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General brainstorming for Note-taking software

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I wish the terminology was a bit clearer...  I think of programs for saving and retrieving text notes, something of particular interest to me, as not necessarily the same thing as tools for organising information into structures.

Mouser, are you really sure you want to give this category a try, given just how many there are out there already, some of them very good?  Especially with Keynote's author's exhaustion  in mind?

Sorry, I cant resist this discussion!  A couple of things I've thought about:

- rjbull: I think (heh heh, cant get away from individual preferences in this genre!) that the ideal app would combine the ability to quickly take notes with the ability to go back and assign them a structure.  I'll explain below somewhat.

- mouser: I somewhat agree with rjbull.  There are quite a few of these on the market and several more already in development.  At some point the number of import/export routines becomes too big!  I dont think it's a horrible idea, but if you want to take this genre on, it's going to mean a LOT of work.  As you and rjbull mentioned, look at the discussions involving keynote 2... look at our own discussions here.  This is almost a full-time genre. 

- I imagine these types of programs as vast data storage devices with a nice front end so the user can think of things in terms he/she is used to.  People are familiar with trees and document formatting... that's why Keynote took off.  The hardest part would be to get a sophisticated enough backend with an easy and intuitive frontend.  It should be easy to shove data into the system.  It should also be easy to retrieve it and relate it to other things.  The importance with the relation is that I dont want to have to type  (or copy/paste) the same data two or three times.  Virtual nodes come close to this idea in Keynote, but filterable/ folderable nodes/tabs really are useful here.

- Hyperlinks.  We just had a somewhat interesting discussion over on the the novo libera forum about hyperlinks.  They should have a priority.  They also should minimize the need for user interaction if the user rearranges folders.

- I recommend looking at the Keynote 2 forums (, the novo libera forums (, the neomem forums/blog (, and the TreeDBnotes forums for ideas. 

In particular, novo libera is setting some pretty lofty ambitions.  Read the second post by the author (Tim Penrose) on this thread: 


So I tried Surfulater, and (sigh) here we go...yet another good notetaking program.  Surfulator is basically a notetaking program with the ability to capture webpages, which is great.  However, like all other programs in this genre, there are several other programs that do just about the same thing.

Both Mybase and Evernote are also notetaking programs with the ability to capture webpages.  I would say that Surfulator is 90% identical to Mybase, because Evernote has a unique, quirky navigation style.  Between Mybase and Surfulater, I would choose Mybase, because it has many more poweruser-like options.  For example, you can password-protect any branch of notes, and it has several plugins that powerusers will definitely find handy.  Mybase, in my opinion, is a very promising program in this notetaking genre, and I am surprised that people don't talk about it as much.  Unfortunately, the development of Mybase seems to be extremely slow, and there are a lot of features missing.  However, if you ask me, I would put my money on Mybase as far as which software will eventually be the leader in this complex genre.  Although, now that mouser says he is going to redo CHS, I'd also put my money on that.

But back to I said, it has a lot of overlapping features with Mybase and Evernote.  And if you like Surfulator a lot, then I don't see why you wouldn't like Mybase better.

sounds very encouraging. i'd never heard of mybase nor evernote. i was certainly impressed with surfulater but after some use i do miss features that i would have thought basic requirements.

thanks, superboyac, going to download mybase right now...

I am a registered Surfulator user, but am keeping my eyes open for new developments in the genre.  From the forums previously mentioned, another possible early contender is SEO NOTE at


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