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Last post Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 506635 times)

tomos

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #650 on: December 06, 2007, 03:04:43 PM »
Great! There are a few things missing to be an Evernote replacement, one of which is IE and FF (and hopefully Opera) right-click menu to copy content...

Does anyone at DC know how to do that? Initial search of the web did not give much...
I believe Opera is a major problem for everyone that way - it's the reason I use FF - Surfulater cant manage Opera (or should that be the other way round :))
Tom

HMDW

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #651 on: December 07, 2007, 04:49:22 AM »
..........Very Nice ...........Thank's ...........

melitabel

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Mind-mappoing and note taking software in libraries
« Reply #652 on: December 11, 2007, 04:57:33 PM »
Othalian, thanks for the link to http://www.mind-mapping.org - great resources.  I use both Personal Brain and Compendium, which has lately been mentioned on this thread.  I like Personal Brain because items can have multiple parents, and I never lose myself in the display as I've done with some other mind mappers.

Are there any librarians reading this thread?  I am doing a presentation at SLA on how librarians can use mind mapping and other note taking tools to organize their own information and communicate it to their clients.  I'm looking for a co-presenter - I don't want to talk all by myself for the best part of an hour.  If you are going to Seattle, and have an interest, please let me know.
More curiosity, less judgment.

Nxqd3051990

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #653 on: December 12, 2007, 06:08:00 PM »
I've found that evernote is really weigh ( have not try yet ) with 50 mb install package. I want a lightweigh takenote system for computer. MonkeyPrivateTiddlyWiki is really good, you should try it.
And I take note everyday ( still in school ) with my own pen and notebook and Computer's take note system for stotraging :). I think it's a good way to take note :)
KEEP IT SIMPLE !
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Darwin

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #654 on: December 12, 2007, 06:11:56 PM »
Zulupad is an excellent, lightweight notetaker.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Nxqd3051990

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #655 on: December 12, 2007, 10:55:20 PM »
But MonkeyPrivateTiddlyWiki is simpler and do alls what I need :)
Thanks Darwin for the recommendation
KEEP IT SIMPLE !
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Darwin

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #656 on: December 13, 2007, 01:03:09 AM »
No problem! I'll have to check MonkeyPirateTidyWiki out for myself (though I'm awash in notetakers already  :o)
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

J-Mac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #657 on: December 13, 2007, 02:02:26 AM »
No problem! I'll have to check MonkeyPirateTidyWiki out for myself (though I'm awash in notetakers already  :o)

You and me both!  Some started out as a free version but then offered me upgrade options too good to pass up!  E.g., I currently have the following three open all the time:  OneNote 2007, Evernote 2.2, and AM-Notebook.  All paid versions and all better at some things than the others, but none that seem to do it all well.

Someday I'll find that perfect note-taker!

Jim

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #658 on: December 13, 2007, 07:29:30 AM »
All paid versions and all better at some things than the others, but none that seem to do it all well.
Someday I'll find that perfect note-taker!
Would you care to share what are the relative weaknesses of each of these 3 ?
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

melitabel

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #659 on: December 13, 2007, 09:23:09 AM »
I see that Wikipedia mentions the slowness of Tiddly Wiki based programs, which is likely to be especially troublesome in Mozilla-based browsers.  I'm interested, but slow I don't need.  I'll be following this thread to see what kind of experience others have.
More curiosity, less judgment.

PPLandry

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #660 on: December 13, 2007, 11:30:02 AM »
I see that Wikipedia mentions the slowness of Tiddly Wiki based programs, which is likely to be especially troublesome in Mozilla-based browsers.  I'm interested, but slow I don't need.  I'll be following this thread to see what kind of experience others have.
Tiddly Wikis are javascript and (generally) XML based. Since they don't use a database to store the content (unlike real Wikis), they don't scale very well. They'll work fine at first, but will get slower and slower as it grows.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #661 on: December 13, 2007, 12:17:30 PM »
PPL, will SQLNotes have any slowdown as the database grows larger?
I've noticed this with a lot of notetaking programs.  The speed of SQL is pretty good right now, and it's important that it doesn't slow down significantly because the program's power and flexibility is suited for keeping large databases in it.  Will SQL support storing additional content in the future, like displaying pictures and so forth, because things like that cause slowdowns.

PPLandry

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #662 on: December 13, 2007, 12:35:15 PM »
PPL, will SQLNotes have any slowdown as the database grows larger?
I've noticed this with a lot of notetaking programs.  The speed of SQL is pretty good right now, and it's important that it doesn't slow down significantly because the program's power and flexibility is suited for keeping large databases in it.  Will SQL support storing additional content in the future, like displaying pictures and so forth, because things like that cause slowdowns.

SQLNotes is based on a database (JET 4.0) and will scale very well. My personal file (3.5 years of data) is nearly as fast as an empty one. One customer has 8 users linked to a central SQLNotes database. 20,000 items, 300,000 field values and it's still performing very well.

After release 1.0, I'll also work on using alternative back-end engines (SQL Server/Express, SQLite, MySQL) which will further improve scalability.

SQLNotes already support pictures in the outline and in the HTML editing pane [edit] and of course in the Image Viewer panes [/edit]. In both cases, these are links to files (except HTML pane showing MHT/EML files). Embedded pictures could be added too if users request such a feature.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 12:54:01 PM by PPLandry »

J-Mac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #663 on: December 13, 2007, 01:31:01 PM »
All paid versions and all better at some things than the others, but none that seem to do it all well.
Someday I'll find that perfect note-taker!
Would you care to share what are the relative weaknesses of each of these 3 ?

No time for me to compose a mini-review right now, but here are some of the things I like (or don't really like) in these three programs:

Evernote:
  •   Great search capabilities, but not exactly intuitive, at least I don't feel it is.
  •   No tables or spreadsheet capabilities - they claim you can drag & drop tables and spreadsheets into a note but I have had mixed success. I guess it depends on the complexity of the table or spreadsheet.
  •   It does support about as many categories as you could ever want, but no tagging. The explanation from users on their forum is that Evernote's search powers are so good and that tags basically suck anyway. Matter of opinion, I imagine; I don't have to have tags but I do like them.
  •   The "endless tape" format is pretty cool when you start using it, and can be useful if you have the time to play, but at times, if I'm in a hurry, the "tape" format can drive me nuts!
  •   A weird thing here - they have built-in icons that you can assign to categories. Many users at their forum have been clamoring for years for them to allow adding your own icons, but they say that would be too difficult. I don't quite get that. Besides, you cannot see the icons on your notes - they don't show there. Only on the category list itself. I don't get that either! Either support category icons, or don't. This in-between position is pointless, IMO.

OneNote 2007:
  •   Probably the one I use the most, but mainly just for clipping from the web or any application
  •   I don't like using it much if I am writing a note. Maybe it's the individual text boxes - or "note containers", as MS calls them -that it creates each time I start typing. Not a problem with it - mainly just a personal preference.
  •   The odd file format that results from clipping - I don't know what in the heck it is but it usually cannot be used to paste into other applications. That really annoys me.
  •   If I want to mail a note from OneNote 2007 it attaches a proprietary file to the message and a link to download OneNote 2007.  I hate this!! If I'm sending a note to someone I want them to be able to read it - right away.  Not show them an advertisement for another Microsoft product! Alternatively you can have it add an attachment that will open a browser window. But it asks first if you want it to open in your default browser. Mine is Firefox and if I click "Yes" it instead opens another instance of Thunderbird - no idea why! Then it switches and opens an Internet Explorer window. Too much trouble to view a note if you ask me. But if you are using it solely for your own use and never plan to send a note to anyone you won't have to deal with that.
  •   Good tagging support, but you cannot add your own - something that can defeat the purpose of icons, which IMO is to allow finding notes at a glance due to instantly recognizable icons. Being heavily involved with the PPC/Windows Mobile platform for five years I came to appreciate category icons. I always created my own from client companies' logos. Then if I looked at the calendar I could see where I would be traveling to and whom I would be meeting with in any upcoming week by just glancing at the icons on my calendar page. So I prefer that if a developer has category icons as a feature they should always allow users to create and use their own.

AM-Notebook:
  •   This one is my personal favorite for writing notes.
  •   Tables and spreadsheets are built-in and handled nicely. Calculations, formulae, & advanced expressions in the spreadsheets.
  •   Full rich text, extensive formatting options, clips & templates; I like how it handles these better than the others - once again, mostly personal preference.
  •   Alarm clock and reminders, tabbed interface, excellent search facility, encrypted notes, link or bookmark between notes, create a new note using clipboard contents
  •   ToDo's, built-in calendar feature to schedule tasks/notes, contacts, install to USB flash drive
  •   And a big plus in my opinion: an active user forum w/good developer participation.
  •   Big drawback -- no web clipping/screen clipping feature. For that I have to use one of the other apps. Also, a smaller drawback - no category icons.
  •   Bigger drawback yet - no category support at all... Aarrgh!  I use the folder structure as a kind of ersatz categorization tool, but that's just crappy. Lack of categories of any kind is definitely a large miss, IMO.

As I said, a lot of the pluses and minuses are simply my own personal preference.  Many love OneNote 2007 for its ease of use.  Likewise with Evernote for its power searching and cross-categorization.  (Search more than one category together to narrow down and pinpoint specific results. - its single best feature IMO).  I just prefer AM-Notebook because it's easy to use, looks great, has an easy-to-reach developer who is very supportive, and to me it's kind of like having a mini (VERY mini!) office suite always open in my tray, and a mini PIM at the same time.

Now I'm sure that fans of the others will start shooting at me, but as I said, I have paid versions of all three of those (And a few others as well - I'm a note freak!), and I like them all for different things.  Just stating my personal reasons for liking one more overall than the others!  So I will refuse to argue with anyone looking for a "Notes" fight!!   :P   ;D

Jim

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #664 on: December 13, 2007, 01:50:08 PM »
J-Mac.  Awesome!  What a great post.  Your program details are invaluable.  There's a big difference between reading the "feature list" of a program on the website, and reading these very-detailed user experiences.

I think I agree with pretty much everything you say.  I'm a note freak also.  There's at least a few pages in this thread devoted to the whole tagging/categories/heirarchy debate.  There's no good answer because the pros and cons of each system are different enough where neither has a significant advantage over the other.  I suggested that the best program will allow the user to choose between different organizing methods.  Sometimes tagging is better.  Sometimes a tree is better.

This is where SQLNotes comes in.  I hate to seem like I'm getting paid for saying this, but this program has won me over recently.  The program is so flexible, and correct me if I'm wrong PPL, that it can allow either a simple, traditional heirarchy; or a category/tag based system; and there are plans to include a more visual "mind-mapping" based feature also (not exactly sure about this one).

I have already begun to slowly move my notes from other programs into SQLNotes.  The only ones I'm holding onto are my clips in Evernote because, like J-Mac said, it's so fast and easy to find something in Evernote.  Also, in SQLNotes, I have my more "serious" notes, that is, the information that I know I need to have.  In Evernote, I keep just interesting stuff that I probably won't mind too much if I lose or forget about (lots of random web clips).  Evernote is like having a drawer full of post-its and piles of paper strewn all over the place, yet being able to find the one you're looking for REALLY fast.  But, SQL will apparently have more powerful searching and filtering features in the future also.

J-Mac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #665 on: December 13, 2007, 02:07:31 PM »
superboyac,

I did install SQL Notes, but then when Pierre suggested I download a later beta about a week or so after that, I tried but it wouldn't install. I think Pierre posted again that I have to pluck some of the files from the newer beta and replace the ones in my already-installed beta.  Something like that - I'll have to read that post again.

I just didn't get around to doing that. Not that it's difficult or anything; I was just super busy at the time, and ... hmmm...  I guess I just got lazy after that and didn't think to go back and do that.

Let me take another look at the SQL Notes thread and maybe try again.

One thing - I am a "needy" user if there ever was one.  I NEED some kind of documentation to reference when I need to - which is always too often! Some things are just completely intuitive to me - usually the complicated stuff. And then I choke on the simple stuff! Don't ask why. Because I'm Irish? Old and decrepit? Because I have raised too many kids? It's just one of those universal truths!  ;)

Jim

PPLandry

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #666 on: December 13, 2007, 02:10:00 PM »
Thanks also J-Mac, I've taken a good note of your comments. For a short reply, I'd say it is extensive!

@superboyac: Glad to see that you find it useful.

Organizational tools: 4 done, 5 todo:

- done: (1) tree, (2) multiple parents and (3) through fields (folders/categories), (4) show/hide the hierarchy/parents
- todo: (1) UI friendly tags, (2) item links list, (3) hyperlinks within the item text, (4) HTML pane hyperlinks to other items), (5) auto-assign based on field content


@ all others: no superboyac is not paid  for his reviews... but I think he really got hung up on SQLNotes after a live phone call to explain some of the concepts. That offer is available to anyone interested. betasupport@sqlnotes.net to fix a suitable time

documentation available at http://sqlnotes.wikispaces.com/.
Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present -- Albert Camus -- www.InfoQube.biz

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #667 on: December 13, 2007, 08:34:57 PM »
Hi guys. IMO, the 5  most important characteristics of any program is ; 1- (a) clearly defined function(s),  2- great flexibility/adaptability, 3- robustness, 4- portability,  5- usability/ease of use/intuitiveness (threw UI, or not)  and, okay maybe 6- Compatibility/interoperability…

The flexibility has to be kept within the limits of the software’s function. Of course, and that’s hard to achieve as flexibility can tend to distort the borders of the software’s primary function(s)… It’s often a trap in which developers fall. But it should be noted that it can also be a trap to **refuse** to expand the software’s boundaries and refuse to accept the “natural” tendency of a program to evolve in certain directions as the users’ needs get more complex, as the software ecology changes (as the software starts to interact differently with other softwares…), etc. (Farr is a good example of a great software IMO : it has great flexibility and mouser is able to expand its function(s) while not dissolving it into nothingness ; it is pretty portable, it’s robust, easy to use, and fairly compatible — not with Linux or Mac though but… that would make it perfect, and perfection is not possible :)  but I digress)

So, getting back to Note takers and SQLNotes…

Searching capabilities : inflexible search engines are really painful. I personally find EverNote’s searching features pretty intuitive and amazingly quick and smooth  (… a matter of taste !) but not as intuitive, powerful and flexible as say X1 (SQLNotes is getting there, but I find the filtering system difficult to grasp and use quickly) -- which is a bit normal considering X1's specialty : searching. The only aspects I don’t like in EverNote’s search feature is related to the category intersection panel :  the impossibility to directly “intersect” a subcategory with another higher category from a different “tree” or "branch" (of course, there are some workarounds), and the impossibility to use advanced search syntax for category searching — pretty crappy thing. (Also the fact that it doesn’t automatically refresh when you add new notes while watching your notes through the lens of a specific intersection… But I digress).

  •   The "endless tape" format is pretty cool when you start using it, and can be useful if you have the time to play, but at times, if I'm in a hurry, the "tape" format can drive me nuts!

Interesting. But how/why does it drive you nuts ? I admit I used to find EverNote’s tape format pretty constrictive. But the new external “outside the tape” windows (a blessing) brought an end to that feeling. To me, the tape format is not restrictive anymore. There are actually not much more restrictions in EverNote than in other **note takers** (well… I’d like to be able to drop notes from the note list to the categories, but that’s another story…). And there’s actually that pretty unique feature : no other note  taker offers the unique tape view which I genuinely love (seeing all my notes linked together in a row, chronologically or alphabetically organized  is just great in certain situations — an extra column/field in the note list would be great to add an extra parameter to be able to sort notes according to priorities, etc. But I digress again).

The only reasons why I’ve chosen (and sticked with) Evernote instead of OneNote or other solutions are... well... I just needed a good, quick, stable and sexy note taker with nice simple (but flexible) organizing and searching features. Nothing more. I don’t manage anything else in there. I didn’t need todos features, basic spreadsheets, nothing (even if some of that is kind of implemented). There are only simple notes and webclips in my database. (And I tend to transfer these notes pretty often into other more significant project documents as time passes — I do that during my “weekly review” Session : I have 2 databases and I dump all old notes in another database, and copy others to various documents/projects). (Still, I do find the absence of real tables or spread sheets annoying. It’s a bit like if they’ve decided for us certain notes are not notes ! But I digress yet again…)

When I take notes, I want to be able to write immediately. Not after 5 clicks, and then having to name a file, save it, etc. What I like in EverNote that I couldn’t achieve as elegantly with other notetakers: 1) I hit ctrl+N (or whatever) and start to write without having to care about the title, saving my document, the format, the date, and even the categorization/tagging (I  have automatic filters for that), and my notes is put right after the other one and so I can see what I clipped or noted just before,  2) when I see something on the web I hit win+A and it’s clipped in EverNote and automatically categorized (with filters) and the reference is written at the bottom of the note, 3) finding my notes is just a matter of typing a few letter or a few words and using the categories. 4) Exporting or sending them is easy easy. Voilà

I found all the other solutions heavier and not as sexy and simple to use (even  once the program is configured to one's liking). But EverNote suffers from the tendency to expand its limits outside it’s primary functions I believe. Un less one doesn’t have a time organizer or a PIM, one shouldn’t need a note taker that tries to be a word processor, a PIM, etc. No thank you : for that I have Word 2003, Outlook , etc. BUT the reverse could be true. If I had a PIM/time management program which had good notetaking features (similar to EverNote), I’d probably use it, just because I can see notetaking and web clipping as a branch of a PIM software (not the reverse…).  Maybe.

It would have to be as ***quick, quick quick***, as **simple** as EverNote. No overorganizing process, no file saving, no file naming, etc. Zoot type smart folders and filders would be a big PLUS. (Zoot is another amazing software. I just find that it wants to do too much and at the same time not enough of certain things)


  •   It [EverNote] does support about as many categories as you could ever want, but no tagging. The explanation from users on their forum is that Evernote's search powers are so good and that tags basically suck anyway. Matter of opinion, I imagine; I don't have to have tags but I do like them.

Tags and categories (or labels or whatever…) are often used interchangeably, and for good reasons. Trying to find a consensus about their definition is pretty hard. Of course, there ARE basic differences ; if my memory serves : categories are more general containers, hierarchically structured, not necessarily directly linked to the actual “fine” content, tags identify the different types of content/themes without any hierarchical structure, etc. As somebody wrote somewhere : in a book, categories would belong to the table of content, and the tags to the index.

As I’m writing that I’m tempted to look at what Wikipedia has to say…

Interesting :

Quote
“Although "tagging" is often promoted as an alternative to organization by a hierarchy of categories, more and more online resources seem to use a hybrid system, where items are organized into broad categories, with finer classification distinctions being made by the use of tags.”

And so, if we want to be picky, EverNote’s categories are NOT really categories per se (they’re not really like containers/folders) but more like labels or tags that can be organized hierarchically (and soon, maybe, in… tag clouds ; How’s that?) : a note can belong to several different “categories” regardless of the level.

One can organize EverNote’s categories hierarchically, as one can function heterarchically with them. It’s up to the user. My EverNote’s categories are essentially tags or labels for those who want to call them tags… or categories for does who want to see them as categories, or hierarchically organized tags. Categories, tags or labels have been around for ever : they’re just, nore often than not, keywords. And keywords can be displayed/organized in a web, a hierarchical structure or anything you want. (Of course, trees or some kind of hierarchical organization can pretty helpful to find your way in 100s of tags or categories. It’s also possible to have all of then flatly organized (alphabetically, for instance), but it doesn’t really allow for a global overview of the common themes behind all the keywords, and  it can become hard to see the potential redundancy.)

EDIT : so I also agree with superboyac said :
There's no good answer because the pros and cons of each system are different enough where neither has a significant advantage over the other.  I suggested that the best program will allow the user to choose between different organizing methods.  Sometimes tagging is better.  Sometimes a tree is better.


IMO, in SQLNotes, apart from the natural treeview that grid allows, what would  be important is not so much to have categories vs tags or the reverse, but to be able to create as many keywords as one wants (flexibility), and to be able to use these same keywords to structure data in many different ways (flexibility again), depending on the context (this what I do) : folder-like hierarchies (smart folders, filter folders…), tag clouds, category-like containers, or whatever you want, and to have these structures displayed  in a coherent and tangible manner. The problem with tagging systems is usually the kind of “abstractness” that the folder metaphor doesn’t suffer from (when a file is in a folder, it’s “there”, so to speak, you can follow the logical hierarchical structure of containers, etc.)…  but it’s perfectly possible to use the folder metaphor to organize tagged words (like in EverNote), using other meta tags that contain other tags, etc. (keeping in mind -- with the help of a simple system maybe -- which tags are actual REAL categories)...  Plain folders become smart/virtual/filter folders

Quote
  •   [OneNote] Good tagging support, but you cannot add your own - something that can defeat the purpose of icons, which IMO is to allow finding notes at a glance due to instantly recognizable icons.

I personally really dislike OneNote’S tagging system. I find it unintuitive, rigid, and, because it’s not very portable or compatible, pretty useless… Unless one lives in OneNote. IMO, tags should be readable with/by other applications or Desktop search software.  Outlook’s category (label ? tag?... you see…) system is more useful than OneNote’s system because you can create whatever category you want and they’re transferable to a handheld device, searchable with many desktop search software, etc.

Sorry, long post… Readable I hope…Don’t have any more time to reread it !!!! oups

edit : reread the whole thing after all -- some repetitions, but... WTF.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 08:46:48 PM by Armando »

tomos

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #668 on: December 14, 2007, 05:07:20 AM »
Sorry, long post… Readable I hope...

very much readable :up:
answered an unasked question for me about tags vs. categories
[also I'm only getting back into using evernote for work now so helpful to hear how the advanced use it!]
Tom

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #669 on: December 14, 2007, 11:49:19 AM »
Armando, your post is excellent.  It's getting bookmarked.
I really want to comment on what you said, but I have nothing significant to add.  I think it's a very valuable post that describes how an actual, relatively advanced user would use Evernote.

nevf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #670 on: December 21, 2007, 03:00:50 AM »
Just a quick note to let everyone know that Version 2.50 of Surfulater has just been released. The big new feature in this release is the ability to view Knowledge Base’s in your Web Browser, without any need whatsoever for Surfulater. This enables you to view your Knowledge Bases wherever you happen to be, as well as sharing them with colleagues and friends, locally or over the Internet.

The Web based Knowledge Bases look and feel almost identical to the desktop version, which is quite an achievment. This is a major advancement in Surfulater’s ongoing development, one which clearly paves the way for more interesting developments in the future. Publishing content to the Web sets it free and combines the power of desktop software with the freedom of the Web.

For more information and a live demonstration see:
http://blog.surfulat...d-a-very-merry-xmas/
and
http://blog.surfulat...er-wherever-you-are/

I need to do some catchup reading on this thread and post if needed.

Merry Xmas to everyone, thanks for your and DC's support and have a great 2008.

PS. I'm not mentioning the Surfulater Xmas discount because there will be a better one for DC's in Jan. ;)
Neville Franks, "Save anything you see on the Web or on your PC" with Surfulater

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #671 on: December 21, 2007, 01:28:10 PM »
Cool nevf, good to hear from you.  So what do you have planned for Surfulater's future?  Are you going to turn it into the Zoho for notetaking?

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #672 on: December 21, 2007, 01:31:53 PM »
nevf,

Very cool. This will make Surfulater much more useful to me. 
More curiosity, less judgment.

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #673 on: April 19, 2008, 08:49:01 AM »
I just came across this thread. I was interested in Whizfolders and followed a link from a lifehacker article to this page. Very interesting. Seems the thread stopped around xmas. I thought I'd fire up a note to see if folks are interested in keeping it going. I learned about a number of programs from this thread that I was ignorant of. I'm especially interested in SQLNotes, but I'm a research writer and am not certain if it's exactly what I'm looking for. I'd love to hear impressions from those using it as a research tool. The one thing I found a bit disappointing about this discussion was the rather brisk dismissal of InfoSelect. InfoSelect, despite its many flaws, is probably still the most powerful note programs around. It can handle a tree structure with both automatic and manual tagging, filtering of tags and blisteringly fast search as you type. One thing that's very nice about it is the ability to float any number of windows even outside the program and pin them. Of course the program is a bit pricey and it does have some bloat (but you can shut off email support and other things). IS can readily split longer imported .doc files, which I haven't seen any other program be able to handle quite as powerfully. Recently I've been using Evernote 2.2. It's amazing for webcapture, and I love the tagging feature. But like others have observed, the fact that you can only display your list chronologically is a serious limitation. But it's superior to Onenote by miles. I can't stand the tab interface of Onenote. For me the ideal notetaking application would build on the strengths of MS Word. I would love the power of Word, especially Word's outline view, and styles. From there all I would need is the ability to tag paragraphs is unlimited ways, and the ability to filter my information and search it quickly with the ability to display this either strictly according to my paragraph tags or according to some combination of tags and headings. Anyhow, right now I still don't see anything more powerful out there than Infoselect, although I'm checking out SQLNotes and hoping this will be it!

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #674 on: April 19, 2008, 11:49:07 AM »
I just came across this thread. I was interested in Whizfolders and followed a link from a lifehacker article to this page. Very interesting. Seems the thread stopped around xmas. I thought I'd fire up a note to see if folks are interested in keeping it going.

Why not!   ;D

The one thing I found a bit disappointing about this discussion was the rather brisk dismissal of InfoSelect. InfoSelect, despite its many flaws, is probably still the most powerful note programs around. It can handle a tree structure with both automatic and manual tagging, filtering of tags and blisteringly fast search as you type. One thing that's very nice about it is the ability to float any number of windows even outside the program and pin them. Of course the program is a bit pricey and it does have some bloat (but you can shut off email support and other things). IS can readily split longer imported .doc files, which I haven't seen any other program be able to handle quite as powerfully.

I agree completely. And I should have a look at Info Select again. It's a very very powerful app. However, when I last tried it (a long time a go), it didn't seem to be that great for palm syncing (one of my requirements at the time) -- even with the Info Select palm application (according to web reviews)-- , it could not easily integrate with my GTD system, the calendar was ugly and not convenient (IMO), the drag and drop was not always very intuitive, it became a bit slow when using huge databases (it wasn't mine, but a friend's, for testing purposes), web capturing wasn't great, and it didn't do what I was looking for in terms of data structuring and displaying (as described there). It also felt a bit alien and didn't fit well with my other office applications.

My opinion might change if I'd try it again though.


Recently I've been using Evernote 2.2. It's amazing for webcapture, and I love the tagging feature. But like others have observed, the fact that you can only display your list chronologically is a serious limitation. But it's superior to Onenote by miles.

Comparing EverNote and OneNote is tricky, but, like you, I don't like OneNote and the way info is organized (in pieces which are hard to have a global view of). Some aspects of OneNote are great, but others are just too inflexible for me.

BTW, EverNote allows you to display your list in other ways, not only chronologically. If you go into view-->note list, and click on the "title" heading of the note list, all notes will be ordered alphabetically by their title.

For me the ideal notetaking application would build on the strengths of MS Word. I would love the power of Word, especially Word's outline view, and styles. From there all I would need is the ability to tag paragraphs is unlimited ways, and the ability to filter my information and search it quickly with the ability to display this either strictly according to my paragraph tags or according to some combination of tags and headings. Anyhow, right now I still don't see anything more powerful out there than Infoselect, although I'm checking out SQLNotes and hoping this will be it!

I've been discussing that matter there. I've personally kept using Word for most of my stuff. But, recently, I've started to move some of my work related data and personal research on SQLNotes.


As you probably found out by now, I'm a pretty big fan of SQLNotes... even if it's still in beta and there are still some small bugs here and there, and some days I'm mad at it.  ;)

If Pierre (PPLandry -- SQLNotes' developer) sees that many people need such solutions ("writer" oriented), he might put more energy into the MS Word integration into SQLNotes -- that will be an amazing step in terms of usability. (But because the calendar is coming real soon, together with gantt charting and other goodies -- and this is taking a lot of development time --, MS Word integration will have to wait a bit... from what I've heard, it's already functional, except for some little quirks here and there).

I'm convinced though that very soon (in a few months) SQLNotes will be able to do exactly what you're describing ("tag paragraphs is unlimited ways, and the ability to filter my information and search it quickly with the ability to display this either strictly according to my paragraph tags or according to some combination of tags and headings.") and... probably even more than what you actually thought was possible.

As I said, I've started to use SQLNotes to structure big amounts of data, like teaching planing (with all the infos on each student, etc.), Personal journal and mood diary, Theater Research, Software reviews, personal finances, etc. In terms of flexibility, filtering, etc., I find it superior to Info Select. There's also a coherency to it that I prefer... Of course, there are a few things missing (like palm syncing -- coming with Outlook syncing--, alarms...) so I can't fully use it now. But after seeing many solutions on the  market, I'm now a "believer"... And I'm not the only one : superboyac who started this thread is actually pretty much sold too, tomos, and maybe others...  ;D Yes, The learning curve can be a bit steep, but the basic principles are in fact fairly simple if you take your time to understand them. SQLNotes is indeed very flexible and there's almost always a way to do what you want to achieve, even if you thought that it wasn't possible at first...! So, as a research tool, I think that SQLNotes will be ideal (imagine : mind mapping is coming too, but this will take a bit more time). Anyways : together with MS Word, EndNote, X1/Archivarius and my own filenaming AHK scripts, it makes a great combo!

Of course, there are other solutions, and I'd be very interested to know how you plan to use Info Select if you decide to use it.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2008, 11:53:36 AM by Armando »