does all the things you have been discussing above, but it suits my needs.

Maybe another contender??

Harry.

PS My first post - be gentle!

Carol Haynes

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #277 on: July 02, 2006, 07:32:14 AM »
Welcome "Harry the hornet" - we are all nice here (most of the time) so long as you don't sting us ;)


Info Select looks very nice but it should do at $250 for new users ....

hornet

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #278 on: July 02, 2006, 07:40:57 AM »
True, the price nowadays is steep for Info Select....

But I thought it might give some more "ideas" to the forum.

In the meantime, I have downloaded surfalator and am on a steep learning curve..

So far I like it a lot!

Harry.

Rover

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #279 on: July 02, 2006, 09:29:31 AM »
Hi Hornet,

I mentioned Info Select in this discussion a while ago.  (The thread is so crazy long I'm sure you didn't read it all)  I have not seen the program in 10 years or so. Are you using the Text based version or did they modernize it some?

Also, how fast can you add a note and/or search for one?  When I saw it used, it was fucntion key based and stupid fast for those who used it often. 

Welcome to the site.  :Thmbsup:
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hornet

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #280 on: July 02, 2006, 05:42:01 PM »
Sorry, I did not notice it mentioned earlier - I read thru most of he posts - but here were many alright!

I currently have Info Select 7 (they are now up to version 8).

It is "visual" now  - although hot keys are still there.

Adding a note or a topic and searching is really fast. 

It also allows syncwith other computers - but I have not used it that way.

I was thinking about how long I have had it - and realise I must have purchased my first copy (vers 4) sometime about 1989.

Like all programs - I don't use a fraction of whats there - just what suits me.

While the whole idea about it is it's freeform nature - it falls short of Surfalator's ability to have more than one "file" open at one time.

Regards,

Harry.

Rover

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #281 on: July 02, 2006, 05:52:51 PM »
Sorry, I did not notice it mentioned earlier - I read thru most of he posts - but here were many alright!

No reason to be sorry...we're glad your here. :)

Thanks for the info. 
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longrun

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Info Select
« Reply #282 on: July 04, 2006, 01:47:43 PM »
I know that IS was dismissed as a candidate early on, partly because of cost. I'll just mention that older versions of IS are and will continue to be available at lower cost (IS5 costs $99.95). I use IS5, which is pretty old, and nothing I've seen has gotten me to switch (I have a lot of info in IS).

Regarding adding and searching notes, nothing could be simpler than typing N for New note or G for Get (that is, search). These are disabled by default but are a legacy from the earliest versions. You can also create tabs to group notes together by category and have multiple File-Topics open simultaneously.

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #283 on: July 04, 2006, 05:33:01 PM »
Info Select wasn't dismissed primarily for its price.  This thread merely focused on notetaking and Infoselect does way more than note taking...you can say it does pretty much a little of everything, and I, at least, wanted to rule programs like that out.  However, if IS's notetaking abilities were hands down the best in the business, then it would have been considered despite the fact that it had several other functions.  But the notetaking abilities in IS are nothing that special compared to the other programs, so there was really no reason include it in our discussions.

Maybe later we'll have a discussion on actual PIM software, and IS will be more in the game there.  I don't have the strength for it at this point!  I barely was able to get through just this subset of PIM which is notetaking.

willyram

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #284 on: July 05, 2006, 03:14:20 PM »
Reviewing what I’m after: A Personal Information Management System

Let’s put some order behind what I’m after.

Functionality I: Organizing the information
  • A system for building a digital reference file.
  • Ways to catalog this reference file with metadata, that I can use later to search, group, glance to the different objects within the system without having to ask myself: “What was this all about?”
  • Ability to build taxonomies of objects, based on hierarchies of categories so I can access and look at the information from different, alternative, perspectives. Kind of alternative views for the information.
  • Ability to define automatic categories by contents (searches), particular categories such as format/object type, dates, author, other standard metadata fields, source (where did the information came from the system, link to original if this is a capture, etc)
  • Ability to surf through the information following the different taxonomies as if it were an explorer. Being able to locate objects after selecting different categories and getting the OR or the AND results of them. Here Evernote functionality is the point of reference, with the auto categories, manual categories, drag-and-drop among categories and category intersection.
    • I can navigate across the alternative categories. The root of each taxonomy is the first level of a “tree” that classifies the information.
    • Note that there are no conceptual bindings for these categories, so we can perfectly arrange a “favorites” category and add to it the most used objects, or even a “favorites” hierarchy, such as “at Work”, “at Home”, “Fridays”, etc that are indeed sets of objects that are being used frequently together. Of course the system can try to learn, or accumulate patterns of usage and suggest this type of sets as “usage based” auto-categories. Here the limit is the imagination (and system resources, of course).
What do I see when I navigate? (“THE Metaphor”)
  • A side panel with the taxonomies from which I select which subset of objects (categories) I want to work with (as in Evernote).
  • A search bar, to filter further the results from the side panel selection.
  • A main panel with the associated results.

How to I present this information?
  • A list objects with key attributes from metadata: filename/title, with or without an abstract of the rest of the metadata, as in Google, but it can be via popup. This lists can be refined by a key attribute, such as object type, or not at all.
  • A space of thumbnails plus key metadata.
  • A space or list of icons plus a list of attributes (filename, title, etc)
  • Tabular view.
  • As with Evernote’s actual search results, a list with a preview of the matching objects or a list of icons for non “native” objects (more later) and a preview of “native” objects.

What can I do from these views?
  • Open the object.
  • Edit its particular metadata (title, description, author, etc). Either massively by multiple selections or individually (of course, depending of the attribute, it could be editable massively or not).
  • Edit its classification (categories, taxonomies, etc). Drag-and-drop where possible.
  • Copy / duplicate, delete, etc (note that move would not make much sense, as it would be actually a reclassification)
  • Send via mail
  • Zip it, add to a queue for listening, etc etc (basically whatever methods are available today in windows explorer with a right-click).
  • Extendable with plugins to add more methods, more ways of visualizing (e.g. ways for dealing with photos, music, new formats, etc).

Functionality II: Content generation
  • Being able to capture information from the web. Simple, fast, as transparent as possible, with the ability to classify it on the fly and then get it easily indexed and searchable.
  • Being able to crop, edit, highlight this captured information
  • Being able to build a knowledge network from scratch, or enrich the contents with a knowledge network
  • Being able to create documents from within the system. They will be called native objects from now on.
  • This implies an editor for this native objects. I would add a wysiwyg feature to make it more user friendly and avoid having to think about how it will end up looking, instead just getting to it from start.

Functionality III: The wiki stuff:

  • Being able to create a network of documents by specifying them by some technique (be it CamelCase or a typical select-and-click)
  • Being able to link to pre-existing objects. I would like to be able to either create a typical text- based hyperlink or a more visual icon-based hyperlink (along with object name).
  • This way I can provide another, more rich way of relating the information, by means of a document that would contain information and links to related objects.
  • Being able to import existing objects outside the system. That is, being able to insert into the “catalog” the files progressively. In fact, the folder structure could be another taxonomy, the physical one.
  • Potentially, being able to define sets of objects, to which I can assign metadata to the set as whole, such as name, description, and specific attributes. This can be easily implemented by associating metadata to categories themselves. This way the set is indeed a category with its particular properties.

So, where are we now?

Into a new way of accessing, organizing, classifying and managing the information. A new metaphor for storing, processing and retrieving the information inside a computer.

This could be reduced to a new, tag-enabled explorer, but it is indeed much more. It would be a new layer, a knowledge layer, for the file system, closer to the way human beings represent and think of information, as well as leveraging the indexing and searching technologies that are arising nowadays.

A step beyond

In this era of information and collaboration, we should also be thinking in functionality such as synchronization, (web) publishing, group collaboration, remote access, discussion associated to each object, RSS feeds or syndication for new content, etc.

How do we get there?

I see this functionality distributed among a number of products:

  • Evernote, which as a great deal of what I’m after, only lacking the “view results” stuff, as well as the “wiki” or better termed “knowledge network” feature.[/o]
  • MediaMonkey, has a nice way of cataloging music files. This is what I talk about when I say “edit metadata”.[/o]
  • Windows Explorer, the multiple views like icons lists, tabular (detailed list), thumbnails, etc.[/o]
  • Wikipad, or any other wiki for that matter, mainly PMWiki and Instiki.[/o]
  • Copernic Desktop Search, for the search functionality and the way it presents the search results.[/o]
  • Windows Desktop Search,  for the search, preview and add-in functionalities.[/o]
  • Scrapbook (Firefox extension), for capturing web content, cropping, highlighting and then searching. Has many other features and after onfolio’s buyout, I guess it will go further.[/o]
  • Many others that at the time of this writing, I cannot recall well.[/o]
[/list]

As for the specific actions, let’s build them from here.


urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #285 on: July 05, 2006, 04:14:21 PM »
I vote willyram, for bestest first post ever :D

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #286 on: July 05, 2006, 05:05:44 PM »
Yeah, willyram, nice first post!  Just to keep everyone updated here, I have just finished writing the first official roundup of this thread.  In my roundup, I talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the various programs we have discussed here.  I also put together a fake screenshot of what I think would be the ultimate notetaker, which is really the best pieces of other actual programs all merged together.  Mouser and I are trying to polish it up to be presented here soon.  I think it might address address a lot of your points in your post above.

longrun

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Scanner support
« Reply #287 on: July 05, 2006, 05:32:19 PM »
One thing I haven't seen mentioned (apologies if I missed it) is scanner support/document imaging. Why should there be any conceptual difference between items I capture from the web and those I scan from printed matter? Right now I use the defunct FileABC for document imaging, Info Select for freeform data, Opera's bookmarks and IS for remembering websites. Ideally I'd like an integrated method of remembering all information.

Do any of the big three support scanning? IS has supported it since v6), but its implementation is terrible (no multipage documents, scale-to-gray, etc.), so poor that I returned v8 for a refund.

Carol Haynes

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #288 on: July 05, 2006, 06:41:48 PM »
NetSnippets let's you combine almost anything into a hierarchical set of notes/document etc.

It can capture webpages etc. (or extracts), allows you to edit them, create your own pages, import images (so you could import scanned images) and import documents (including from links on websites - so you can simply drag a PDF file link from a webpage to incorporate it into your document). You can also drag emails from Outlook (and I presume Outlook Express - though I haven't treid that).

It isn't cheap for the the Pro version but there is a free version and a cheaper (though not cheap) standard version. The do 50% discount if you are a student.

See http://www.netsnippets.com/ and there is a flash presentation on the left.

For a comparison of the different versions see http://www.netsnippets.com/compare.htm

and you can download a trial or the free version at http://www.netsnippets.com/download.htm

The free version doesn't include the report generator or the screen grabbing stuff (but you can do that with DC's ScreenCaptor)

Note that it integrates fully into Internet Explorer through a toolbar and an explorer bar (as well as a toolbar button). It is also integrated into Firefox browsers (though rather less obviously) via a toolbar button and a floating 'explorer' bar which can be docked to the screen edge. For firefox a totally drag and drop operation is used.

Here is a view of it in use in Internet Explorer: (click the thumbnail to expand it)

sc.pngGeneral brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Last Edit: July 05, 2006, 06:52:05 PM by Carol Haynes »

willyram

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #289 on: July 05, 2006, 07:16:47 PM »
I vote willyram, for bestest first post ever :D
Thank you everyone! I will try to keep up to the expectations :)

longrun

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Net Snippets
« Reply #290 on: July 05, 2006, 07:30:59 PM »
Thanks for the suggestion, Carol, but I don't think Net Snippets is for me.

Perry Mowbray

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #291 on: July 06, 2006, 04:32:25 AM »
One thing I haven't seen mentioned (apologies if I missed it) is scanner support/document imaging.

Yes I agree!

Quote
Why should there be any conceptual difference between items I capture from the web and those I scan from printed matter?

Why indeed? I certainly can't see a reason, and there are many reasons why physical documents should be included. Add various OCR options and the data gets very usable.

I have just finished writing the first official roundup of this thread.

I'm keen to see the final output!! Is it something that will be developed into a working brief to be developed (here)???


rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #292 on: July 06, 2006, 04:49:50 AM »
Add various OCR options and the data gets very usable.

The for-pay version of Evernote has OCR built in.  They say it's for handwriting recognition, and support various pen input devices; no immediately obvious mention of scanners.

Quote
I'm keen to see the final output!! Is it something that will be developed into a working brief to be developed (here)???

:D

Perry Mowbray

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #293 on: July 06, 2006, 04:59:06 AM »
Reviewing what I’m after: A Personal Information Management System

Let’s put some order behind what I’m after.


Nicely put! You touched on this but I wouldn't mind fleshing it out a little:

Functionality: Where do we keep the data?
Portability, in one form or another, should be a requirement. Portability could be gained by implementing one or more of the following:
  • Able to run from portable media: Take your notes with you, take notes at work, library, etc
  • Ability to merge, synchronize, insert, etc data file(s): Manage portable notes back into main file
  • Ability to store and use data file(s) from an internet location: Share your notes
  • File structures that allow collaboration and usage by multiple users (within reason): Team notes
  • I guess having a full web-based application would be pretty neat too: Maximum collaboration via web


longrun

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Evernote and scanning
« Reply #294 on: July 06, 2006, 10:48:08 AM »
Quote
The for-pay version of Evernote has OCR built in.  They say it's for handwriting recognition, and support various pen input devices; no immediately obvious mention of scanners.

I didn't read the whole manual, but searching on scanner, TWAIN, and OCR gave no results, and use of scanner as an input option isn't listed. I don't actually care much about OCR, but do care about scanning articles, etc.

thomthowolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #295 on: July 06, 2006, 11:22:54 AM »
Quote
The for-pay version of Evernote has OCR built in.  They say it's for handwriting recognition, and support various pen input devices; no immediately obvious mention of scanners.

I didn't read the whole manual, but searching on scanner, TWAIN, and OCR gave no results, and use of scanner as an input option isn't listed. I don't actually care much about OCR, but do care about scanning articles, etc.
You might want to take a look at the user forum.  I know this link
http://forum.evernote.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=1549&highlight=scannerwill take you to a method of using a scanner with evernote.
That said, you may want to look at the announcements section of the forum. There you will see this sad news
Quote
Michael Lunsford has recently accepted the offer from another company and will leave EverNote Corporation by the end of this week.

As a VP of Product Management, Michael was instrumental in shaping the EverNote's product line to make all applications more user-friendly. He also set up a high standard in customer's support and showed us all what a real customer care is about.

We shall all miss Michael and wish him success in his new role.
Micheal's (known to this forum as evermike) departure does not fill me with confidence in the ongoing development of this product.   :(
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  - Benjamin Franklin

thomthowolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #296 on: July 06, 2006, 11:26:14 AM »
Just to keep everyone updated here, I have just finished writing the first official roundup of this thread. 
This sounds wonderful.  When can we see it?
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  - Benjamin Franklin

Carol Haynes

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #297 on: July 06, 2006, 11:48:59 AM »
The only ref. to scanner/OCR is made in the future tense (by third quarter this year seems likely) but it will make this a really good app. You can use a scanner now to drop files in an auto-import folder but they are collected as images, not OCRed.

longrun

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Scanning in Evernote
« Reply #298 on: July 06, 2006, 07:09:32 PM »
Thanks for the research. Evernote's scanning ability is extremely limited. I doubt that multipage documents are supported; items imported from the Import folder are automatically deleted; and so on. Any program I'd be interested in would fully support scanning, viewing, and filing documents of all types.

I do appreciate the help, however.

Carol Haynes

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #299 on: July 06, 2006, 07:45:52 PM »
They have said that the Import folder is a bit of a kludge at the moment while they get scanning sorted and have promised OCR soon. (I'm not particularly up on how Evernote works as I only really started playing with it yesterday but so far I am very impressed with what I have seen). As for multipage documents it doesn't really work on pages at all - there is a continues roll of 'paper' on which to put notes, so there is no real reason why 'multipage' can't be stored as a single note or a sequence of notes.

The ability to produce your own classification system based on categories is also really good - and could be used to ensure that relates 'pages' are found together.