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Author Topic: InfoQube & TreeSheets: Information managers of the future  (Read 9941 times)
superboyac
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« on: July 14, 2011, 12:50:09 PM »

As many of you know, my obsession with information managers has been going on for many years now.  Lately, the two that I have the most high hopes for are InfoQube and TreeSheets.  Infoqube has the potential to be the most "workhorse" type of PIM.  If done right, it should be able to destroy UltraRecall, Zoot, OneNote, AskSam...its potential is very impressive.  Then there's TreeSheets which has impressed me on another level.  It's not the workhorse that IQ is or other serious information managers, but it's take on information management is by far the most intriguing of any I've seen.

That's it.  Just thought I'd share that.
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rgdot
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 01:52:55 PM »

Same sort of obsession, I have used most you can name, pretty sure I have covered 100% of freeware ones ever made. InfoQube comes close and I love it. But got to say I am still looking for something that brings simplicity into accessing notes, snippets of text in one view. I posted about Pigeonhole here before and the likes of Notebox Disorganizer and Treesheets come close too.
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40hz
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 03:47:07 PM »

@rgdot - thanks for the mention of Pigeonhole. Wasn't familiar with that one.  Thmbsup

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superboyac
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 04:46:48 PM »

Pigeonhole is nice.  But unlike the other two I mentioned, I don't really see it as having a lot of future potential.  It's a good, simple application for holding some notes.  With IQ and TS, they have this ability to really grow with the application, and they are flexible enough to transform according to your personal mindset.  I really hope the developers continue to fine tune and work on these applications.
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40hz
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 05:45:19 PM »

Pigeonhole is nice.  But unlike the other two I mentioned, I don't really see it as having a lot of future potential.  It's a good, simple application for holding some notes.  With IQ and TS, they have this ability to really grow with the application, and they are flexible enough to transform according to your personal mindset.  I really hope the developers continue to fine tune and work on these applications.

I was thinking Pigeonhole would be ideal for a quick reference manual. I'm imagining setting it up for all the major commands in a given piece of software. Might be fun to do it for bash for example.
 smiley
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superboyac
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« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 05:54:57 PM »

Pigeonhole is nice.  But unlike the other two I mentioned, I don't really see it as having a lot of future potential.  It's a good, simple application for holding some notes.  With IQ and TS, they have this ability to really grow with the application, and they are flexible enough to transform according to your personal mindset.  I really hope the developers continue to fine tune and work on these applications.

I was thinking Pigeonhole would be ideal for a quick reference manual. I'm imagining setting it up for all the major commands in a given piece of software. Might be fun to do it for bash for example.
 smiley
Yes!  It would be great for something like that.  But also consider this, with treesheets you can setup a very similar situation rather easily.  The only thing you might miss is the popup window.  But you gain the ability to have a couple of extra hierarchical levels, and a more flexible layout.  What's common in both is the grid structure, but in Pigeonhole, you are limited to the default setup.  In treesheets, you can tweak the grid to your heart's content.

You know what feature would dramatically improve treesheets?  If you could merge/split cells on an independant basis (i.e. not affecting adjacent cells in the row or column).  That would be quite a powerful addition.
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rgdot
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 08:41:30 AM »

@40hz You're welcome 

There aren't that many that are in very active development, part of the market has been taken away by online, sync with smart phone type services.
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phitsc
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 09:29:53 AM »

@40hz You're welcome 

There aren't that many that are in very active development, part of the market has been taken away by online, sync with smart phone type services.

And with good reason I think. The storage of personally-relevant information looks like a prime candidate for such a service. Something which you want to have always available, no matter where you are, and fast, without first having to go to a PC, boot it, start and application, etc.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2011, 03:09:37 AM »

@40hz You're welcome  

There aren't that many that are in very active development, part of the market has been taken away by online, sync with smart phone type services.
I don't know if this is a good thing. Right now we have PC tools that are very poor because most of the effort is on the phone version. The limits of the phone version are extrapolated to the pc. Even worse, they make a web-based version and wrap it for PC use, losing all the advantages of a desktop native app. Phones are awful to write notes, anyway.

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superboyac
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« Reply #9 on: August 18, 2011, 11:08:48 AM »

@40hz You're welcome 

There aren't that many that are in very active development, part of the market has been taken away by online, sync with smart phone type services.
I don't know if this is a good thing. Right now we have PC tools that are very poor because most of the effort is on the phone version. The limits of the phone version are extrapolated to the pc. Even worse, they make a web-based version and wrap it for PC use, losing all the advantages of a desktop native app. Phones are awful to write notes, anyway.
I know, I feel the same way.  PC apps have suffered in recent years because the developers can't make a profit on these little sharewares.  People have gotten so used to quality freeware that they just can't afford it anymore.  All the real money is being made on the mobile apps, which are nice and everything, but no where near as utilitarian and productive as those badass windows programs we have grown to love.

I'm noticing some great things coming out of Russia lately.  They have this whole Delphi thing going on there, which I love.  Actually, Europe seems to offer a better environment for people wanting to still make pc shareware.  I don't know why, but that's what I've noticed.
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superboyac
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2011, 05:45:36 PM »

So I've been using Treesheets fairly heavily the last few weeks...I'm just continuing to be more and more impressed with it.  I think I have found my ultimate note taker.  This thing is brilliant.  This is what I'm talking about when I talk about elegance in a program.  It is visually really nice, very easy to use compared to most applications of this kind, and the unique way it handles hierarchical information is just in a class of its own.  I'm able to display my weirdest and most complex ideas in a very satisfying way with this program.  It may very well replace multiple programs that I currently use regularly.

Give this a shot, people.  Any of you who are interested in mind mapping, information management, todo lists, outliners, anything like that...try this out.  I give it my highest recommendation possible.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2011, 08:34:22 PM »

Any chance you would take a video of what you did?
I tried to use it, but discarded it quickly... it just didn't resonate.
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superboyac
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2011, 11:08:17 PM »

Any chance you would take a video of what you did?
I tried to use it, but discarded it quickly... it just didn't resonate.
If you tell me your thoughts on it, I'd be able to comment on it.  What didn't you like about it?  What would you like it to accomplish?  I can't show you the grids I have prepared because they are private, and creating one from scratch would take a while.  But if I know what you need, I can maybe do a little thing about that.

For me, the best way I like to describe it is this:  it feels like it shows me graphically the way my brain works.  You start with a a general subject, and you just dig deeper and deeper and deeper.  You can literally hone in (zoom in) on your idea.  It is seriously effective for me.
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2011, 09:31:03 AM »

Over the years, I've used a zillion different information gatherers/managers, but none of them seemed good for everything.  Then I discovered Surfulater, and that has been my information manager of choice for the past couple of years.  I haven't tried InfoQube or TreeSheets, but I don't feel any real need to switch.  The one thing I haven't found is a replacement for askSam's ability to create free-form databases.  The rest of askSam sucks, IMHO, but for free-form databases I continue to use askSam.  Are there easy-to-use alternatives?  I have no wish to deal with Access-type programs.  Also, I don't care whether a program can do other things--all I'm looking for is an easy-to-use program to create and use databases.
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40hz
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2011, 09:42:24 AM »

@CyberDiva - I've noticed you often speak highly of Surfulator. Ever consider posting a review of Surfulator on DC? You're a longtime user so you'd be uniquely qualified to do it.
 smiley
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 09:46:45 AM by 40hz » Logged

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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2011, 09:42:56 AM »

AFAIK AskSam is pretty much 'it' in the freeform text oriented database arena.

There were a few half-hearted FOSS project proposals. But none of them I knew about ever went anywhere. I don't think they even got much past the announcement and preliminary roadmap phase. Obviously it's harder than it looks to code something like that.

Maybe somebody will eventually crack the problem and we'll get something like The Librarian in Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash novel.

That's an app I'd queue up to buy no matter what the price tag! Grin

« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 09:48:26 AM by 40hz » Logged

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cyberdiva
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2011, 03:03:44 PM »

@CyberDiva - I've noticed you often speak highly of Surfulator. Ever consider posting a review of Surfulator on DC? You're a longtime user so you'd be uniquely qualified to do it.
 smiley

40hz, I wish I could, but I'm up to my eyeballs in work and personal commitments.  Sad
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JavaJones
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2011, 04:44:10 PM »

Ahhh, AskSam! My dad used that for years, kept tons of info in it. I never really tested it myself, but it always intrigued me because of his singular devotion to it. Is it still being developed/support?

- Oshyan
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cyberdiva
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2011, 04:48:23 PM »

Oshyan, I thought askSam was either dead or dying, but I've recently learned that they're working on a new version.  That amazed me, given how unresponsive they have been for well over a year to questions, requests, bug reports, etc., about the current version (version 7).  I think they changed ownership fairly recently, which may have injected some new life.  I dunno.  I'm pretty bummed out with the program and the lack of support, but I do still use the databases I made. 
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40hz
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« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2011, 07:03:39 PM »

@CyberDiva - I've noticed you often speak highly of Surfulator. Ever consider posting a review of Surfulator on DC? You're a longtime user so you'd be uniquely qualified to do it.
 smiley

40hz, I wish I could, but I'm up to my eyeballs in work and personal commitments.  Sad

Understand. I'm much in the same position myself so I can sympathize.  Grin

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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2011, 12:34:31 AM »

I have Treesheets and I love the look of it; I think it would be helpful for some things I need to do. But I have not had the time to just "play" with it, as suggested by Treesheets itself! It doesn’t appear there is any documentation. Just tells you to start typing and moving sheets around and you'll figure it out. Nice concept IF you have time to do that, but if you don’t you could waste a lot of time finding out!

Of course it is a free app which, IMO, means that features and documentation is purely at the discretion of the developer.  huh

Thanks!

Jim
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« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2011, 12:31:39 PM »

I have Treesheets and I love the look of it; I think it would be helpful for some things I need to do. But I have not had the time to just "play" with it, as suggested by Treesheets itself!

Very much where I am with it. It's difficult -- I play with PIMs in the hope of finding something that "just fits" and wind up with information gobbets all over the place and my first task is remembering where I stored the thing I just KNOW I made a note of.

Treesheets looks like a good way to build a knowledgebase, less of a good way to keep the odd bits of info that we know we'll want later. For that stuff, I think I rate CintaNotes about the best of the freebies out there.
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2011, 03:04:58 PM »

good way to keep the odd bits of info that we know we'll want later. For that stuff, I think I rate CintaNotes about the best of the freebies out there.
On limited acquaintance, and as long as you can live without images, I think I'd agree.  I specially like the way it adds the URL to a note.  It's worth adding, though, that some of the clipboard enhancers, such as mouser's own Clipboard Help+Spell, are getting pretty close.
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superboyac
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« Reply #23 on: August 21, 2011, 05:53:51 PM »

Hmmm....I'm noticing something significant here about how we use PIM's.  It seems like it is very important for us to not only store the information we have saved, but to also retain as much as possible HOW we got to that bit of information.  That's why we care so much about the link being automatically noted in programs like Onenote, cintanote, evernote, etc.  And the importance of that is that we can later go back to our database, find that information, and trace it back to the source (which is probably not in our database) and explore the topic further.  And of course, this idea is also what causes us to want good search features, and intra-linking, inter-linking features.

Now, Treesheets would not be very good for this, and if this is what you are trying to do, you're not going to like it.  When I first tried TS, that's what I was trying to do, and I gave up pretty quickly.  It's unsatisfying in that way because it doesn't really offer any features that allows you to record meta information with whatever it is you want to keep.  The concept of tags, links, anything "extra" or meta, is not really it's purpose.

What Treesheets excels at is the ability to layout information.  The visual presentation of it is crazy effective, and has made me fall in love with it.  This may be a weird analogy, but it is a very DEDUCTIVE way of organizing information, and I love it.  I'm a mathematician in my heart, and my knee-jerk reaction is to think of all things deductively (which I'm trying to control now).  Math is also purely deductive, that's why it resonates with me so strongly.  So, in treesheets, it's all about organizing your IDEAS (not really random bits of trivia).  You create an idea, then you dig into it, and you keep digging and digging...that's exactly how treesheets presents the information.  It's a hierarchy that can have endless levels.

So what's so different about that compared to outliners and their hierarchies?  Outliners can make outlines with bullets or numbering schemes that just indent and indent until you want to stop.  But it doesn't look the same, and it's not as effective.  An outline, as it expands, goes from top to bottom, and the levels are indented to the right.  That's ok, but that's not how my mind really works.  Treesheets presents an idea in a CONTAINER...then any sub-ideas will be INSIDE that container, and you can do this to infinity.  This is presented VISUALLY in just that way, which is awesome.  Furthermore, the navigation features of Treesheets have this cool visual effect of making you feel like your digging INTO an idea.

I really should make a video about this, this is far too much explaining to be effective.
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David1904
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« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2011, 06:25:39 PM »

Quote
Treesheets presents an idea in a CONTAINER...then any sub-ideas will be INSIDE that container, and you can do this to infinity.  This is presented VISUALLY in just that way, which is awesome.  Furthermore, the navigation features of Treesheets have this cool visual effect of making you feel like your digging INTO an idea.

What is frustrating is that there doesn't seem to be any way of drag n dropping an idea out of one container and into another.
To me, this is an essential feature of organising information - being able to go back after I have made an initial layout and moving stuff around - maybe between two layouts that are side by side.
Then again, maybe there is a way to do this in TreeSheets and I've just missed it. Help, anyone?
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