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Author Topic: General brainstorming for Note-taking software  (Read 395704 times)
rjbull
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« Reply #475 on: May 08, 2007, 03:52:31 AM »

Another much requested capability which has been added in this release is the ability to use Surfulater as a Free Knowledge Base Reader. This lets you share your Knowledge Bases with friends and colleagues who aren’t necessarily interested in purchasing Surfulater.

nevf,

Being able to share information is vitally important.  A freely-distributable reader is great news     Thmbsup

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edbro
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« Reply #476 on: May 10, 2007, 11:28:07 AM »

Just noticed this today at Google Labs:
http://www.google.com/googlenotebook/overview.html
Seems like a lightweight solution compared to some of the apps discussed here, but an interesting idea anyway.

I know this is an old post but why do you think this is a lightweight solution?

I have tried several different solutions from copying each note to an individual pdf, to NeoMem, and then to Evernote and lastly, I might try to keep everything online with Google Notebook. I like the idea of having all my notes accessible from anywhere on the web. Plus, my Evernote database is now huge and everytime I add a note, the entire file needs to be backed up again.

Don't ask me why I keep changing my approach because I don't know why. Each has worked well for me. Does anybody here use Google Notebook for their entire collection of notes and clippings?
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JerryH
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« Reply #477 on: May 17, 2007, 08:16:07 PM »

Hello all...
I've been looking for "Frankenote" for a number of years now. I just checked the 'create date' on the xls I started keeping research notes in: Sept 5, 2004!  Wouldn't it have been nice to have Frankenote handy for almost 3 years of research? embarassed 

I came across this forum several months ago and have worked my way thru all the posts, downloading and trying out programs I hadn't run across in prior research, going back and checking out programs for a 2nd or 3rd time after reading someone's review/post.

 Thmbsup KUDOS to SuperboyAC and all who have contributed.  This forum is a great resource and has really helped me to focus on what it is I want and need in a notetaking app... I may actually make a final decision soon !

Aram, I think you oughta copywrite "Frankenote"  .  Best name I've seen for our wonder program!

BTW (and the reason I started this post)

Surfulator to be offered thru Bits du Jour http://bitsdujour.com/blog2/wordpress/?cat=7  on May 22, 2007. Don't know the discount yet, but 40% or more is not unusual
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cnewtonne
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« Reply #478 on: May 20, 2007, 08:11:32 PM »

Excellent work and contributions. I've been searching and examining this category of software for over 6 years now. I've seen new apps enter the  market and others die away. If I want to summarize my contribution after all these years, I have to say this ...

I have years and years worth of content that is so priceless. I can even envision this content to last for years to come even after I depart this life to be shared by my grand children. So, be extremely careful where you put your data. Use these guidelines ...

- any given app must use an INDUSTRY known storage system or database. Do not let the eye-candy stuff distract you from how the app is storing data. Unfortunately, this information is not typically put on the front pages. Most of the time I have to dig deep in the web site to find it. But, I ALWAYS search this fact as the very first step. I can tell you at least of 5 apps I used where I lost my data in full or part.

- Do not use or invest in apps that are either dead of dying away. Unless you see and hear from the development team, do not even bother looking.
- Listen to other users input, but ALWAYS rely on your own. Install the app and test it for yourself. I have some apps that I installed several times and they never appealed to me based on feedback I read on the forums. It was only when I installed it for the 6th time till I realized how much I was missing. I regretted the time I lost without really knowing any better about that specific app.

Once you get past these 3 conditions, then you need a solution that can satisfy these 3 operations ...

- capture content from most if not all sources
- organize it (physically and logically)
- share it in multiple formats.

Any app that does not have a clear list of features to do these operations, should be ruled out. This should really eliminate a good deal of these distractor and intruder apps.

Now you are left with the serious contenders ... for these look for the following ...

- performance. Does what it does in an acceptable time.
- Stability: un-handled exceptions and crashes.
- Security: you do want to have your data selectively protected. If not today, believe me, you will tomorrow. The very least I would expect is to have the DB files in binary format. I just can not comprehend these apps that put your data in xml, HTML, or some flat file system where any one can simply open them up in notepad.

Based on all of the above, few of the apps qualified. I have put them to the test for years and none has failed me ...

- MyBase: Almost 4 years of usage with not a SINGLE crash. I have not lost a single word in all my databases. I have collected over 5 GB of data and they are as safe today as they were 4 years ago. The developer truly has spent over 2 years working on the DB engine itself and it paid off. Top of bread.

- UltraRecall: Again, over 2 years of usage and I'm happy with it. Using solid rock DB engine and great deal of DK development, the team has delivered a fine product to the world. The fact that I can dump thousands of articles in one folder and later tag this content is absolutely great. On top of this content, sits almost a hundred view and subviews. The logical linking they provide is unparalleled.

I read the thread in its entirety and I would rather liked it to discuss the subject and the candidate app with some more depth and analysis. But if anything, it certainly a good start for any one who's interested to know more about this category of software.


Thank you.


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superboyac
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« Reply #479 on: May 20, 2007, 08:23:50 PM »

Based on all of the above, few of the apps qualified. I have put them to the test for years and none has failed me ...

- MyBase: Almost 4 years of usage with not a SINGLE crash. I have not lost a single word in all my databases. I have collected over 5 GB of data and they are as safe today as they were 4 years ago. The developer truly has spent over 2 years working on the DB engine itself and it paid off. Top of bread.

- UltraRecall: Again, over 2 years of usage and I'm happy with it. Using solid rock DB engine and great deal of DK development, the team has delivered a fine product to the world. The fact that I can dump thousands of articles in one folder and later tag this content is absolutely great. On top of this content, sits almost a hundred view and subviews. The logical linking they provide is unparalleled.

Great post, cnewtonne.  I have a question for you that would be very useful for me...Can you describe in detail what would make a user choose mybase or ultrarecall?  I would be interested in what applications one is better for than the other.  Thanks.
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« Reply #480 on: May 21, 2007, 04:10:59 AM »

Hi

I use OneNote generally and find it good for most purposes. Personally the features that support tablet PCs annoy me a little as I don't use one. There are also a couple of other things that irritate a bit: You cannot hyperlink to another section in OneNote (maybe possible in 2007 version) although you can link to an external file.

I've just registered IdeaMason and although I haven't done much with it yet it looks very promising. There's a trial version on their website. http://www.ideamason.com/
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cnewtonne
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« Reply #481 on: May 22, 2007, 12:29:26 AM »

"...Can you describe in detail what would make a user choose mybase or ultrarecall?  ..."

Things you can do in UR that you can not do in MB?
----------------------------------
- Save Outlook/TBird messages in groups or individually to the DB. It costs you a click of a button in UR. With MB, there is an OL import add-on but it has always been a dysfunctional one and I never used it.

- You get full-blown synchronization capabilities with OL for all item types, docs, and urls. I have not seen any other app that is even close to doing this. I do not use it much, but I have to admit it is a killer one.

- Use KB shortcut to save content from any app on your desktop (Global paste). Once captured this way, UR puts in 'imported items' folders where you can later go and re-organize. MB has CBoard monitor that pops up a menu every time you do a 'cntr+c' but I always found it restricting and annoying. I do not necessarily want MB to monitor all my CBoard activity.

- UR shines above all when it comes to logical or virtual organization of data. MB has only 2 virtualization levels, the tree itself and the labeling system. I thought this was enough for my usage till I saw what UR can do. With the later, not only you can use system generated attributes such as type, date, category, tags. You you can also create you own. So practically, your tree is never your primary navigational tool. It is mostly used to organize content at its very generic level. On top of this tree, you can create views based on any attribute. This is something that becomes important when your content grows over the years where you end up with a tree of thousands of items. It becomes a nightmare to use as a navigational tool.

- Support forum and activity is alive. The Kinook support team monitors their queues daily and are responsive. The MB forum is practically dead and response it slow and minimal.

Things you can do with MB that you can not in UR
----------------------------------
- MB stability and performance is unparalleled. Unfortunately, I get unhanded exceptions from UR more often than I like (had 3 in less than a month). Things like 'DB locked. No further operations allowed', 'access violation errors'. I have NEVER seen this in MB, not a single time. I have to mention, however, that the high quality of their support have brought these instances to very minimal. Bugs do get fixed and released timely.

- DB compression is the best I have ever seen. To give you an idea I had a folder with RTF docs in it. Explorer reported its total size at 160MB. I imported this folder to UR in 20 minutes with a total DB size of 53MB. Same folder imported into MB in 5 minutes with a total DB size of 13MB. Numbers speak loader that words!

- Web page in situ editing. In MB, you only need to hit F2 and you will go crazy wanting to edit every web page on your machine. Such feature seems a far from UR.

- More RTF editing features as compared to UR. In the former, you can indent, create text styles, control spacing. With UR, you can not.
- export content in dynamic HTML trees.
- Password protect entire tree as well as individual items.

These are some of the features I can come up with. There may be other minor ones I will leave up the readers to find out.
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superboyac
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« Reply #482 on: May 22, 2007, 11:02:11 AM »

Thanks cnewtonne, that's really useful information.
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cthorpe
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« Reply #483 on: May 22, 2007, 11:13:56 AM »

Surfulator to be offered thru Bits du Jour http://bitsdujour.com/blog2/wordpress/?cat=7  on May 22, 2007. Don't know the discount yet, but 40% or more is not unusual

It's 50% off!
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Darwin
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« Reply #484 on: May 22, 2007, 11:47:03 AM »

I already run TexNotes Pro (though haven't used it in ages - it's a candidate for an uninstall... but I haven't been able to bring myself to do it yet), Check&Get, NetSnippets Professional, Evernote 2... is there any reason for me to try Surfulater? I wonder if doing so would allow me to replace two or more of the apps that I already run? Knowing me though, it would just get added to the mix and nothing would be removed!
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superboyac
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« Reply #485 on: May 22, 2007, 12:42:35 PM »

Hmm...that's a good question.  What Surfulater will do better than the other apps you mentioned is sophisticated referencing.  It also has a little better navigation system, kind of combines evernote's and texnotes approach as far as using a timeline, regular tree heirarchy, and toilet-paper scroll.  But I think referencing is Surfulater's strong suit.  If you have a lot of notes and want them linked and referenced together in a somewhat complex and flexible way, maybe Surfulater is what you need.
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Darwin
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« Reply #486 on: May 22, 2007, 04:40:06 PM »

Thanks Aram, that helps. I'll pass for now - I'm trying to cut down on the software that I have installed AND on my software purchases. Fortunately, Surfulater is reasonably priced to begin with, so if I decide that I need it in the future I won't be regretting not jumping at it today.
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Armando
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« Reply #487 on: May 23, 2007, 02:00:17 AM »

Yes, great post cnewtonne.

MB has only 2 virtualization levels, the tree itself and the labeling system.


myBase is really great, but this (above) is one thing that bothers me.

Also, compared to a few other solutions, some functions are a bit slow sometimes: the searching function, the loading of saved Web pages, the pasting of big documents, the switching between "Webpage" view and "text Note" view, the indexing (the fact that myBase doesn't index automatically -- or can't be set to index at fixed times, etc., is also a bit of turnoff for me). There are many other small things that bother me, like the fact that I usually have to give titles to each of my inserted notes, that I have make sure it’s in the right category (other software can automate these processes), the fact that I can't draw or handwrite, etc.

Like you said, the storage system seems to be pretty much bullet proof (I don't know if it's possible to say the same thing about EverNote or Surfulator, for instance. But I'm not a database specialist and I wouldn't know how to measure database "solidity". EverNote or surfulater might be perfectly okay. Does anyone know about these/their database "engine"?). The export/import possibilities are great, the formatting options too, etc. Wow.

But... Even if I can see all the positive aspects in myBase, and even is I can see that EverNote is a bit less sophisticated and complex than myBase (or maybe even UltraRecall -- but I just haven't tried it yet...), I keep coming back to... EverNote for my note taking. I must say that it's very intuitive :
-   the quick note, web or image “inserting action” (ctrl+alt+n or ctrl+alt+v)
-   the searching,
-   the categorizing,
-   the importing,
-   the backup options, etc.

it's all very smooth, quick and reliable. Well, it's been reliable for me -- I don't know about others. I find it's got the performance I’m looking for (the tagging system and the searching is just amazing), the stability (it hasn’t crashed yet), and even... the security (but… I’m not as security specialist, and I haven't tried to hack into my own protected database yet... Superboyac : would you know about EverNote’s encryption format?)

There were also many great changes since superboyac great gigantic review (thanks! I've discovered many many things) : EverNote can now have multiple dataBases open at the same time (albeit not multiple windows of the samedataBase -- too bad...), links to other notes, templates with tables, note titles(editable, like the date), a note list, full path view of the databases, a universal clipper, the manual sorting of categories, etc., etc. A really great release. 

Of course, I still find that there could be some additional feature : more options for shortcut keys, more format to export too, a "find and replace" option, the possibility to have several opened windows of the same database, a highlighter tool, a "comment"  tool, a word count tool, and probably a couple other things I forget... But… it’s still pretty good for what I need, and … the difference between the free version and the paid version is mostly in relation with hand writing and character recognition.

Might try Surfulator again after what superboyac just said...  undecided
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« Reply #488 on: May 23, 2007, 02:26:49 AM »

Armando, what do you mean by "note titles"?  I'm not sure I've found that feature in my Evernote.

Jeff
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Armando
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« Reply #489 on: May 23, 2007, 02:48:36 AM »

Armando, what do you mean by "note titles"?  I'm not sure I've found that feature in my Evernote.

Jeff

You have to enable "Note List" in the "View" menu.
In the "note list", you can modify the automatically assigned titles by double-clicking on them.

Have fun!


* Screenshot - 2007-05-23 , 03_32_25.jpg (552.36 KB, 1000x700 - viewed 432 times.)
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« Reply #490 on: May 23, 2007, 03:05:31 AM »

Ah yes, I see what you mean now.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #491 on: May 23, 2007, 03:08:00 AM »

This is great, i've had evernote for years and have just used it to dump stuff into, its so much more powerful than i ever realized, all these ways you folk have found to use it has really opened my eyes to a new evernote lol thankyou all
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JeffK
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« Reply #492 on: May 23, 2007, 03:11:21 AM »

I'm finding it quite good also.  Sometimes I buy software on a whim, and then weeks later sit down and work out how to use it.  I bought EverNote on the basis of its handwriting recognition and now find I am using it daily more to keep web page contents of some web searching I am doing.
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Grorgy
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« Reply #493 on: May 23, 2007, 03:18:16 AM »

Thats the thing tho. it can be used for almost anything and all of them at once, i saw someone has it set up as a to do list as well as other functions, the all purpose dumping categorising files fairly easily and so on.  I only have the free version as the paid version didnt seem to offer me any needed functionality and times is tuff so have to watch what i spend on software
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Darwin
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« Reply #494 on: May 23, 2007, 08:37:52 AM »

I'm finding it quite good also.  Sometimes I buy software on a whim, and then weeks later sit down and work out how to use it.  I bought EverNote on the basis of its handwriting recognition and now find I am using it daily more to keep web page contents of some web searching I am doing.

Ha ha - Jeff, you've described exactly my experience with software purchases in general and with Evernote in particular, right down to why you bought Evernote (with the only additional "thing" being that I also wanted the OCR feature that recognises words in scanned images and photos making the words searchable as well). It was the gee whiz, neato factor that sucked me in. Then I didn't use if for a long time - now I find it indispensable.

Glad to know that I'm not alone in my software buying habits!
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superboyac
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« Reply #495 on: May 23, 2007, 10:37:29 AM »

Quote
Superboyac : would you know about EverNote’s encryption format?
Armando, I don't know anything about the format specifically.  I noticed you asked this already in Evernote's forum, hopefully you get an answer.  Here's something I found on the forums:
Quote
A user-entered password is an arbitrary non zero length text message which is used to produce a 128-bit 'digest' or 'fingerprint' using MD5 algorithm. This 'fingerprint' is used as a seed to build 64-bit RC2 effective key by RC2 expansion and effective key bit size adjustment algorithm. After encryption or decryption is finished, keys, 'fingerprints' and passwords are physically erased from memory and there is no way to restore encryption key except providing the correct password again. (Even our own engineering team would not be able to help you recover if you forget your password.)
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Armando
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« Reply #496 on: May 23, 2007, 11:51:03 AM »

Quote
Superboyac : would you know about EverNote’s encryption format?
Armando, I don't know anything about the format specifically.  I noticed you asked this already in Evernote's forum, hopefully you get an answer.  Here's something I found on the forums:
Quote
A user-entered password is an arbitrary non zero length text message which is used to produce a 128-bit 'digest' or 'fingerprint' using MD5 algorithm. This 'fingerprint' is used as a seed to build 64-bit RC2 effective key by RC2 expansion and effective key bit size adjustment algorithm. After encryption or decryption is finished, keys, 'fingerprints' and passwords are physically erased from memory and there is no way to restore encryption key except providing the correct password again. (Even our own engineering team would not be able to help you recover if you forget your password.)

Thanks!
I've seen that too. But it applied to version 1.5, I believe. Most probably, it still applies... But still waiting for an answer at the forum.
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« Reply #497 on: May 23, 2007, 08:00:52 PM »

I feel that I have to inform EverNote users here about a well hidden something I thought was not possible to do (it's undocumented -- but some resident experts might already know about it) : the ability to completely exclude  a category from the Note list : the use of the NOT operator.

Basically, "click on Cat A [a category you want too look into] in the Category panel (top left), then Ctrl+click on Cat B [the category you want to subtract] in the Intersection panel (bottom left)" **.... and... you've "subtracted" Cat B !
See : http://gtdwannabe.blogspo...ring-in-evernote-and.html

Have fun !


** To enable the "intersection panel" : Options>Category>"Show category intersection panel"
« Last Edit: May 23, 2007, 08:11:42 PM by Armando » Logged

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« Reply #498 on: May 23, 2007, 08:09:48 PM »

Great find, Armando.  I just tried it and it works.  I remember telling myself it needed a NOT function ie "show me all notes except xxxxx category).

Jeff
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Armando
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« Reply #499 on: May 23, 2007, 08:13:20 PM »

I remember telling myself it needed a NOT function ie "show me all notes except xxxxx category).

Yep. I feel relieved...  smiley
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