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Last post Author Topic: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...  (Read 32360 times)

rgdot

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #50 on: October 08, 2013, 02:11:50 PM »
Always up for Notes DB/PIM alternatives. Thanks, will try it.

James-B

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2013, 07:16:16 AM »
I used Tornado Notes until it became Info Select. I stopped using it when I was switching between work and home computers and overwrote files with earlier versions. Since then I've been using The_Guide ( http://theguide.sourceforge.net/ ) as a very small, reasonably powerful alternative that will run from a USB stick. But The_Guide is no longer supported and lacks many of the features discussed here.

Work provided One_Note and I have been trying to like the program. It is powerful, it is good at annotating entries with source and date, it has excellent cut-n-paste support. Overall, I find it to be annoying.

The use of notebooks on the left side, tabbed sections of a notebook across the top, and pages in the section down the right side takes some getting use to. I often delete a section instead of a page.

Cut-and-paste works well but the fastest way to use it creates new pages within a section; then later I have to re-arrange everything to my liking.

But my biggest complaint is that it is too . . . pretty? I want to paste into a note and all of the formatting pastes as well. Now my notes have multiple formats. I click within a note to add a new entry and a nearby entry is selected rather than creating a new entry. I want to create space between two entries and I need to use a tool from the ribbon to do it reliably. I put in three entries and all three have different right margins and widths and don't align. I find I am spending more time making the page look good than collecting data.

This topic has given me several more tools to look through. Thanks, folks.

cyberdiva

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #52 on: December 17, 2013, 03:46:02 PM »
For several years now, I've been happily using Surfulater.  At $79, it's a bit pricey, but that price permits you to use it on up to five computers.  I'm happy that I was able to get it for less, but knowing how well it serves my needs, I'd willingly pay the full price if I had to.  What do I like about it?  Well, I can save material from just about any source, online or off.  Most of the time, I simply right-click on an article, or part of an article, or a website that I want to save and select one of four possibilities: Add new article, Add new article plus Page, Attach Page to Article, or Bookmark this Page.  To be honest, I almost always select the first option: Add new article.  Surfulater automatically records the source of the article, and I can easily edit the article,  link it to other articles, add tags to make it even easier to find, etc.  I can also search my database(s) VERY quickly.  And if I encounter a problem, there's a forum and a very responsive developer to turn to for help.

All in all, I'm very happy with Surfulater.  Admittedly, I'm a little nervous about the developer's plans to have the next version make use of the cloud, but apparently one will still be able to have one's database on one's computer (my preference, at the moment).  However, at least for now, I recommend Surfulater very highly as an information manager.  :Thmbsup:

barney

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #53 on: December 17, 2013, 05:39:26 PM »
After trying - and cursing - several alternatives, I've pretty much settled upon MyInfo.  I'm a bit disappointed with the tag system, but it works well enough for most usages.  The interface has a few foibles, e.g., the interface doesn't always retain changes from one (1) instance to the next, but it's the best I've found to date.  I am still looking, however.  In the process, there needs to be a transparent, almost instant backup system for the portable version.  Right now I'm using Syncless, but it tends to lose the sync instruction if the synched folder/files be missing when it is started.

dr_andus

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2013, 07:34:06 AM »
But my biggest complaint is that it is too . . . pretty?

Yeah, I actually had a similar problem with it. Somehow its skeuomorphism stands in the way of its functionality (despite the fact that it seems to be a very sophisticated software).

But the problem with these sorts of PIM and note-taking applications is that there is such a wide variety of user needs and software features and benefits that it takes a lot of careful analysis of one's needs and the software available to find the perfect match. E.g. there are ones that focus on capturing, or storing, or organising, or analysing notes, but few that can do all of those functions equally well.

E.g. if you want to store and organise notes, then there is the decision whether it should be a "tape", a hierarchical tree, a wiki, or some sort of a database interface. They all have their strengths and weaknesses.

And then there are the needs and computing skills of the user. Some software might turn out to be too basic, while others have too steep a learning curve.

There is a big difference between The Guide and OneNote, for instance. What functionality are you particularly looking for?

tomos

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #55 on: December 18, 2013, 03:29:25 PM »
After trying - and cursing - several alternatives, I've pretty much settled upon MyInfo.  I'm a bit disappointed with the tag system, but it works well enough for most usages.  The interface has a few foibles, e.g., the interface doesn't always retain changes from one (1) instance to the next, but it's the best I've found to date.  I am still looking, however.  In the process, there needs to be a transparent, almost instant backup system for the portable version.  Right now I'm using Syncless, but it tends to lose the sync instruction if the synched folder/files be missing when it is started.

For the record: MyInfo on offer on BDJ @ 51% off on the 19th Dec
http://www.donationc...344682;topicseen#new
Tom

barney

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #56 on: December 18, 2013, 06:29:15 PM »
What functionality are you particularly looking for?
It's kinda polyglot.  I capture certain Web pages, recipes, save code snippets, save registration information/keys, general notes, data about sites I've created or support, personal notes, access information (passwords, access codes & the like), calendar data - appointments, medical, ... - schedule data, and more.  Yes, there are applications that do all those things, but I prefer to have it all in one (1) place.  MyInfo has been the best I've found to date.  It doesn't do well with Web graphics when the graphic is linked rather than embedded.  And the tag system is overly simplistic.  But it's the best I've found so far.

tomos

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #57 on: December 19, 2013, 03:36:57 AM »
After trying - and cursing - several alternatives, I've pretty much settled upon MyInfo.  I'm a bit disappointed with the tag system, but it works well enough for most usages.  The interface has a few foibles, e.g., the interface doesn't always retain changes from one (1) instance to the next, but it's the best I've found to date.  I am still looking, however.  In the process, there needs to be a transparent, almost instant backup system for the portable version.  Right now I'm using Syncless, but it tends to lose the sync instruction if the synched folder/files be missing when it is started.

wondering:

  • which alternatives you tried (and cursed) ?
  • what do you mean by a "a transparent, almost instant backup system"?

Re backup. With InfoQube, I can set it up to backup every 'x' minutes. If these backups are also timestamped, I can auto-delete all but one per day (after 'n' days). That still adds up, so I clear out the backup folder manually occasionally. Web content is saved in a subfolder. This has to be backed up by another app, or manually. (Text versions of web content are saved in the main file.)
Not perfect, but a good start.

If you want instant backup have you tried some backup software that will monitor the file/folder? (Dont know would that disrupt use of the file(s)...)
Tom

barney

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Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
« Reply #58 on: December 19, 2013, 03:53:52 AM »
    which alternatives you tried (and cursed) ?[/li]
    [li]what do you mean by a "a transparent, almost instant backup system"?[/li]
    [/list]
    ...
    If you want instant backup have you tried some backup software that will monitor the file/folder? (Dont know would that disrupt use of the file(s)...)

    For the first query, I've tried MyBase, EssentialPIM, amongst others.  Don't remember all of 'em anymore.  None were really bad, just not good enough  :huh:.

    For the second query, as mentioned previously, I'm using Syncless.  It does real-time sync w/o any delay that I've discerned, but it loses the target if the target is not available when Syncless starts.

    <sidenote> I tried InfoQube, but it just didn't measure up to my needs.</sidenote>

    tomos

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #59 on: December 19, 2013, 04:52:56 AM »
    For the second query, as mentioned previously, I'm using Syncless.  It does real-time sync w/o any delay that I've discerned, but it loses the target if the target is not available when Syncless starts.

    okay, I wasnt clear that that was real time. (But would have realised if I had read more at the link. Sounds like a very interesting implementation.)

    <sidenote> I tried InfoQube, but it just didn't measure up to my needs.</sidenote>

    ah yeah - I was going to recommend it if you hadnt tried it. If you have tried it - you like it or you dont; it does what you want or it doesnt ;)
    Tom
    « Last Edit: December 19, 2013, 05:34:22 AM by tomos, Reason: minor »

    skas

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #60 on: March 23, 2015, 10:26:28 PM »
    I know, this is an ancient topic & thread. But I suspect there are people still reading it from time to time, and I do have some helpful information to contribute.

    1. I think Scrivener is one of the best alternatives to InfoSelect (or "Info Select" as the developer spelled it) for users who used InfoSelect to draft text documents, manage text information, and/or organize outlines of text documents, quotes, etc. Scrivener has no calendar or email capabilities, or spreadsheet grid capabilities, or database forms. And no doubt there are other InfoSelect features missing from Scrivener too.

    But Scrivener does have a very cool "compile" feature which compiles multiple documents into a single doc file, or pdf file, or webpage, etc. It even supports MultiMarkdown for producing webpage content. And it will leave out the top portion of documents, allowing you to add blurbs, comments, or descriptions to documents.

    It also supports linked inline notes (via internal links to a sidebar of notes for revision todo's -- or for footnotes/endnotes)

    And it can deftly manage 100s of pages of text. After all, it was originally intended for novelists, screenwriters, etc.

    Yet I'm now discovering that it can be used for a vast array for purposes by others who work w/ text. And the labels in Scrivener can be changed so you're not stuck in a program that uses lingo like manuscripts and characters and scenes and scripts. The compiling process itself can be changed too -- globally and/or per document or per item. This way you can prevent it from automatically inserting the word "chapter",  among so many other things.

    It supports project templates and document templates too.

    I encourage former InfoSelect / Info Select users to check out Scrivener. Like Info Select, the more you look into it, the more powerful and flexible you'll find it to be. But it does take some learning. I've read that it's supposed to be "intuitive" but that's bunk.  I recommend the YouTube webinar recording called Boot Camp for Scrivener by a sci-fi novelist whose name escapes me. The video is nearly 90 mins, and it doesn't rely on the default starting points, ou learn lots because he doesn't rely on a template, and he shows how to change some labels, add inline notes, and provides tips for compiling.


    2. That said, I continue to use InfoSelect -- but only the last build of InfoSelect 9 (IS9), not v10, which I tried out, and knew, sadly, that it meant the end of InfoSelect's development.

    Now, however, I use multiple installations -- each installation has it's own shortcut on my Start menu (and Quick Launch toolbar), and each installation has its own purpose. Sure this means there are some redundant .dlls on my hard drive, but so what? The hard drive space consumed by the program files of my now 10+ installations is minimal, and the memory consumed is truly inconsequential even when multiple installations are running at once.

    I publish a newsletter, so one IS9 installation is for drafting the content of the newsletter, and managing most of the research. Another IS9 installation is for drafting the text of my website content. Another IS9 installation is for tracking and managing my bill payments -- and here, the Template feature is really handy, because I just generate a new checklist every month (and the login links, etc, for online account info and online payments are contained within each checklist).

    Enough said.




    IainB

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #61 on: March 24, 2015, 07:39:34 AM »
    Thanks for your comment - I'm always interested in this thread.
    Scrivener is pretty impressive, and I have trialled it and thought of using it, but the reason I am using OneNote is that I have discovered new requirements by using it, and they can't be met by other software that I have trialled, so far.
    I have trialled IS9 but still haven't migrated away from IS8 though. It's hard to beat for my requirements.
    I find your "multiple installations" (that's databases, I guess) for IS9 (IS 2007) a novel idea, but I would suggest that it may be unnecessary since one installation of IS can open several separate databases simultaneously or sequentially, as required. You don't need them all open all of the time, just the ones you are using. You can keep the databases automatically closed on startup by default, and just open the ones you want (and later close them and open others). That's a feature of IS that I have been using for years.

    barney

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #62 on: March 24, 2015, 11:06:54 AM »
    Forgot this was here  :-[.

    Been using MyInfo for quite a time, now.  Not as complete as InfoSelect (name as was sold to me), but close, and I don't have to pay $100 annual update - although I might, with a few changes - as was necessary with InfoSelect.  My disaffection with InfoSelect began when an update trashed my file history, running into nearly a decade, with no chance of recovery within the program.  Yeah, there were backups, but the same thing happened.  Lamentations to InfoSelect went unanswered, so I quit the program - I've no use for developers that don't respond (reminiscent of my lifetime license to WinZip which was not respected when Nico Mak (?) sold it to current developers).

    Right now, MyInfo serves to capture and retain my needs/preferences.  Several limitations exist, but they be bearable, and the developer(s) seem amenable to suggestion, albeit somewhat dilatory in implementation at times.

    (I distrust OneNote, Evernote and the like because too many cloud leaks/break-ins/intrusions have occurred.  Was an avid Evernote user until it migrated to a cloud-based format/venue.)

    tomos

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #63 on: March 24, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »
    A couple of interesting related threads lately:

    stickies Notezilla memoboard as full-blown personal note system
    and
    TreeDBNotes Pro - Christmas and New Year Discount: 50%

    (other software is also discussed in each of those threads)
    Tom

    alexi

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #64 on: March 24, 2015, 12:54:21 PM »
    EVERNOTE.COM! Sorry I shouldn't have shouted.  I was an Infoselect junkie for years.  Evernote does everything Infoselect did and it is available to me on any machine anywhere I am as well all the computers in my network. I highly recommend it.  http://www.evernote.com.

    TaoPhoenix

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #65 on: March 24, 2015, 01:19:52 PM »
    Forgot this was here  :-[.

    Been using MyInfo for quite a time, now.  Not as complete as InfoSelect (name as was sold to me), but close, and I don't have to pay $100 annual update - although I might, with a few changes - as was necessary with InfoSelect.  My disaffection with InfoSelect began when an update trashed my file history, running into nearly a decade, with no chance of recovery within the program.  Yeah, there were backups, but the same thing happened.  Lamentations to InfoSelect went unanswered, so I quit the program - I've no use for developers that don't respond (reminiscent of my lifetime license to WinZip which was not respected when Nico Mak (?) sold it to current developers).

    Right now, MyInfo serves to capture and retain my needs/preferences.  Several limitations exist, but they be bearable, and the developer(s) seem amenable to suggestion, albeit somewhat dilatory in implementation at times.

    (I distrust OneNote, Evernote and the like because too many cloud leaks/break-ins/intrusions have occurred.  Was an avid Evernote user until it migrated to a cloud-based format/venue.)

    Hi Barney,
    I have been a fan and promoting MyInfo for a while now. I wasn't aware there is any $100/year annual update! I do recommend the Pro version, but I thought if you get it once, you should be good for a while. I landed on MyInfo because it was the only other program I found that did certain export features and I found a "nuclear" bug with TreeDB that made that program absolutely unusable at any level, right at the same time they took down the support forum and never answered a tech support question from me ever again!

    And the developer of MyInfo really is pretty responsive.

    It might be fun if we traded a couple of MyInfo notes ... pun intended!
    :D

    There are several good programs out there, each with a slightly different focus. So my top level advice when people wade into this topic is to do it in stages - first take a slightly dreamy approach if you've never used any program like these before, and just dawdle with semi-made-up data, like if you have a few hobby text files. Not "asdfasfdsgsdgds", but for example I have a collection of fortune cookies, and another file on tv actor info. So then you can see what "real" data looks like, dreamily.

    Then softly begin to wonder "would I want a program to do X"? Sometimes it's possible, sometimes it's not.

    And then slowly keep an eye out for what you think is a "killer feature" that you "just must have". That can often break a tie when two programs have slightly different sets of annoyances, but if one has the killer feature, it wins the tiebreak.

    Does that make sense to y'all? It's what got me through testing about 10 of these programs to a finalist I am quite happy with for a decent time now.



    barney

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #66 on: March 25, 2015, 02:27:58 AM »
    I wasn't aware there is any $100/year annual update!
    Sorry I was unclear - that was a reference to InfoSelect's annual (?) update pricing.
    Evernote does everything Infoselect did and it is available to me on any machine anywhere I am as well all the computers in my network.
    Was a quite strong user of Evernote until they made it cloud-based.  I simply do not trust cloud storage of data that is sometimes private to me.  Even if it's not private per se, I have a personal dislike of other folk being able to predict my actions/proclivities based upon what I've stored more-or-less generically.

    TaoPhoenix, I've been through a substantial number of variants on this particular theme.  MyInfo comes closest to my needs.  Biggest problem I have with it is the unwieldy - at least for me - tagging system.  When I store something, it'll have multiple tags.  However, I'm unable to search on combined tags.  That means that my tag input is increased significantly.  Example would be
    • Donation
    • Coder
    • Donation Coder
    That 3rd tag should not be necessary, but it is, as far as I can tell.  Should be able to search/limit, for instance, Donation + Coder without having created the Donation Coder tag.

    Another thing that is irksome is that automatic backup will sometimes take as long as twenty (20) minutes to complete, as it apparently does not perform that as a background task (and I have a lot of data stored).  All things considered, though, it does seem to be best of the breed for my purposes.

    Armando

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #67 on: March 26, 2015, 01:24:34 AM »
    Biggest problem I have with it is the unwieldy - at least for me - tagging system.  When I store something, it'll have multiple tags.  However, I'm unable to search on combined tags.  That means that my tag input is increased significantly.  Example would be
    • Donation
    • Coder
    • Donation Coder
    That 3rd tag should not be necessary, but it is, as far as I can tell.  Should be able to search/limit, for instance, Donation + Coder without having created the Donation Coder tag.

    Slightly off-topic, but maybe worth sharing:

    That's why I find that the best way to manage tags in any DB (or anywhere, in fact) is to use
    1- standard text fields
    2- an OSwide (so to speak) system that's managed through a separate application -- a text expander/script application, like AHK.

    I've been using AHK to manage my tags for years now, and I use these tags everywhere : from PDFs comments to filenames, to InfoQube's fields (as many here know, IQ is what I've chosen to manage most of my data for years -- won't develop on that.). After 8 years using this system, I know it works well...

    when using standard text fields, search operations like "Donation + Coder" are easy. If the tag system is well thought out, it's also easy to make mass modification to specific tags (using search and replace tools)

    IainB

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ... InfoSelect 11!?
    « Reply #68 on: May 15, 2015, 10:05:45 AM »
    I suppose that one alternative to InfoSelect could be the next version of InfoSelect!?

    From the IS User Group at https://groups.yahoo...nversations/messages

    InfoSelect - User Forum notes 2015-05-16 0257hrs.png
    « Last Edit: May 15, 2015, 10:32:49 AM by IainB »

    skas

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #69 on: February 07, 2016, 03:17:40 AM »
    Not sure if anyone ever reads this thread anymore, but I just discovered TreeDBNotes Pro 4 (v3.5, actually), and it is the first software program I've found which I think compares favorably to InfoSelect v9.

    (I refer only to v9 because, as the person who started this thread pointed out, v10 deleted just about everything that made InfoSelect unique & useful to many of us. And the only "features" v.10 added were some 3rd-party components which don't even integrate well with InfoSelect's interface, and some of the new "features" are trivial at best. It's the ugliest program interface I've ever seen, actually. The text features are nice, I guess, but the interface is clunky and if I want a word processor, then I'll use a real word processor...)

    Anyway, if anyone is still interested, check out TreeNotesDB Pro. And do use the Pro edition -- the Free edition is missing a ton of significant features! Also, check out some of the Demos to see things like variables, etc.

    One final note:

    In any earlier post, I mentioned that I have multiple installations of IS9 on my C drive. Somebody replied pointing out that this is unnecessary because a single IS installation can contain multiple files, and those files can be opened or closed, etc. Um, I know this already. And used those features and much more (In all honesty, I've used ALL the IS9 features, even those buried in the help file, like email merges which actually send out emails one at a time to different contacts, enabling one to send a newsletter or broadcast email to a relatively small number of contacts w/o the recipients seeing it flagged as a mass mailing. I could truly write the manual on IS9.

    Anyway, I needed multiple installations because the enormous amount of information I have in IS made it unwieldy (and yes, I used a couple different methods for hiding what I didn't want to see or work on at any give time).  And I don't mean that it became very sluggish; it just became too much for me, and I found myself not focusing on my present task like I should, etc.  I also came to appreciate the clean appearance of an installation devoted to one purpose -- with many files, and subtopics, of course, but all for one thing, like: contact management; or webpage content development; or email newsletter content development (which are then emailed via the contact mgt IS9, using the mass mail feature).

    Of course, I created my own custom IS.INI file, so each new installation reflected my color preferences, custom keyboard shortcuts, etc.

    I recommend trying multiple IS9s if anyone is still dependent on IS. With hard drive space nowadays, the duplication of some DLL files and one EXE file doesn't matter at all. And, I recommend trying TreeDBNote Pro too, of course.

    Actually, even if I begin switching some work to TreeDBNotes Pro, I don't see myself abandoning IS9 altogether unless it just stops running in an OS I need to use, or unless nothing pastes into IS9 anymore due to its lack of unicode support, or new security formats, which do seem to be emerging now in browsers....

    IainB

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #70 on: February 07, 2016, 06:32:39 AM »
    @skas: Well, I for one am always interested in this thread, so thanks for posting what you did.
    Yes, TreeDBNotes Pro looks like a rather good PIM, to replace not only Infoselect 9 (or IS8 in my case), but also as a OneNote Replacement.
    The difficulty I have is that my requirements for holding what I now regard as "data" have changed to include other things not previously considered as feasible for PIMs. Hence my post about using OneNote as a 21st-Century Zettelkasten.
    I'd much rather be able to navigate around my OneNotes database using something like IS8 or TreeDBNotes Pro, but I can't, and they can't meet my changed requirements, so I'm currently stuck with OneNotes as the only option (for me).

    Dormouse

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    Re: In search of an alternative to InfoSelect ...
    « Reply #71 on: February 20, 2016, 02:30:18 PM »
    Not sure if anyone ever reads this thread anymore, but I just discovered TreeDBNotes Pro 4 (v3.5, actually), and it is the first software program I've found which I think compares favorably to InfoSelect v9.
    I really like TreeDBnotes, especially for writing. I do remember some complaints in the, now defunct, forum about data loss but never had a problem myself. Use it much less than I did because I switch platforms a lot and need programs that make my life simpler. Agree that Pro is much the most useful version.