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Last post Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 506565 times)

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #675 on: April 19, 2008, 12:19:15 PM »
anyone going into a similar quest with notetakers for linux?
I love onenote but I'm planning to move to linux full-time...

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #676 on: April 19, 2008, 12:26:41 PM »
Wow, interesting quest, urlwolf!

Have you tried http://basket.kde.org/ ?

There's a nice review about it there : http://micrux.net/?p=54


urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #677 on: April 20, 2008, 07:28:47 AM »
Here's a quick BasKet review.
The good
Really, really fast.

It has a great tag for 'code'. Unfortunately, no syntax highlighting :(.

Animations for notes (useless, but cool)

Shorcuts assignable to notes

Very good tagging.

Three column mode can be really nice to fit a lot on information on the screen. Good also to compare three things feature-wise.


The Bad
No proper highlighting when searching either. You will not see the yellow words we are so used to see when searching. The filter will remove notes that do not contain the word you look for, but where in the notes is the word? Mostly every other program will tell you. Not basket.

It won't do OCR and find text in pictures like oneNote

It doesn't keep indentation, nor does it do folding. It's not a very good outliner.

No indexing/database

No table support

No spelling

Basket has no developer anymore

It won't keep formatting when copying and pasting from a browser

No autocomplete (I use intellicomplete). Not BasKet fault; there's no such a thing for Linux. But this is key to my productivity

Conclusion

Lots of promise here. Best notetaker for linux I have found. Some features outclass OneNote (so fast). Still, moving to it would make my productivity drop. So I won't do it. THere are rumors that oneNote may work under wine. 
Also, for basket to really work for me it must be able to import from onenote (or any format onenote can output to).

OneNote really is the killer app in windows right now.
That, and the fact that Opera's scroll on linux is pretty bad, whereas it's the best on windows, prevents me from fully switching (I live in a broswer).

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #678 on: April 20, 2008, 10:07:55 AM »
Thanks for the little review!

That's too bad.

I'm not sure if I'd hold my breath hoping for wine miracles. But who knows. From what I saw, it doesn't seem close to succeed for OneNote 2003, let alone 2007. Although CodeWeavers' wine seemed to be close to work with 2003 :

http://www.codeweave...171;forum=1;msg=4420

That was in 2006.

philosopherdog

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #679 on: April 20, 2008, 09:16:40 PM »
Thanx for the feedback on SQLNotes. I'm wondering... is there a quick start guide somewhere? One thing I found difficult right away was the inability to adjust font sizes. It seemed to be defaulting to something too small in the text windows. The thing with Infoselect that's so powerful for me is the ability to set up smart folders that will take any search strings, and I just add tag words to text items, and it filter them into a folder. This is the same basic functionality that Evernote has. It will also allow automatically filtering based on keywords that you set using boolean operators. So, I can just dump a big word research note document into Infoselect and break it up into card sized chunks of info by tagging it with two dashes, and then filter however I wish using keywords. If I could get SQLNotes up and running with this sort of simple filtering I'd love to have a look at it. Is this difficult to do? Can you breakup text items easily or join them easily? The other thing I noticed was the inability to just import a .doc file. I gather this will be added soon. I'm certainly looking forward to the release of this program. It sounds like it might be that legendary program we're all waiting for. From what I understand Devonthink is such a program in the Mac world, but I've never actually worked with it. So far I think InfoSelect is definitely the most powerful thing I've seen. I think it's true that synching is poor and it's not pretty, but it's bloody powerful. I was going to also thank you for the Evernotes tip. I do like EN, but somehow it seems too crude for serious research writing. I'd love to hear how you use SQLNotes for research. If the details are too much for the list we can always take it to email or chat. I concur that Endnote is amazing, and I'm using it. Thanx for your post.

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #680 on: April 20, 2008, 09:55:11 PM »
Thanx for the feedback on SQLNotes. I'm wondering... is there a quick start guide somewhere? One thing I found difficult right away was the inability to adjust font sizes. It seemed to be defaulting to something too small in the text windows. The thing with Infoselect that's so powerful for me is the ability to set up smart folders that will take any search strings, and I just add tag words to text items, and it filter them into a folder. This is the same basic functionality that Evernote has. It will also allow automatically filtering based on keywords that you set using boolean operators. So, I can just dump a big word research note document into Infoselect and break it up into card sized chunks of info by tagging it with two dashes, and then filter however I wish using keywords. If I could get SQLNotes up and running with this sort of simple filtering I'd love to have a look at it. Is this difficult to do? Can you breakup text items easily or join them easily? The other thing I noticed was the inability to just import a .doc file. I gather this will be added soon. I'm certainly looking forward to the release of this program. It sounds like it might be that legendary program we're all waiting for. From what I understand Devonthink is such a program in the Mac world, but I've never actually worked with it. So far I think InfoSelect is definitely the most powerful thing I've seen. I think it's true that synching is poor and it's not pretty, but it's bloody powerful. I was going to also thank you for the Evernotes tip. I do like EN, but somehow it seems too crude for serious research writing. I'd love to hear how you use SQLNotes for research. If the details are too much for the list we can always take it to email or chat. I concur that Endnote is amazing, and I'm using it. Thanx for your post.

If you want, I'll reply to your questions there;)
« Last Edit: April 21, 2008, 12:25:37 AM by Armando »

rjbull

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #681 on: April 21, 2008, 04:10:21 AM »
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.

I wish EverNote had some kind of bulk title renaming feature much like a file renamer.  If you make several successive clips from different pages of a particular Web site, you may end up with several note titles that are either the same, or look the same as they're very long with the differences invisible because the field isn't wide enough to show them.


Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #682 on: April 21, 2008, 07:05:02 AM »
I agree. This is why I consider that EverNote is pretty basic in terms of features.
Can you do that with OneNote?

philosopherdog

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #683 on: April 21, 2008, 07:11:53 PM »
Evernote is sweet for webclipping especially if you have the usb sych version. There seems to be a lot of concern, however, about v3.x, and the direction things are taking. The main problem with Evernote 2.2 is that it needs an optional tree structure IMHO. This would make it formidably powerful. Actually, then it would start to approach the power of InfoSelect. I was going to say that InfoSelect is currently offering trial versions of their program, which is something new; so, if you haven't had a chance to run it give it a shot. Personally, I've searched high and low and there's nothing that comes close to its power, at least for text based free database style work. They have smartfolders, similar to Evernote's automatic tagging feature, and you can of course manually tag stuff and filter it into views. They also have contexts so that you can save states of the program to come back to. There's a lot of amazing features. To give you an example, I can break up a document by putting in a couple of marks and running a command. I haven't seen that in any other program. Joining notes. Simple. What I like most about the program is the ability of it to imitate working with index cards. Basically you can float any number of windows around, even outside the program itself. It's not perfect, but for working with text it's the most powerful thing out there. Mybase is pretty cool, but I couldn't even import a .doc file. No offense to the developer. They are doing a brilliant job. It's very promising, but many of the things that I'm looking for are already there in InfoSelect. It is pricey, but so is Endnote and other specialty programs in this category. I personally thought that this program was dismissed too readily in this thread because it did more than just manage notes and clips, but that's just arbitrary. I don't use the email facilty, nor the newsgroups, but they look great. It's not a hugely gooey piece of software. It's interface is utilitarian to be sure. I was curious about Whizfolders, which someone on 43Folders called "the poor man's Infosect", but I don't see any ability to filter information, which is the whole point for a text information manager. If I just want to write my document in an outline format, I can do that in Word's Outline view, which is incredibly powerful. UltraRecall looks cool too, but I find the inability to float windows a serious limitation. Anyhow, no offense to any of the developers, but I think InfoSelect is really worth checking out.

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #684 on: April 21, 2008, 09:12:29 PM »
I agree with what you said, in general. Info Select WAS dismissed rather rapidly. I must say that when I tried IS, I was impressed.

I think that most of the things that Info select does, SQLNotes does in some ways (differently, of course), or... will do real soon (at a lesser price.... but, as you said, if one really likes an application, the price might not be too much of an obstacle -- within reason!)  ;) : Smart folders (they are basically grids in SQLNotes), automatic "tagging" (actually more powerful  in SQLNOtes IMO because you can script all kinds off "tagging" procedures in the fields management window), different views (grids, and filters, again -- but this is a bit lacking and will be more elaborate),  joining/splitting items or notes (soon -- as you probably read in Pierre's answer at the SQLNotes forum), working with multiple windows (multiple SQLNotes windows can look at the same database, or with the new MS Word integration, multiple MS Word windows for several items). As for filters I'm quite sure that SQLNotes is hard to beat...

I found IS actually hard to use to create/maintain a "real" database : create extra fields on the fly, adapt forms for multiple items, change data in multiple items at once, etc.  (can you do that? I'd be really interested to know). I also found that Info Select's interface and outline was no easy to read and the absence of direct display of all "field elements" annoying (a consequence if being able to display all kinds of items in the same outline, I guess). I guess I'm used to grids (Outlook, etc.).

One thing that I REALLY liked in Info Select is the exporting and printing capabilities. You just had to modify the forms live, and.... WYSIWYG... You'll get different exporting/printing templates in SQLNotes too, but I don't know if it'll be as easy to modify them on the fly -- this is one thing to work on. Another thing that I REALLY liked (in IS) -- I'm starting to remember more and more stuff as I write! -- is how you could have very different items in the same outline (ie :different forms, items with different fields, formats, etc.). By design, I suspect that this would be VERY difficult to achieve in SQLNotes, if even possible. Generally speaking though, I don't think that it is a feature that I'd crave for...

Have you read my answer on the SQLNotes thread ?

PS : I'll probably ask for a trial version of the IS 2007 version. You got me curious again about that product...

superboyac

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #685 on: April 22, 2008, 10:25:47 AM »
OK, yes I'll admit that I did gloss over Info Select rather quickly, but there was reason for it.  First of all, you can't download a trial of it.  That alone almost makes it inaccessible, because nobody is going to pay $250 to just see how IS works.  But, a couple of years ago, I actually was able to try someone else's copy of IS for a little bit, and it was ok, nothing spectacular.  It was too cluttered and and confusing for my tastes and I never got a sense of why it was so good or powerful.  That being said, I felt the same way about SQLNotes (read my first post in that thread).  So maybe I just didn't give it a chance.
However, I seriously doubt that it can top SQLNotes in most ways.  But I'll let Armando and other more experienced users with both programs say for sure.  it's more of a gut feeling than anything else.
One interesting thing is that both SQLNotes and Info Select were (I think) billed as ECCO replacements.  So they can be compared that way.  Find the old ECCO users and ask them which program they like better.  I'm 90% they will say SQLNotes.

Dormouse

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #686 on: April 22, 2008, 11:11:37 AM »
Info Select = Long established program for Windows and Palm. No PPC or smartphone version.
All that suggests a company/product not really at the cutting edge in product development and it looks a bit old fashioned too (not necessarily a bad thing, but ...)

OTOH, 2007 does run on Linux under Crossover.
And $50 a year, always with the most recent version, does not seem bad value when compared to the exhorbitant cost of a purchase (& $100 an upgrade!).

Since there is now a 30 day trial, I can imagine that I would consider it if/when my new current system seems to be failing in a place Info Select might address. But not otherwise.

philosopherdog

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #687 on: April 23, 2008, 03:49:33 PM »
Yes it's true that Infoselect now has a trial. It's not for everyone, but it's powerful.

I discovered a very cool program yesterday that might be a god sent for some. It's called PowerGrep. It will allow you to grab paragraphs of text from word files, and many other file types and create new files from those searches or copy them to the clipboard. For me this is the big thing missing from Word. Anyhow, I just thought I'd put that one out there. I know some Linux users and others have been telling people to use text files and grep. Well, that's a pretty cool idea. But with PowerGrep you can do this with pdf files, excel files, word files, xml, text, html!

The way I see it is that we are all suffering from information overload. Filtering is the key. So, if you have a brilliant editor, which Word is, and a program to filter tagged paragraphs, you're in business as a writer.

Here's my current setup: Evernote for web clipping and quick random notes, Word for writing (using outline view), Copernic search, PowerGrep, Endnote for research database, and Clipmate for grabbing and storing clips of all sorts, and for storing my tag lists.

edbro

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #688 on: April 30, 2008, 09:51:23 AM »
Has anybody tried just using Word Docs/Pdfs/Excel/text notes to store their information and using a desktop search engine to tie them all together? I am considering just using a well thought out directory structure and individual documents. The structured folders would do just as well as tagging would in say Evernote and it seems that Copernic would be able to get me just as quick access as any of the dedicated programs do.

The portability of this is very appealing to me. Not to mention that I don't have to have another program running in the background. It is just as easy to print a web page to pdf as it is to clip to OneNote or Evernote.

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #689 on: April 30, 2008, 10:00:34 AM »
Yes, I've done that. The portability/reliability aspect was/is important to me. See my system as presented there. I've decided to not use rigourously folders though : not as easy to manage.
I'm still doing it but now complement it with other tools for more precise database and more flexibility (cloning files, adding more attributes/properties to files, etc... : so I use SQLNotes).

Dormouse

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #690 on: April 30, 2008, 11:03:33 AM »
There's a twofold problem with using structured folders as your system.

The first is that everything needs to be put somewhere when created (else you have a holding folder that you work on intermittently) and this sort of decision & typing a name etc is more work than giving a tag.

The second is that everything fits singularly in a fixed hierarchy. So, only one way to categorise. Whereas, it's easy to add two or three or more tags if you want in a tagging/keyword system.

Not bothering with a structure at all might be effective if the search engine does everything you want.

Personally, I'm finding it easier to have everything of a type within a program rather than opening files all the time.

edbro

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #691 on: April 30, 2008, 11:16:33 AM »
My thinking is that with a decent desktop search, tags become less important. The directory structure is not even necessary, it just appeals to my anal retentive side.

Armando

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #692 on: April 30, 2008, 11:21:01 AM »
If you've got a good naming scheme, directories are not that important, but they can be useful if you want to temporarily  (or not) group some files for a project (or anything...). Although that grouping can also be achieved though specific naming.

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #693 on: April 30, 2008, 01:52:06 PM »
This is a left-field choice, but if you can cope with the fact that ctrl + x does not do 'cut' :)...

http://orgmode.org/

an emacs mode to get organized.
Good:
  • plain text (portable as it can be).
  • table support
  • Free software
  • reminders
  • reuses the awesoma powa of emacs (it even has a browser)
  • good word completion (hippie completion)
  • outlining (supergood)

Bad
  • Need to have 8.5 fingers in each hand play chords like in a church organ
  • Need to forget shortcuts that took you years to learn and get new ones

jpm2112

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #694 on: May 02, 2008, 02:11:13 PM »
Has anybody tried just using Word Docs/Pdfs/Excel/text notes to store their information and using a desktop search engine to tie them all together? I am considering just using a well thought out directory structure and individual documents. The structured folders would do just as well as tagging would in say Evernote and it seems that Copernic would be able to get me just as quick access as any of the dedicated programs do.

The portability of this is very appealing to me. Not to mention that I don't have to have another program running in the background. It is just as easy to print a web page to pdf as it is to clip to OneNote or Evernote.

That's possible, but then, I would think it would be hard to organize things like that. Personally I prefer to have everything in one place, where I can link everything, and see everything together at the same time. That way, the information sticks better. That's just me though. If you have a search built into the program too, it goes even quicker.

twinkler

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #695 on: May 08, 2008, 11:20:42 PM »
Samer over at Freewaregenius just reviewed a new tag-based note-taking program called Tobu. It's in beta and buggy, but he's really excited about it. I don't have time to look into it but thought I'd mention it here for the benefit of those who do.

From the program's website:

Quote
Tobu is a freeform information organizer. It can be used to organize notes, todo lists, files, clips, code snips, diary entries and more or less any type of intformation that can be entered as text or stored in a file; its goal is to make very large number of items of information (hundreds of thousands or more) easily manageable, but it's also well suited to managing smaller collections of data.

Tobu revolves around tagging each item of information and using filters to create lists of items, to sort and filter them further as needed; the aim of Tobu is to avoid organizing data as it is added and instead to limit the job of adding items to describing them with tags and sortable tags (more on that below), it is only when user is looking for data it is organized on the fly by filtering tags and sorting resulting lists.

kartal

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #696 on: May 08, 2008, 11:58:46 PM »
I use wikipad and has most  of the features (and more) tobu has.

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #697 on: May 10, 2008, 09:12:20 AM »
I'm interested in tobu (was going to post about it now... damn; too late).

I'm way too invested in oneNote 2007 to have an easy time switching. But onenote searches are getting extremely slow (and I have the indexing service on!).

Anyone experiencing this?

kartal

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #698 on: May 17, 2008, 10:42:05 PM »
I do not think anyone mentioned this one before but I used it before it has some interesting ideas implemented as a note taking software

http://mindraider.sourceforge.net/

urlwolf

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Re: General brainstorming for Note-taking software
« Reply #699 on: May 19, 2008, 03:42:20 AM »
by the way, it seems that oneNote 2007 (together with the entire office 2007 suite) works under wine now (I haven't tried it).