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Last post Author Topic: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").  (Read 11692 times)

IainB

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2016, 06:53 PM »
@jenter: You really shouldn't have bothered, but thanks anyway for taking the trouble to respond to my notes about my cursory look at CN (Cinta Notes).
Please note that I was categorically not writing a review per se, but merely sharing my very brief note-to-self by dropping it into the "also-ran" discussion thread set up for that purpose.
Please understand that if my initial look at CN had identified something that might have been able to help meet my peculiar requirements for a PIM/KM (Personal Information Manager/Knowledge Manager), then I would have subjected CN to a thorough evaluation and review and would probably have documented full review notes (as I have done for other software, on this forum, some of which has been done by me as a Beta tester - e.g., for NoteFrog).

For my peculiar - and possibly somewhat demanding - requirements, you can see, for example, the data types that I consider as "information" that a PIM needs to be able to manage - refer Microsoft OneNote - how to make it your 21st century Zettelkasten PIM and the discussion that follows.

So you are quite correct where you say:
...I just think that CN is simply not what you expected it to be.

I had indeed been expecting something different - something "more". I was actually quite excited when I read in your blog that you had implemented auto-tagging, but after doing a suck-it-and-see I was left disappointed, as the tagging and auto-tagging implementation was not as flexible (as I said) as it is in CHS - which, by the way, is a CMT (Clipboard Management Tool), not even a PIM.
You say to that:
...Would be interesting to hear what functionality is missing...
- so you presumably don't perceive what I was talking about, above, so I won't bore you further.

I presumed, from its state, that the tagging/auto-tagging was still in development (which is fine). However, having trialled/tested literally hundreds of PIMS of various types, I now rapidly drop them as soon as I find on initial trial that their AS-IS core functionality isn't of interest or potential use to me at that point.

In general, I consider that the CN product - AS-IS - is arguably more properly classified as being in Beta and in any event has some way to go yet before it meets my requirements to the extent that I would value it as being worth paying $40 or more to buy a licence.
I also consider that CN probably has lots of potential, yet to be realised.
Thus, I would, to some extent, echo @wraith808, who writes:
...I keep my eye on it to see if it ever will become a tool that fits my workflow.
- with the difference being that I would be comparing the product functionality to my requirements and would change my requirements if the product helped me to discover new requirements or opened up new possibilities - e.g., as MS OneNote has done. This could end up with me experimenting amd changing whatever my "workflow" happened to be. That is, I would adapt my work patterns to use the PIM tool in as optimal a manner as possible, if it had the potential to benefit me in some way by doing that - again, e.g., as I have done with MS OneNote. I should perhaps stress here that, in giving MS OneNote as an example, I don't especially like MS OneNote and I continue to fret over its limitations/constraints, as I see them, but so far have found nothing better, so am stuck with it whilst waiting for it to be improved and as I continue looking for something better.

To this end, I shall keep reading your blog with interest - which blog, by the way, I did not describe as "stagnant". What I had written was regarding CN, that:
"...its development is so limited and so static that it's almost become stagnant abandonware."
- as I perceived (and as I indicated) that it's real progress seemed to have been incremental and slow. I wondered whether development effort had been diverted or had lost steam, for some reason (these things happen). As for meeting my peculiar requirements, CN has some fairly good matching functionality, but it would need to be a lot better (more useful to me) before I could see myself migrating to using it.
It is a disappointment to me that it is not - AS-IS - in a state that I could use for such a migration.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2016, 04:54 AM by IainB, Reason: Added notes for clarity. »

dantheman

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2016, 07:48 AM »
As highlighted, Cintanotes has much potential and i think one of nicest things to see from a company is that they not only allow you to hit that "feedback" button (which will probably be sent to the closet anyway) but to make your feedback available for all to see. Such is a huge plus in favor of CN where people can submit and cheer "up or down" on this "roadmap" the features already submitted.

IainB

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2016, 05:01 PM »
As highlighted, Cintanotes has much potential and i think one of nicest things to see from a company is that they not only allow you to hit that "feedback" button (which will probably be sent to the closet anyway) but to make your feedback available for all to see. Such is a huge plus in favor of CN where people can submit and cheer "up or down" on this "roadmap" the features already submitted.
Ah, then I suppose that that could explain in part what seemed to me to be an "unplanned" approach to design/development.

jenter

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran").
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2016, 04:18 AM »
@IainB:
Thanks a lot for further clarifications.

You're right that CN is in constant beta stage - for many advanced uses, at least. However many other
users don't even need PRO features and happily use the free version.

User requirements to note-taking apps are astonishingly diverse. I think that probably not even task- and
todo-list managers have more diverse requirements.

Very heartwarming to see you acknowledge the app's potential.
We do our best to deliver a good product. But our resources are limited, and you're right that we don't always
have a clear vision of the end result. We try different ideas and directions, to see which one is working better.
Now, whether CN can cost $40 or not.. To you - obviously not, but this is the lowest price that allows us to continue
the project, fair and simple. For some people, CN is a much better match, they buy a license and
don't regret it.

IainB

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Re: PIM-related Mini-Reviews ("also-ran") - "The Journal"
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2018, 08:02 AM »
I don't know about "prompting", but my practice is to go the other way about it. I habitually "prompt" myself, by making notes throughout the day - on paper and on laptop - using various data types/methods - text, image, OCR, HTML, Rich Text, audio, video, hyperlinking, etc. - and I then later delete or cross out those notes which I do not wish to keep. I record all notes in date/time order with the view that they are all initially kept in a computerised journalised form, each prefixed with a standard date-time label format - e.g., 2017-06-26 0150hrs (and there is a good reason for this format).
I may later organise those journal entries into other logical groups, as required, but it is not essential to do that if one has a good search/filter and tagging functionality in the journal.

Re "The Journal" <http://www.davidrm.com/>
  • That site is not really "down" as such, but seems to have a problem with a very slow response time and this may be timed-out by one's browser as "unavailable".

  • I took a fairly thorough look at The Journal some time back and found it to be quite good at what it does, but not meeting my PIM requirements (a PIM being something that would also encompass journal functionality). It is in my list of "also-rans" as a trialled PIM. As an example of a good use of modern technology to provide comprehensive journal functionality, it is somewhat archaic and does not meet my requirements for journal functionality.

  • Despite having looked far and wide (and still seeking), I have so far been unable to identify anything better than OneNote as a "journal" - refer: Using OneNote as a daily journal. It meets my peculiar (and admittedly fairly tough) data type requirements. If I just required text information, then I would probably plump for Connected Text as a PIM (again, a PIM being something that would also encompass journal functionality).

But is it any good?
Well, to appreciate how it works, one has to "suck it and see" - try it out for oneself. Before doing that though, it is usually a good idea to jot down in detail what one initially considers one's requirements to be. Trialling the PIM/Journal tool my lead to the discovery of new (previously implicit or not fully appreciated/understood) requirements. This is a good thing, as it usefully helps to expand one's awareness of the gap between what one thought one's requirements were and what one had not previously understood would also be needed. This makes for a learning experience from which there is no turning back (you cannot unsee what you have seen) and it will probably make one more demanding and critical of journal/PIM functionality and technology in the future.

IainB

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This post was originally included in the OP of 2015-12-12, but I have removed it so that the OP can be used as an index to the software mentioned in this discussion thread.

Essential PIM Pro - Mini-Review ("also-ran").
I have put an image of my notes from OneNote below, and below that I have pasted in a spoiler just the accumulated text (for searching/indexing and extraction of text and links) from the OneNote notes.

23_600x1076_2DD86C92.png

The text is in the spoiler:
Spoiler
      Essential PIM Pro (v6.5.4.0 dated 2015-08-12) - brief review.
      2015-09-18: It was for sale at a good discount, so I trialled it. Conclusions below.
      
      2015-09-18 17:20 - Screen Clipping

      Conclusions:
              1. General: Overall is so-so. Not all that great as a PIM (e.g., not better than InfoSelect 8, which is pretty dated).
              2. Stability: During the brief trial, I noticed no problems, long pauses or crashes, so it seemed pretty stable.
              3. Ergonomics and GUI: A bit kludgy in use/navigation and search, so not for me.
              4. HTML (web page capture): It made very poor (pretty useless) copies of html web pages, which point made the tool useless for my requirements.
              5. Untested:
                      a. Has sticky notes, which could be useful, but I did not test that feature (not a requirement of mine).
                      b. Apparently supposed to have good Integration with Outlook (e.g., it copied all the Contacts), but I could not get it to access my outlook.com account and I gave up, so this integration remains untested.
              6. Very good: It made a list of all of my contact details that it found stored in Outlook and I exported this (potentially very useful) list to an Excel spreadsheet.
              7. Made these notes so as to avoid wasting any more time on this product in future.
      Contact Us   (from Help file - EssentialPIM.chm)
       Please do not hesitate to contact us:
      
      By e-mail
      For general information please e-mail us at epiminfo@essentialpim.com
      For sales information please e-mail us at epimsales@essentialpim.com
      For technical support please e-mail us at epimsupport@essentialpim.com
      
      By fax/phone (Please note, we do not provide support over the phone)
      Fax: (+372) 650-79-77
      Phone: (+372) 51-927-921
      
      By post
      Astonsoft Ltd.
      Laki 9A
      Tallinn 10621
      Estonia