this is somewhat of a half-baked idea - maybe it's impractical, maybe it's asking too much, maybe it's already possible.
i know i'm not the only person that can't decide on which program(s) to use for managing their data - or, it might be better to say that there isn't a single program that covers our requirements. instead several programs have to be used that overlap in functionality or perhaps just don't offer enough options singularly to get the job done.
so, my idea is, instead of waiting for the ultimate program to be created that does everything you require - i'm talking about organiser programs and the like - how about combining a few programs into a single way of working.
i use surfulator, mylifeorganized, desktop notes, acdsee, etc, etc. and i often find i'm not entirely sure if i've put the right data into the right program - there's quite a bit of crossover OR sometimes there just isn't enough crossover.
i'm suggesting (and wondering if it would work) that a universal super 'link' or 'shortcut' system be created that can be used with any program. you could then create an entry or file or image or whatever in one program and then link this piece of information with another piece of information inside a completely different program.
the 'link' system would be in the form of a word or number or code that could be entered as standard text inside the program - as this is universal. this 'link text' would then reference another piece of information with the same 'link text' inside another program. highlighting this 'link text' and pressing a hotkey would then open up the program that had the same 'link text' and hopefully take you to the right entry.
the 'link' system works by a continuesly running program (in the system tray) that can translate these bits of 'link text' into macro actions to open the correct 'linked' program and file within it.
now that i've typed that out i can see how difficult it would be to implement or, at least, i see how MORE difficult it would be than i first imagined. or maybe it isn't that complicated???
perhaps just defining a system that would work with 'text links' can be done manually and that would be enough.
if anyone understands what i've outlined and can suggest a practical manual way of defining these links then i'd be interested to hear that also.
my first thoughts are that maybe something along the lines of using a structure like this may work:
entry 1a in surfulator relates to information in MLO for project 2b and also image 3c in acdsee. the universal 'link text' for this information would be "surf1a-mlo2b-acd3c" but a 'real' link would undoubtedly be longer because of the names of the information referenced.
perhaps i'm simply asking for a project management system?