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Last post Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 506588 times)

MrCrispy

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #425 on: February 23, 2007, 05:35:04 PM »
Tagging is really the way to go. I have over 40gb of music and i don't remember or care where it is on my drives. I access all of it from my mp3 player and it organizes everything into a proper structure. Nearly any music player these days will work with tags - iTunes, MediaMonkey, MusikCube are all free. I use J.River MediaCenter which I find a bit more powerful, and it also works with other media types. I've started a thread about the lack of apps that do the same for pictures.

paulobrabo

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #426 on: February 27, 2007, 08:21:24 AM »
Corel WordPerfect Lightning joins the scene, with its usual flair. What, no applause?

http://www.corel.com...roduct/1171405162003
English will never be my first language, it doesn't meter how hard I try.

paulobrabo

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #427 on: February 27, 2007, 11:15:15 AM »
Corel WordPerfect Lightning joins the scene, with its usual flair. What, no applause?

What? No global search feature?

Instant uninstall. Please disregard any impression of enthusiasm.
English will never be my first language, it doesn't meter how hard I try.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 02:00:11 PM by paulobrabo »

iphigenie

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #428 on: February 27, 2007, 02:25:48 PM »
Reading through this thread I just realise that I have tried tons of those programs. I have registered/bought a few (webgal, weborganizer, qnp), I have made the effort to try to use at least 20 different ones (probably more like 50 if you count organisers, outliners, todo lsts, web based tools etc.), and almost never did I actually end up using them very much.

The key points for me I think is the ease of adding / editing notes - either to grab some notes from a source (web page, email)  or to write thoughts down. After that it would be a good way to search and structure, so you don't have to waste too much time organising things in subfolders. Oh, and an easy way to backup, export and share.

To write thoughts down, i seem to use email or open a text editor. I used winorganizer for a while, mostly to help writing documentation, but i don't know why but most times I would still often just open a text file in the text editor and think/write in there.

Looking back the tool(s) i used the most to capture snippets of information have been local website archive, clipcache (i used the demo a lot, was going to register, then the database got corrupted), and the notes tool in opera and previously firefox. Almost all the other tools (outliners, freeform databases, pims) the initial work moving all the information into the sytem and organising it was just too much and I never did it...

In a way it's the same thing with any sort of pim/database - you need to reach a "critical mass" of information put in the system and then it will be more convenient to continue using it than to revert to whatever old system you had. But most tools fail to get me to that critical mass, because they make it too slow to get things in them. As a result you're trying to use them while still needing to rely on your old system... and end up never switching. I think a killer feature would be one that has a "scanning" module which would crawl a bunch of directories you choose, find all the myriad documents in formats it can read (the more the merrier, if possible even word processor or other organiser files), then give you a list where you can tick all the ones you want to import, then import them... That'd get you started in whatever app does that.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2007, 07:39:01 PM by iphigenie »

nudone

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #429 on: February 27, 2007, 04:22:49 PM »
Quote
I think a killer feature would be one that has a "scanning" module which would crawl a bunch of directories you choose, find all the myriad documents in formats it can read (the more the merrier, if possible even word processor or other organiser files), then give you a list where you can tick all the ones you want to import, then import them...

very good idea.

Darwin

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #430 on: February 27, 2007, 04:39:29 PM »
Yeah, I'd second that one... I am putting PaperPort Pro through it's paces and wish to H-E-double hockey sticks that it would do this. Who knows, maybe it does. I'm still digging through the tutorials.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #431 on: February 28, 2007, 04:23:08 AM »
Looking back the tool(s) i used the most to capture snippets of information have been local website archive, clipcache (i used the demo a lot, was going to register, then the database got corrupted)

You can find the last free version of ClipCache, 1.41, at http://www.woundedmo.../win32_freeware.html  This served me well for years on several computers.  I registered out of sheer gratitude, but never bothered to install the shareware version as the free one did all I needed, most of the time.  However, I have to add that lately some of the rude software I have to use at work has been crashing it, so I've largely moved over to Mouser's Clipboard Help+Spell, which is relatively sluggish but very robust.

You might like to look at other clipboard extenders, some of which have been mentioned elsewhere in DC.  For example, ClipMagic (not tried by me) says it allows you to set up rules and filters to move clips to categories.  And, DC has several people (e.g. Allen and Carol Haynes) who really like AceText

Quote
I think a killer feature would be one that has a "scanning" module which would crawl a bunch of directories you choose, find all the myriad documents in formats it can read (the more the merrier, if possible even word processor or other organiser files), then give you a list where you can tick all the ones you want to import, then import them...

Most can import plain text and RTF, and a few can import files from other simpler PIMs (e.g. KeyNote can import Treepad Lite, Jot+Notes can import lots).  But there are so many formats out there...


iphigenie

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #432 on: February 28, 2007, 05:16:37 AM »
yes, most can import, but one document at a time - and usually the import has more steps than opening the original file and using cut and paste.

* * *

I'm trying Clipboard Help+Spell but I can't see how I would use it for more than to speed up multiple cut and paste - it doesn't have the organising features that clipcache had. I mean it has "folders" but... I don't seem to be using them. I'm sure I'm not using all it can do. That's just typical of me ;)

A lot of the shareware clipboard tools have good organising features, I agree, but many were a little too complex or heavy to use *for me" and as a result I didn't use the features... That says more about me and my lack of patience and dedication to learning a piece of software, than it says anything about the software. I want a tool that is so transparent to use it naturally pulls me through the features. It's hard to describe but some software will do that - pull you in and before you know it you're learning the advanced features without even trying to... I don't want to have to make a post it note by my screen to try to encourage me to use the features, if that happens, I know I'll never use those features and I might as well use another tool that's simpler and doesn't have those features.

For example clipmate and it's different modes just felt confusing and heavy. It's incredibly powerful and clever but I don't have time to learn it, and it didn't manage to pull me it to make me learn it. Clipmagic was nice, and the rules *were* quite powerful, but again I could not see me take the time to actually master it. I know I did use more of its features than clipmate's. I think i tried about 20 different ones over the years.

PS: every piece of software I try, I do a "features" page snapshot with LWA, write down price and some extremely terse test notes. Early on i would delete the ones that were instant uninstalls, now i keep that information too so i don't waste my time twice. It's very nice when you think "what tool was it that could do X, i didnt need that then but I could use that now" you can at least have a chance to jog your memory

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #433 on: February 28, 2007, 07:48:01 AM »
I can't help but get into this thread again and recommend oneNote. The 2007 version does cool new things:
  • Paste a picture (yes, a picture), and it will do OCR. you can find text within the picture! Ain't that cool?
  • Perfect integration with outlook todo list. just write an item (e.g., "call X", and flag it as "todo tomorrow" ctrl + shift + 2, it will show up in outlook task list, and even get a default reminder. Since oneNote can do hierarchical stuff -it's an ouliner-, longer todo lists are easy.
  • Napkin math. You can type 2+2= and it completes the answer.
  • fast search (called instant search)
  • tagging
  • minimizes all toolbars, sidebars, etc to become a tiny notepad that can float on top of all your windows
  • global shortcut to get screenshots
  • pastes url or local doc location (file:\\) next to the quote (useful!)

It is one of the few apps that M$ got right the first time and didn't screw after a major update.

rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #434 on: February 28, 2007, 10:46:49 AM »
yes, most can import, but one document at a time - and usually the import has more steps than opening the original file and using cut and paste.

Am I misunderstanding you?  I'm thinking of KeyNote, for example, where I remember handing it a wildcard for *.AWK, and it imported the lot in one go, with file name as node name.  Likewise a telephone list, originally one file per entry (owing to conversion from another program), into Treepad Lite.  So also (if I remember correctly) Black Hole Organiser, though that was very slow by comparison.  I.e., didn't have to enter each file/item individually in any of these.

Quote
I'm trying Clipboard Help+Spell but I can't see how I would use it for more than to speed up multiple cut and paste - it doesn't have the organising features that clipcache had.

I only use it as a clipboard enhancer, and assumed the "organising" features were more to do with collections of clips for particular tasks, not as an information-gathering and classifying system.

Quote
PS: every piece of software I try, I do a "features" page snapshot with LWA, write down price and some extremely terse test notes.

If I hear about something interesting, I usually make a note in JBLab Secure Notes, including the very important pricing details.  Often I massage the text first with a plain-text editor, usually the excellent TED Notepad.  JBLSN doesn't do images (this rarely bothers me), and has minor drawbacks, but it's still a nice little app, and it's portable.  And low-priced :)



JohnFredC

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #435 on: March 10, 2007, 11:27:58 AM »
I have searched the forum and found no reference to my "main man" note taker tool!  All this good info and no mention of my favorite tool.  Wild!

Try Infostore from MHSoftware ($19).

I am a big KeyNote fan (and formerly a TreePad fan, too), still use it daily...  but I hate the way it and ALL other notetakers I have tried implement tables... except InfoStore.

InfoStore tables are flat file databases!  Yep, each node in the tree can be a table, with field definitions, checkboxes, picklists, sorting.  You can define and store/load table templates, too!

InfoStore also supports RTF notes and drag and drop between the hierarchy of nodes.  Autobackup.  Passwords.

InfoStore hasn't been updated in a while and is really bare-bones: the printing options are limited and there is no way to populate a picklist from a table stored in another node.  But it is very attractively designed, easy to use.

Give it a try.  If you are a hierarchical/list/note person, InfoStore is excellent.  Down with passive tables!!!!

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #436 on: March 12, 2007, 10:21:59 AM »
Quote
I have searched the forum and found no reference to my "main man" note taker tool!  All this good info and no mention of my favorite tool.  Wild!
JohnFredC, welcome to the discussion.  Yes, I missed quite a few programs in my review; some more prominent than others.  What's wild is that after all this discussion, more and more programs keep coming up that I had no idea about.  It's just insane how many of these there are out there.

Of course, I was aware of this before even starting the whole discussion, which is why I planned on doing multiple reviews for notetakers.  I think the time has come for another one, but it's a lot of work, and I'm trying to figure out how I should present the information in the second.

I'll try to be more and more complete in the future reviews.

JohnFredC

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #437 on: March 13, 2007, 03:16:50 PM »
Though I don't use it any more (KeyNote imported all my trees successfully, many years ago) I still keep up with TreePad.  It is a little garish to look at but whiz bang with features.  The Lite version is free.

If I could have a combination of TreePad, InfoStore, and KeyNote, in one application... I'd be in hog heaven.

What's missing from all of these apps however is a competent outliner. There is a big difference between hierarchical/tree-based document management and outlining.

PCOutline and Grandview (wonderful DOS outliners from the 80's)  really set my standards for outliners.  There is a Windows PC Outline out there, but development was abandoned before the (many, serious) bugs were expunged.

However, I just discovered Bonsai, a Palm outliner tool that has a Windows desktop version.  It looks promising.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2007, 09:41:56 PM by JohnFredC »

s630417

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #438 on: March 13, 2007, 09:08:57 PM »
I would like to recommend a software called CodeLib .NET
this is a powerful knowledge manager (all in one, easy use, powerful and new technology)...
http://s630417.myweb...inet.net/CodeLib.htm

rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #439 on: March 14, 2007, 06:24:57 AM »
I still keep up with TreePad.  It is a little garish to look at but whiz bang with features.  The Lite version is free.

I use Treepad Lite a bit.  It's a nice little app, and when you do a Ctrl-F search, it produces a "table" of hits.  For modest data sets, this goes a some way towards offsetting what is for me is a serious (deal-breaking) lack in many these apps, namely, absence of even a modest attempt at Boolean searching.  Last time I looked, even the payware version of Treepad didn't have that.  I want a tool for storing and retrieving large numbers of fairly random notes, most of which have very little to do with each other.  Ability to organise notes or make outlines is (usually) barely relevant to me.

I believe a portable version of Treepad Lite is planned.  Apart from Boolean search, I'd like it to have a better hyperlink system (what it has works, but is clumsy).  I still have and occasionally use Memory Mate for DOS, which does have simple Boolean search and easy insertion of hyperlinks.  All these years later and there still isn't anything as low-drag?


sri

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #440 on: April 13, 2007, 01:47:23 PM »
I tried EverNote today for the first time and all I can say is wow!

Here are some shortcuts and tips I am collecting on its usage:

  • To jump to the blank note, press Ctrl+N
  • To assign a category to a note, drag it with the mouse onto the note's toolbar.
  • ctrl+F: to focus the search box.
  • You can dbl clk on note's title in the Note List to change it.
  • When search brings up a note that is very long, F3 (jump down by highlighed words) / Shift-F3 (jump up)
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>

Darwin

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #441 on: April 13, 2007, 04:31:46 PM »
sri - do you have a license for Evernote? If so, are you trying the beta for version 2? The wow factor really takes off when you start playing with it!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

sri

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #442 on: April 14, 2007, 02:48:10 AM »
I am using the free EverNote Portable Beta 2. I don't need the paid version since a) I don't have a tablet pen b) I don't need to synchronize w/ anything (that's the very reason why I downloaded the portable edition).

Another tip:
Quote
Q: I tried to use SmartSearch to find phone numbers and part numbers with dashes in them, but I get strange results. How can I get SmartSearch to work as I want?

A: You're having a problem because EverNote uses the Dash symbol (-) as a Minus (-) delimiter to mean (#AND NOT#). So, for example, if you enter CHICAGO-ATLANTA, EverNote will find all notes that have Chicago but don't have Atlanta.

There is a solution, however. Simply enter your phone number or part number in quotes. In fact, you only need to start with quote marks. Thus, to find L-1234, you would enter "L-1234 and to find 650-555-1234 you would enter "650-555-1234.
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 02:52:04 AM by sri »

Darwin

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #443 on: April 14, 2007, 10:02:38 AM »
sri - glad that you're using the beta. I *thought* that the developers had restricted access to it to paid customers, which is why I asked!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Crush

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #444 on: April 14, 2007, 04:34:52 PM »
This one also seems quite useful

Notelens: http://www.notelens.com/ is now free! (The only disturbing thing is the automatic reply of the software activated as standard, but it can be turned off after installation)

ganrad

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #445 on: April 15, 2007, 08:28:33 AM »
Hi,
For me, what is important is very small footprint (better so if the application remains closed but can be fired open in negligible time using Directaccess or Activewords hotkey), allowing me to jot my notes and gets closed in a jiffy.

I have tried evernote, surfulator and a host of other applications. Each have its merits and demerits.
Of late, I am using simple .txt files (windows notepad) to capture the notes and use a simple activewords macro to "saveas" using text in the first line of the note.

Then I use X1 (any free desktopsearch application would do good as well) to search for any content that I have captured.
I also use recentx to quickly getback to a note if I had saved it in the preceeding few days (usually to-do notes)

One may ask why do I make it so complex when there are tons of notes applications that can accomplish this and contain all the notes in a single database.

Ideally yes. But I hesitate to commit myself to any propereitary format for obvious reasons. Besides, most of the notes taking software do not get indexed by desktopsearch applications (I use X1) readily.

Then there is the issue of synchronizing across computers (between my laptop and desktop). A big problem I faced when I was trying out the regular note taking applications (Evernote et al) was maintaining the sync between my laptop and desktop PCs. If I fail to sync the datafile when I switch from desktop to laptop and vice versa, I end up having notes spread over two data files necessitating a manual cut and paste of data. I tried to maintain two databases "laptop-datafile" and "desktop=datafile" and manually sync them once a week.
Works fine!. But then, I don't get the data when I need it, unless I network my laptop and desktop and perform a  manual sync first.
Evernote had been quite friendly in manual syncing in the older versions, thanks to the xml export feature. The newer version of evernote makes synchronization automatic. However, still I need to couple my laptop and desktop together or couple my USB Drive.

How do I manage keeping laptop and desktop in sync with my current approach of simle .txt files.

I happen to own syncback SE and some web storage space. I have set auto uploading of newly created .txt files into the webspace (both in my laptop and desktop computers). Being small in footprint, .txt files get uploaded/downloaded instantaneously and only the files that needs to get copied or deleted gets transported making the sync process simple, efficient and completely transparent.

I cant do this web based sync to a single database notes file (say an evernote datafile or mybase datafile) which gets bulkier by the day

Net, I have a delicate system to handle my notes. But it works and meets my needs.
WHat I do miss is a software, that can compile all txt files in a folder/subfolders and show them as folder tree structure combined with a viewer editor. To put in other words, a notes software that saves individual notes as separate txt files (or rtf files) in the same folder tree structure. Not to mention, with good search capability.

Any thoughts?

sri

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #446 on: April 15, 2007, 09:41:21 AM »
I feel you are needlessly following a cumbersome process. You may want to take a look at EverNote again. Why install it on desktop and laptop and try to sync? Just run it from a USB stick or iPod and plug it wherever you work (assuming you don't work on laptop and desktop simultaneously).
<a href="https://sridharkatakam.com">My blog</a>

rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #447 on: April 15, 2007, 11:54:55 AM »
Hi,
For me, what is important is very small footprint (better so if the application remains closed but can be fired open in negligible time using Directaccess or Activewords hotkey), allowing me to jot my notes and gets closed in a jiffy.

This is an advantage of Treepad Lite.  It's one of the smallest, so fastest to load.

Quote
Of late, I am using simple .txt files (windows notepad) to capture the notes and use a simple activewords macro to "saveas" using text in the first line of the note.

Despite your use of Syncback, etc., aren't you running the risk of overwriting existing date by accidentally giving text files the a name you have used already?  Unless your macro adds date and time to the name, of course.

Quote
Ideally yes. But I hesitate to commit myself to any propereitary format for obvious reasons.

This seems to me one of the outstanding problems of this class of software  :(




paulobrabo

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #448 on: April 15, 2007, 12:56:21 PM »
Getting minimalistic here!

My note-taking needs are very focused: I only need to gather small text bits, and I need to be able to find them fast and easy.

I was using NotePad and scattered .txt files myself, but then I found this little gem of minimalism: it's called Mempad.

http://img70.imageshack.us/img70/2764/mem3erd2.gif
General brainstorming for Note-taking software


PROS:
(1) The entire (standalone) application is only 97kb;
(2) it uses a text-based file with a customizable extension name
(3) fast global search
(4) exports single notes or whole trees to txt
(5) TINY memory footprint (312 k in my system)
(6) Customizable fonts and backgrounds
(7) it's FREE!

CONS(?):
(1) Imports txt files only as far as I can see (not counting its own file format)
(2) Minimizes on ESC as an option, but no true invoking shortcut. I use PowerPro to fix that.
(3) No rich-text formatting (which is a plus in my book).

http://home.mnet-onl...e/horst.muc/wmem.htm
English will never be my first language, it doesn't meter how hard I try.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 12:59:40 PM by paulobrabo »

ganrad

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #449 on: April 15, 2007, 07:46:56 PM »
I think I almost got what I was looking for.

Looks like Notelens meets the need. OK sofar.
Though has an unwanted feature - Outlook sync, which I guess is the reason for the bulkiness (occupies 28MB memory in my system)
But saves notes as separate .txt files
Possible to import existing .txt files. Notelens just indexex these files. Does not change the location
For syncing, just sync the xml file (I guess).
Will try out for a few days and update the
Thanks to CRUSH for providing the link