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Last post Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 506875 times)

kfitting

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #325 on: August 20, 2006, 06:45:24 PM »
Just thought I'd throw out a suggestion for MyInfo again... just taking another look at it tonight and it's quite powerful.  It's "tree pane" now offers customizable columns (text, date/time, pop-up list, etc) as well as default tags and comments columns, plus it's editor is quite functional.  Play around... there are a few rough edges but this is very promising!  (note: based on the TRichView component)

Kevin

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #326 on: August 21, 2006, 04:11:29 AM »
MyInfo looks nice.
It doesn't have a forum with a developer that responds to user queries fast, and/or a plugin system, which are two of the things that I now look for before I give new software a try.

Two other things that I'd love to have in an application like this:
   tab completion
   one key searches, with highlighting of all occurrences and one key to jump to next/previous

This is why I like vim.

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #327 on: August 21, 2006, 04:17:59 AM »
Tagging is a very interesting concept (seems well implemented in MyInfo). But, I wonder how fast and efficiently one can tag all notes. Ideally all should be done with keyboard shortcuts, otherwise tagging may be too much of a chore.

Which makes me think...

In a simple text file, everything is a tag! One can do a simple text search and avoid the pain of tagging implemented as a different concept.

Example, in my notes I have: IdeaGTD, ideaPost, ideaPodcast, etc. for ideas. tab completion makes it easy to tag things this way. If there's need for a non-text element, such as sound or an external file of some kind, a file:// url would do the trick.

Just thinking outloud...


urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #328 on: August 21, 2006, 04:20:41 AM »
problem with the file:// idea in plain text is portability (something rjbull was worried about). Hmm. Not such a good idea.

Is there any program of those you tried that works with voice notes (i.e., one can attach a wav/mp3 file and the program would play it?

kfitting

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #329 on: August 21, 2006, 08:23:50 AM »
urlwolf:  I was just playing around with MyInfo tags (I hadnt prior to my previous post!) and the Myinfo interface is an interesting one.  You add a couple tags to one "document" and those tags are immediately able to be chose (drop-down) by other documents in that file.  Once tags have been added, you mouse-over the tag and select one and the filter immediately shows documents with that tag.  Like I said, interesting.  Have to see how it works in practice.

I agree that tags need to be able to be assigned, but I slightly disagree.  To bring order to a non-ordered system some amount of effort must be put forth!  Order cant just happen (well, meaningful order anyway).  But, I know what you mean.  If it tags 20 mouse-clicks to add a tag, that's overkill. 

MyInfo isnt perfect... but it does have an interesting way of handling some of the problems mentioned in this thread.

Kevin

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #330 on: August 21, 2006, 11:49:39 AM »
kfitting:  good point about the tagging in MyInfo.  I noticed the same thing about that and thought it was really cool.  In fact, in the official roundup that I just finished (hopefully, it will get posted this month sometime), I put in a small mention of MyInfo's tagging system, because it was unique and useful.

Clive

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #331 on: August 23, 2006, 02:28:55 AM »
With regard to EverNote - I gave it a try as I was looking for something that could take all my varied odds and ends and then be searchable. I don't really care for "trees" and "hierachies".
My question is this - do hyperlinks go inactive in EverNote? They certainly did for me any time I copied one in.

rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #332 on: August 23, 2006, 05:19:00 AM »
I don't think Notebox Disorganizer has been mentioned so far.  It's aimed at writers, and is truly weird.  Here is part of a third-party review:

Quote
No, seriously, you should check out NoteBox Disorganizer:
It's an amazingly useful program.

NoteBox Disorganizer is tailor-made for quickly jotting down notes and
ideas, organizing those notes and ideas, combining selected notes into a
document, and exporting that document for publication. It's truly my
favorite writing program, and I've tried pretty much everything out
there. Here are some of the things that make NoteBox Disorganizer so
outstanding:

* Notes are kept in a spreadsheet-like grid that is easy to understand
and navigate. And that means all your notes are spread out in plain
sight; nothing is hidden away in a database or lost in an outline
"tree."

* It's possible to name each column, so you can easily categorize your
notes under the columns where they belong. Have a note that belongs
under more than one category? Clone it! Change a clone, and that change
is reflected in all of the others.

* It's also possible to name each *row,* so you can lay out a book's
structure before you even start writing.

[...]

I love the side-by-sideness of all this, which gives me a sense of
overview, organization, and control that I don't get in any other
program.

* If you need finer "granularity" in categorizing notes, you can include
note ~keywords in the text (and keep an alphabetical list of those
~keywords) and then do a "bounded" search for them. In Boolean terms,
that's an "And" search, which finds notes that include all of the
specified ~keywords. Don't want to fuss with ~keywords? You can still
use a bounded search to find notes that contain several terms.




superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #333 on: August 23, 2006, 01:22:39 PM »
With regard to EverNote - I gave it a try as I was looking for something that could take all my varied odds and ends and then be searchable. I don't really care for "trees" and "hierachies".
My question is this - do hyperlinks go inactive in EverNote? They certainly did for me any time I copied one in.


No, the hyperlinks are still active, but you have to double-click on them to open up the site.  I know, most people are used to single-clicking with the cursor changing to a "hand" when it passes over the link.  Surfulater behaves like this, and so does Mybase, and probably most other programs.  I actually prefer Evernote's double-clicking ways because it feels more like a text editor for even the hyperlinks and prevents accidental clicking on the links.

manora

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #334 on: August 25, 2006, 04:27:22 AM »
Hi,

I came across a product called "Livepad" seems like a different kind of note taking software. Has the ability to write and draw anywhere on the page, I think what they were after was like writing on a paper pad effect but on a normal PC. Interesting concept I am still trying it so the jury is till out if it really achieves that aim.

Seems to have a number of features and comes in very useful for Web Research and Brainstorming ....

a. Drag & Drop from a web page and get the URL as well

b. Any size screen clipping from anywhere which i find quite usefull

c. Collaboration although must confess I have not used this yet

d. Organizing and scheduling tools which i think may be a bit basic


All in all has some things which can be improved upon like organizing and scheduling but as a note taker, web research or brainstorming tool very good for the price its sold at you get a lot for your buck. Get more details from http://www.seeplain.com or download from http://www.seeplain.com/livepad.htm

Would love to know what others think of this.


urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #335 on: August 25, 2006, 05:51:46 AM »
There is a 180-day trial for oneNote at M$ for students and academics. That should take you up to the point where they will release 2007 I guess.

I'm loving it At the moment, it does the voice recording thingy for when you think the note is not worth writing...

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #336 on: September 05, 2006, 07:32:42 AM »
Here is a few reviews for oneNote:
http://en.wikipedia....osoft_Office_OneNote
http://www.sagatug.o...iews/OneNote2003.htm

These are for the old version 2003.

melitabel

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #337 on: September 15, 2006, 03:12:16 PM »
This is the best discussion I've ever seen on this subject.  I am a research librarian who also works on knowledge management from the organizational and personal points of view (and they are very different).  My department is making some progress on the organization level - I am now trying to help people with personal knowledge management.

Since our needs go beyond note-taking to web capture and importing/accessing other files on one's machine from Word documents to email attachments, I want to ask whether I should open a new discussion topic.  I certainly wanted to acknowledge the quality of this discussion before doing so - I have benefited from the general discussion, since it stretched to organizing information as well as note-taking. 

I use Ever Note for my "little" notes to myself - user IDs and passwords, birthdays, etc; Net Snippets for reports to my clients when they consist of a lot of web-captured information that I want to organize and comment and; and I have used Personal Brain from The Brain, though I haven't bought it yet.  I've tried the IE version of Onfolio (I heard about it just after MS bought it); once used Info Select (back in the Word Perfect days) - in fact, I've dated many programs and so far married none myself (well, except Net Snippets, but I have nothing against software polygamy).

Johnk raised an issue of importance for me and my clients: do we keep adding specialist tool to specialist tool, or do we look for one main application with maybe a couple satellites?  I am trying for the latter, and I think most other people in my organization will as well.  Otherwise, we risk being slowed down too often by trying to figure out which program our data is in -- and the whole point is that we need to be information-centric, not program-centric.

More curiosity, less judgment.

mouser

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #338 on: September 15, 2006, 07:57:26 PM »
Welcome to the site melitabel, glad to have you here  :up:

ps. SuperboyAC's big Roundup of Notetaking Software #1 has now gone live:

orcsbr

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #339 on: September 23, 2006, 01:59:39 PM »
Hello, this is my first post on this forum. I have written an essay for the "My Dream App" software-idea contest about a month ago, based on my needs for a note-taking and general knowbase software. The core of my "system" is the use of tagging, and the fast-input of info, evetything else goes around this.

Unlike those who still think that tagging is just a web2.0 buzzword, i really think there's something useful into the concept of flexible categorization rather than taxonomies, and that it can provide indeed a new way of thinking about note-taking software instead of the hierarchical paradigm, that can be more flexible and fast to use. I also think that the few software availiable today that implement tagging, all of them do it on very limited way and/or uses the hierarchical structure as a model to it, which severely limits the capabilities of a flexible categorization system.

Since my explanation of my system is a little long, and i don't want to clog the forum, i ask that that may be interested to read it posted on my blog, and then, tell me what you think about it here.

http://indiegeek.blogspot.com/2006/08/taglogger-idea-for-tag-based-pimgeneral.html

Cheers,

- Paulo

mouser

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #340 on: September 23, 2006, 06:48:26 PM »
Great write up Paulo - I think (as has been discussed in this thread), that keyword tagging for a note program is a very important element.  It's interesting to think about the different ways to view notes that are important in different cases (view by date, view by keyword groups, view in hierararchy).

I'm going to go through your full essay more later, but it's a great addition to this thread.

Welcome to the site by the way  :up:

orcsbr

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #341 on: September 23, 2006, 08:06:15 PM »
Thank you Mouser, also thanks for the quick feedback.

Many people are scared by the size of my idea draft, and i have two versions of it on my blog (the one i linked is the most recent one), both pretty big.

Though, i have just posted a new entry on the blog with a smaller explanation of the idea, it's not SMALL, but i think it's less then half the size of the previous one, which may help. I think it's a pretty good as an introduction, and those interested may then proceed to read the full explanation.

http://indiegeek.blogspot.com/2006/09/notarius-system.html
« Last Edit: September 24, 2006, 10:27:42 AM by orcsbr »

orcsbr

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #342 on: September 24, 2006, 11:15:30 AM »
Tagging is a very interesting concept (seems well implemented in MyInfo). But, I wonder how fast and efficiently one can tag all notes. Ideally all should be done with keyboard shortcuts, otherwise tagging may be too much of a chore.

Which makes me think...

In a simple text file, everything is a tag! One can do a simple text search and avoid the pain of tagging implemented as a different concept.

Example, in my notes I have: IdeaGTD, ideaPost, ideaPodcast, etc. for ideas. tab completion makes it easy to tag things this way. If there's need for a non-text element, such as sound or an external file of some kind, a file:// url would do the trick.

Just thinking outloud...

One of the ways of making it easy to the user you already mentioned: auto-completion... the software would check the tag index and filter off the best completion suggestions for the user, just like del.icio.us, google suggest, text file tab completion...etc.

This eases things a lot, but i think that the BEST way to make sure that the user easily tags all his notes is NOT giving him hierarchical places to put his notes into. The user is very accustomed with using the hierarchy-tree, and if one is presented to him, he'll stick to it, and forget about tags. Tags will be that cool toy that he uses for a half week and then forgets about it. Also, if the application sticks to a hierarchy, probably much of the tagging power capabilities, like tag intersections, won't be implemented, or if implemented, not practical to use... hidden on the interface, while that bigass hierarchy tree continues to bloat on the left hand panel.

I do believe in hierarchy trees though, but only when you have a pre-determined set of subjects that you want to condense and structure logically for some reason. The same is valid for those cool mindmapping softwares, like Freemind. But for general and constant notetaking and building a general knowledge base, with subjects that go from astrophysics to a list of things i buy every time i go to the grocery store, the tree soon gets huge and the mental effort for adding a new note on the structure is far bigger than the one to tag information. Also, i think that the presence of the tree on the left side disturbs the attention. If you want to add an item to your grocery list, you don't need the tree with all other nodes that refer to other aspects of your life. Worse, you don't want to browse through a tree with all aspects of your life just to get to the grocery store list. That's even psychologically disturbing.

A third way for making very easy for tagging notes is using the software to previously select the tags that i'll be inputting tags from now on. So, if i know that i'll be adding twenty notes about "history, contemporary, brazil" on the next hours, i pre-select those tags, and all the notes i'm adding will be prefilled with them. Little effort.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2006, 11:33:40 AM by orcsbr »

mouser

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #343 on: September 24, 2006, 11:26:07 AM »
also i think the notion of virtual folders could help a lot.
so i could make a virtual folder and say, show in here all notes which have certain keywords in their text, OR have certain tags, etc.

orcsbr

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #344 on: September 24, 2006, 12:28:04 PM »
Yeah, definitely.

I also forgot about another great idea for fast-tagging that i read on the mydreamapp forum... a guy named Tom Maisey who filed an idea on the contest which was also a tag-based knowledge-base app, he proposed that when filing a note, you could somehow mark some words on the text, and those words would automatically be transformed into tags. This remembers me the CamelCase markup on wikis.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2006, 12:41:26 PM by orcsbr »

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #345 on: September 24, 2006, 03:04:41 PM »
hmm, this thread is getting interesting again. Is it never going to die?

I agree that the tree may be distracting.
The idea of "you could somehow mark some words on the text, and those words would automatically be transformed into tags" is brilliant. No program that I know implements that. CamelCase is a way of hyperlinking, but this is different (tagging is not exactly hyperlinking) right?

I currently use oneNote. I like the fact that it keeps different background colors for different topics. But I agree that sometimes it is more trouble than it's worth to place the note in the right notebook.

orcsbr

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #346 on: September 24, 2006, 05:25:54 PM »
The idea of "you could somehow mark some words on the text, and those words would automatically be transformed into tags" is brilliant. No program that I know implements that. CamelCase is a way of hyperlinking, but this is different (tagging is not exactly hyperlinking) right?

Yeah, indeed i used wikis' CamelCase only as an example of hyperlinking. I personally don't like CamelCase, because it just works well with expressions, so all your notes' titles end up LookingLikeThis. For me the ideal would be indicating the tags on a note by writing the words between brackets or such.

But it is, like you said, totally different from hyperlinking articles/notes, because on wikis, the CamelCase or Brackets point to a title of another article. Here, they are indicating a tag. So, you are writing, and you want to file the note using a tag whose word appears on the note body, so you put the word between brackets beforehand, instead of having to type the word again on the tag fieldline.

And also, and i think this is just what you have grasped, you could make it the other way around, having the software to scan the notes' text for expressions that match existing tags, and hyperlinking these words on the fly. So you are viewing a note that has the word 'math' on it, but its tagged with other expressions. But you have tagged other items with the tag 'math', so the word is hyperlinked. One click leads you to a list of all the entries tagged 'math'.

This is a way of implementing effortless linking, which is one of the things that drive me away from wikis. I don't like wikis because, despite the fact that many of the notes i want to file don't need a title (!), it is a system based on linking. It is easy linking with brackets or camelcase and such, but every note will be mainly acessible via hiperlinks. The more you hiperlink to it, the more accessible it is. This is good if you are building a closed reference system, but it is not if you want a software to use as a general knowledge base for your life. It's like: "oh my god, thats such an interesting article i've just found on the web, let me add to my wiki! but wait, from where will i link to it? It is about the fact that Microsoft Zune adds DRM even to garage recordings! Will i link from my 'Zune' article (considering that i've done one),or from the 'Microsoft' one, or 'Gadget', from 'DRM', or from 'Copyright'? Ok, i'd better link from all of them, let me go from each one of these places and link it, so i'm sure i'll find it back."

Of course it is not practical, because on real life we need places (tags and its intersections) which relate directly to our mind concepts about stuff, so we can quickly drop information in. That's why i don't believe on TiddlyWiki, Wikidpad, and ConnectedText. Connected Text has been from 1.3 to 2.0 since i last tested it, but it is still a wiki, i don't think i'll use it.

Another way (maybe better?) of having effortless links with tagged information, is just like del.icio.us does it. If you are listing your bookmarks with the 'tech' tag, you also see the 'related tags', as the system counts what other tags are more common among the items with the 'tech' tag. And you can even intersect on the fly with that tag, by clicking the '+' sign.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2006, 05:31:01 PM by orcsbr »

thomthowolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #347 on: September 24, 2006, 06:17:25 PM »
Quote
So, you are writing, and you want to file the note using a tag whose word appears on the note body, so you put the word between brackets beforehand, instead of having to type the word again on the tag fieldline.
This is already a capability of evernote, which I make a lot of use of.  Further, you can designate a word to be a category and automatically assign anything in your database that contains that word to that category.  Let's say, for example you wanted to collect all your website passwords together into your evernote database.  You can merrily drop them in, either typing or using web capture,  and, since you probably used the Username: password: format, you can make "password:" a category and every note you typed or captured that contains "password:" will be connected. 
Now, the other half of that, to give me an indicator that I have used a word as a category elsewhere, would be really cool.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.  - Benjamin Franklin

orcsbr

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #348 on: September 28, 2006, 12:05:18 PM »
Quote
So, you are writing, and you want to file the note using a tag whose word appears on the note body, so you put the word between brackets beforehand, instead of having to type the word again on the tag fieldline.
This is already a capability of evernote, which I make a lot of use of.

You really mean this? Well, i knew i could preselect one or more categories and then new notes filed will bear those categories automatically, and i also knew that you could set up smart categories, so that if one note has determined word, that category is auto-assigned to it. But i didnt know that you could mark words and they are transformed into categories on-the-fly....  (this is what i undestood you were talking about, sorry if it's not that at all)

I use evernote a little bit here, but i'm not very fond of its usability. The program itself brings many new things to notetaking software, and in this sense, it is deserved attention. But, otherwise i always feel that it takes too many clicks to do anything on it, and i like to be able to make a note AND sort it at the same time i'm talking on the phone or doing anything else that i can't lose my focus (like reading a book), and return to it just when it is really needed. But the fact that you have to drag categories or click on the stamp icon to bring up the category dialog box is really a chore....

Also, i feel that the program is a little bit confusing when it uses flexible categorization (tags, or categories, on evernote lingo), but still uses a hierarchical tree (rigid categorization) on the leftpane to allow access of the tags. Not only you can have sub-categories (if you can intersect any categories, why would you need subcategories??), but they can even have the same name as other categories if they are do not have the same parent. Very confusing.

Also, the leftpane is used as an index of categories, the only way of accessing them. This may be ok right now, because Evernotes capabilities are leashed by the way the program is presented, in a way that you don't take as many notes and don't categorize it as much as you wanted because it takes much effort to do it. But in a scenario that Evernote evolves to its full capabilities, the category index on the right panel won't be of any help, because first, it is not alphabetical, and even if it was, if one is a prolific categorizer/tagger, it will take much time to browse the list, so another way to reach categories will be needed. For example, i didn't count, but i think i have at least more than two hundred tags on del.icio.us, so instead of browsing the list, i just type my desired tag intersection combo, and there i am.

So, i wish there was a line field where you could input your category intersection of choice on Evernote. The category list could even continue to exist there, preferably switchable with other sidebars, like one where you could bookmark your most useful categories (or category combos) and keep it as a reference... this is a convenient way of making the concept of virtual folders, as suggested on this thread by Mouser, into Evernote.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2006, 12:18:26 PM by orcsbr »

Sugar

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #349 on: October 22, 2006, 03:55:47 PM »
I'm not sure that this is the correct place for my suggestion   :-[  , but it is a recent discovery for me and I fell in love with it.  It's a programmer editor  he says, but I do not program and it does precisely what I need.

It is free (donation) ware and needs no installation.  Feel free to move this post to wherever it should go.  (sorry)

http://www.pspad.com/en/download.php

Sugar
Me, Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.....

Sugar