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Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 404876 times)
nudone
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« Reply #375 on: January 30, 2007, 05:34:01 AM »

firstly, i'd like to say i've given up with texnotespro. perhaps it's just my machine or perhaps i'm just doing things with the program that i shouldn't, but it seems to crash when i'm using it. mainly when i'm tempted to use the graphic functions. i suppose i can avoid trying to draw inside the program but i always think i'll try one more time - then bang, it crashes. oh well.

i'm now thinking i just need something really simply - to stop me messing about with the program. so, i have a question:

is there a note taking program that uses individual txt files as the individual notes AND has a tree structure type view so you can see all the files/notes. even more than this i'd like the program to be able to show a tree view of txt files that are in different locations on the hard drive - and the ability for it to remember this each time i run it.

i would imagine this is a pretty simple set of requirements and maybe coding editors can do this.

any suggestions, please.

edit:
i've thought of a way of doing what i requested by using directory opus. just create a 'collection' folder named 'notes' (or whatever) then just 'send to' this collection the txt files, regardless of their location.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 05:43:26 AM by nudone » Logged
Perry Mowbray
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« Reply #376 on: January 30, 2007, 07:37:28 AM »

edit:
i've thought of a way of doing what i requested by using directory opus. just create a 'collection' folder named 'notes' (or whatever) then just 'send to' this collection the txt files, regardless of their location.

That, or something similar, was what came to mind reading your post.

What about Projects? PSPad, as well as many other TextEditors, has the ability to manage projects. So the files can be anywhere on your drive and kept together in your project definition for easy editing... yes?

- Perry
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nudone
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« Reply #377 on: January 30, 2007, 08:01:30 AM »

thanks, i'll try pspad.

i really can't make up my mind what to use. i keep trying things and then abandoning them in favour of just using a txt file. but directory opus has the advantage of being able to include folders/files in a 'collection' so i'm trying to use it as a project management system - maybe i can stick to this method.

i shall definitely give pspad a try...
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superboyac
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« Reply #378 on: January 30, 2007, 09:40:16 AM »

nudone, here's a quote straight from the review about the program AM-Notebook (from the same authors as Website-Watcher):
Quote
One of the better notetaking programs.  It is efficiently designed and has several unique and important features.  The only programs listed here that has a built-in spreadsheet capable of simple calculations.  Also supports individual note encryption.  Could very well have been included in the "Big Three" but it's closest competitor, Mybase, has too many additional features that AM doesn't have.  AM is also the only program that keeps each note as a separate file, and the tree structure for the database is an actual folder structure on your hard drive.

I don't know if it's exactly what you're looking for, but it's pretty close I think.  If it is, then you're in luck because it's a really nice program.  It's unfortunate that Texnotes Pro didn't work out for you because it's becoming one of the best programs I've seen as far as features and abilities.  Maybe you should report your experience on their forum (maybe I will!).
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Darwin
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« Reply #379 on: January 30, 2007, 10:25:04 AM »

I am always AMAZED by TexNotes Pro's power. The developers, via the forum, are incredibly receptive to criticisms and suggestions. They are not quick to release, though, so don't expect issues to be dealt with quickly. Just know that they will be addressed eventually.
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« Reply #380 on: January 30, 2007, 10:29:47 AM »

Features and abilities wise texnotes is awesome.  However, my conclusion, every time I've tried it, is that it takes way too long to do anything in it.  Obviously, user interface is a highly subjective field and I understand that texnotes is the best answer for some people, I just cant seem to get into it.  

But, I think it's interesting because, like Nudone and Superboyac, I've tried a bunch of different apps for this kind of thing and I find myself in a similar position as nudone: I just want an interface to my data!  I have all sorts of files: textfiles, documents, pdfs, pictures, etc, and I want to organize, relate, and catogorize them.  But I dont want to:

1. spend a huge amount of time inputing and organizing the information (dont misunderstand me here, I realize that any classification that is meaningful will require some effort to input.  I'm tired of GUI design and Program architecture (ie, "required" fields for things that arent really required) that succeeds only in making the input process cumbersome, something I personally feel Texnotes does).

2. Lock my data away in some proprietary format that requires me to do the same long tedious input process if ever I choose to switch programs or the program is discontinued.  (Once again, I realize that different programs have different features and you cant do a 100% conversion in many cases.  But the data, the text/formatting, ought to be easily accessible.)

All this being said, I think I'm too idealistic.  I strive to have one program or one center of focus for ALL my information but just keep coming to the realization that, due to the amount of data and the multitude of types of data this will not happen.  Everytime I find myself longing for a minimalist type program, I find myself wanting a feature from a bloated one!  Perhaps, file explorers are something of an answer.  What about a combination file browser/organizer.  Something that would rely on individual files, and store all other data in individual files, but serve as an interface, showing their relationships.  Oh wait, this could be called a database filesystem...

Oh well... so I agree with Nudone... searching, searching, searching for that application that meets (in my case anyway) what are probably unrealistic expectations.  So, there's my rant, largely incoherent since I've left out most of the background to save time inputting it into this forum post (I hate inputting data!!).

Kevin
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Darwin
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« Reply #381 on: January 30, 2007, 12:17:20 PM »

I love TNP but only use it occasionally. For example, recently I had a job application to put together that required cv, cover letter, statement of research interests and plans, statement of teaching philosophy, and a statement of expected contributions to the department and university. It was great for organizing this, though once I was ready to do my final edit, I wound up in Word 2003 because of formatting issues. But I digress...

I agree with the assessment that what is really needed is an interface for one's data. Something like ACDSee for everything, not just multimedia stuff... I suppose that X1/Yahoo Desktop Search is close, but both are resource hogs. NeXT OS used to be sort of like this. I never used it, but my MSc supervisor for my had a NeXT box when I was using Windows 3.11 for Workgroups. I used to sit in his office in awe of the interface and power of his computer...

I like Kevin's idea for a combo file explorer/organizer - something like DOpus with built in indexing and organization capabilities...
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Darwin
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« Reply #382 on: January 30, 2007, 12:28:30 PM »

Kevin wrote:
Quote
So, there's my rant, largely incoherent since I've left out most of the background to save time inputting it into this forum post (I hate inputting data!!).

Ha ha - I know exactly what you mean!
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« Reply #383 on: January 30, 2007, 12:51:32 PM »

is there a note taking program that uses individual txt files as the individual notes AND has a tree structure type view so you can see all the files/notes. even more than this i'd like the program to be able to show a tree view of txt files that are in different locations on the hard drive - and the ability for it to remember this each time i run it.

If I understand your requirement correctly, KeyNote can do precisely this. The feature is called "virtual nodes". The easiest way to make it work is to drag one or more txt files into the tree panel (not the editor area). KeyNote will prompt you to 'select import method" - choose the last option, "Import as virtual nodes". The term "import" is somewhat of a misnomer here, because the txt files will stay on disk, and KeyNote will read their contents when you open the knt file containing those virtual nodes. You can also turn any normal node into a virtual node (txt or rtf).

If you have already considered and rejected that possibility, never mind smiley

marek
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urlwolf
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« Reply #384 on: January 30, 2007, 01:36:19 PM »

Nudone, I think what you want is a tagging layer on top of your filesystem (which is hierarchical).

I'm still wondering why after tagging is now everywhere (urls, pictures, images, music), our filesystems are still far away from supporting tagging natively...
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nudone
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« Reply #385 on: January 30, 2007, 02:51:51 PM »

i'm pleased to see things have (momentarily) woken up on this thread and like Darwin and kfitting, my current thoughts really are that i need something like ACDSee and Directory Opus combined - add to that adobe bridge because i want to see adobe illustrator files as thumbnails.

my original request focused on using txt files as notes/nodes within a tree structure, i'm grateful for the suggestions and i shall try them out.

but i do have to admit that managing all types of files/folders within a explorer like program is what i really need. for those of you feeling adventurous then, like Darwin, i'd recommend you try playing around a bit with ACDSee. if you enable it to show all file types it does become a VERY powerful file explorer. thinking seriously for one moment it's almost insane how powerful it could be. you have the ability to tag, rate, comment and keyword on any file AND/OR folder. you can view the contents of several folders all at once - and you can collect disparate files/folders into a single category - like a project group i suppose.

so why am i not using it for such things? simply because it won't thumbnail illustrator files and they are what i use in my projects. so why don't i use adobe bridge in a similar way to ACDSee? well, it's slower and doesn't quite fit the task(s).

directory opus is almost there but ACDSee would offer you more in the way of tagging and viewing things. the main drawback for both of these programs is that you are unable to edit the files directly, i.e. you can't edit a txt file without opening it up with another program - the previews are simply for looking at the file. is that a such a terrible drawback, i guess it must be otherwise i'd be using either ACDSee or directory opus to do everything regarding txt file editing.

i understand there is a plugin architecture for directory opus so maybe it already has the ability to edit files - if not then someone ought to make such a thing for it.

i suppose the bottom line is that no matter what functionality a program has you'll always think of something missing. if the deficiency is something you can't help but dwell upon, so much so that you abandon the software, then it probably is time to go back to basics.

i think maybe dismissing something like ACDSee as a general file explorer may also be down to prejudice - it's hard not to simply see it as an image management program - anything more just seems wrong. even with the things i've just said above i'm still thinking to myself "i can't possibly use ACDSee as a file manager, it's just not cricket."
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 02:53:24 PM by nudone » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #386 on: January 30, 2007, 03:14:54 PM »

There is an excellent DOpus plug-in that allows you to edit txt files, amongst other things (it's called the Source Code Viewer plugin). Find it here...

From the website:

Quote
anchor | Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2005 2:40 am    Post subject: Source Code Viewer Plugin   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Source Code Viewer is a freeware plugin for Directory Opus. It provides an enhanced viewer pane for viewing your source code using the freeware Scintilla control (http://www.scintilla.org). This control provides a host of features including syntax colouring, line numbering, code block folding, word wrapping and brace matching amongst others.

The plugin also allows you to edit your code, search for text, goto lines, add your own languages, etc.

I have version 1.2 installed and find it very useful. You view and edit your files and and are then prompted to save them when you switch to a different file.

PS I didn't even realize that ACDSee would index and organize more than multimedia stuff (I only had it installed for a brief time couple of years ago, but I know that it's very powerful).
« Last Edit: January 30, 2007, 03:18:58 PM by Darwin » Logged

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nudone
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« Reply #387 on: January 30, 2007, 03:27:42 PM »

thanks, Darwin, i'll get the DO plugin.
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tomos
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« Reply #388 on: January 31, 2007, 05:38:16 AM »

nudone, was going to post this in new thread but it seems to tie in here with your request/idea:

just the last couple of days I've been thinking of/looking at using text files & dopus as an Organiser/todolist.

You have Project Folder e.g."ProjectA"
next action txt files:
1A
2A


Then ProjectB
1B
2B


The advantage being, using flat view (without folders), I can sort files having "next actions" of various projects at the top of the list ... (1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A, etc.)
Also I can simply entitle the txt file with the action e.g. "1A_check their last mail" & add more text to file if necessary.

The disadvantage of using Dopus's collection (for me anyway) is that you cant create a tree structure within it

Now all I need is a calender in Dopus !!

Also could use one of those hardlink programmes to link files from elsewhere.

Do you know offhand the command for to make a new text file in Dopus?
I'll go look in their forum anyways
and get that plugin as well ..

Edit: I havent used "Descriptions" in dopus, but it appears you can add your own description which can be displayed in its own column. see PDF Manual p.138
I presume this could be used as another way of sorting files - not as good as tagging but better than nothing
« Last Edit: January 31, 2007, 05:54:59 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
nudone
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« Reply #389 on: January 31, 2007, 06:08:59 AM »

very interesting, tomos.

i shall give your naming structure some thought as i see what you mean about the 'collections' being a bit restrictive.

the 'descriptions' thing is okay but one very nice feature of ACDSee is that if you view your files in 'thumbs + details' mode you can have a very large area for displaying notes related to each of the files - it will easily show you a paragraph of text within the columns of the details view (you do have to make the thumbnails large, though, for  it to work).

i'd like to know a keyboard shortcut for creating txt files in DO, so if you find it please let me know.
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f0dder
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« Reply #390 on: January 31, 2007, 06:14:21 AM »

Holy moley, this topic has become huge.

Does anyone have the guts to distill it? smiley
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tomos
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« Reply #391 on: January 31, 2007, 07:20:48 AM »

Quote
FileType NEW=.txt

When the file is created, the name of the file is \"New Text Document.txt\" with the name already highlighted in F2 rename mode.

Instead, I'd like the file to be created with the name \"Notes YYYY.MM.DD.txt\" and not be in rename mode. Is that possible?

nudone, see this thread for making new "button" for to make new text file (dopus):
http://resource.dopus.com...t+title+file+current+date

You can then make your own shortcut in customise mode ..
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nudone
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« Reply #392 on: January 31, 2007, 08:14:41 AM »

thanks, tomos.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #393 on: January 31, 2007, 11:39:21 AM »

Quote
FileType NEW=.txt

When the file is created, the name of the file is \"New Text Document.txt\" with the name already highlighted in F2 rename mode.

Instead, I'd like the file to be created with the name \"Notes YYYY.MM.DD.txt\" and not be in rename mode. Is that possible?

nudone, see this thread for making new "button" for to make new text file (dopus):
http://resource.dopus.com...t+title+file+current+date

You can then make your own shortcut in customise mode ..

Hi Tomos,
I tried that, but I can see no difference in my right click menu.
Can you ellaborate on this?
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nudone
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« Reply #394 on: February 01, 2007, 03:48:38 AM »

urlwolf, this is what i did...

right click on on menu bar in DO, then select "customize..."

select the "context menus" tab.

select "lister context" from the list.

click the "show" button. this will then show you the right click context menu DO uses.

on this menu, right click.

select "insert new > new button".  a "new button" item will appear in the menu.

right click on the "new button" item.

select "edit..."


from this point you can edit it how you like. just make sure you put the command in the "function" field bit.


after you've done that, click the "hide"  button and then "close" and you'll be back in DO with a create .txt file item in the right click menu of DO.

fantastic.



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tomos
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« Reply #395 on: February 01, 2007, 04:11:19 AM »

I didnt know you could change the context menu there! (I knew you could do it somewhere  Wink )
Quote
from this point you can edit it how you like. just make sure you put the command in the "function" field bit.

or you can make a toolbar/menu button with the advantage of being able to create a keyboard shortcut - or better again do both  smiley

from the above thread:
[copy or print]
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<button display="both" effect="gray">
   <guid>{8AA48DFB-7BA1-48DA-A412-3ACFFC2BEFA1}</guid>
   <label>Create text file (no rename mode)</label>
   <icon1>162</icon1>
   <function type="batch">
      <instruction>runmode hide</instruction>
      <instruction>echo.>"Notes {DATE|yyyy.MM.dd}.txt"</instruction>
      <instruction>dopusrt /cmd Select MAKEVISIBLE "Notes {DATE|yyyy.MM.dd}.txt"</instruction>
   </function>
</button>

again: right click a menu/toolbar> customise.
then right click toolbar where you want the button & select paste (paste the above)

That will give you a button which creates text file with title:
Notes_yyyy.MM.dd.txt    (i.e. with todays date)

 - you can change this to whatever you want on this line
[copy or print]
<instruction>echo.>"Notes {DATE|yyyy.MM.dd}.txt"</instruction>

there's tutorials at that forum as well for creating menus, toolbars, etc
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Tom
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« Reply #396 on: February 01, 2007, 04:30:30 AM »

thanks, I added a shortcut as well. nice.
Nudone, I think your system may face a problem when searching your notes. Are you going to create an index (say locate 3.0)? Even so, the indexer will not give you the matches highlighting that most applications would.

Any workaround for this?

PS: Is it me, or is the options panel in Dopus just crazy convoluted?
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urlwolf
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« Reply #397 on: February 01, 2007, 04:31:13 AM »

An added problem: no formatting, pictures, or tables in your notes.
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tomos
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« Reply #398 on: February 01, 2007, 04:58:38 AM »

Quote
PS: Is it me, or is the options panel in Dopus just crazy convoluted?

theres too much going on there -
you can approach things from many different directions - they could do with a tagging system for their options panel as well !
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« Reply #399 on: February 01, 2007, 05:06:01 AM »

urlwolf, you are right, of course.

txt files don't do much other than provide text and there won't be any way of searching within the txt files. hmm, i'd not considered this but the truth is i've never needed that kind of functionality. i work mainly with image files and just add a few notes to them to suggest further editing or possible project ideas. this is probably why i don't get very far with traditional note manager programs.

textnotespro looked like the perfect app in that it's for managing notes but you can also attach any kind of file and even draw images from within the program - only that you can't, or i can't, as it crashes when i start trying to do 'image' things with it.

i have surfulator and so i tried to use that as note manager but it's really not geared up for that kind of thing yet. i know it has the 'note' creation feature but it's too clumsy the way it works. it's great for its primary job of grabbing content from elsewhere but not for creating original content.

i like the idea of locate, i've tried it, but i tend to know exactly where my files are BUT i don't tend to know what the files are named. so it's of little use to me.
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