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General brainstorming for Note-taking software

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Okay, so what are we looking for in a note taking app?  I was an early beta tester for evernote, and I love its ability to collect information.  I bought Surfulator because it shows promise in letting me cross connect data and mine for connections in the stuff I have collected. I also have been a long time user of Treepad, first the freeware and then the business version.  I used it faithfully until I discovered the power of tagging as opposed to the rigidity of an outliner.
 I do a fair bit of technical writing, and I think the program I am looking for should extend the power of my mind and memory. (wow, does that sound pompous or what? :o).  I think that a note taking app should:

-be easy to get information into[evernote]
-be easy to locate information in and get information out of [evernote]
-allow me to manipulate, cross reference and reorganize the pieces I collect [surfulator, and, to some extent, Treepad]
-and make it easy for me to create at least the first draft of a document, all within the same application.

In other words, it should serve as long term and short term memory, and also as notecards and an outliner.  It should handle text, images and web pages with equal facility, and should be intuitive to use.
Is that so much to ask? :tellme:

Right, but dont forget outlines!  I did my college papers in Keynote...
-kfitting (March 16, 2006, 10:57 AM)
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The truth is, I discovered outliners too late to have an impact on the way I work, and I think I've come to view notekeeping as a separate activity from the "creative" writing  (making use of said notes?) aspect I associate with outliners.  Also I like WordStar-style editors for bashing out text, and am just too unwilling to change.  Just my mental blocks, I suppose.  They say middle age is when your broad mind and narrow waist change places...

I've toyed with the idea of getting InfoSelect over the years, but I can never quite get past how breathtakingly expensive it is. However, it has a lot of features that I think are pretty useful and unique. Many of these are PIM features like ticklers and reminders, and so are probably not germaine to this discussion.
-Jimdoria (March 16, 2006, 04:04 PM)
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I had (still have) both Memory Mate for DOS and Info Select for DOS.  I came to prefer the more basic-seeming Memory Mate for its clean simple interface, even though Info Select even then had more features.  Windows IS has vastly more features than I understand, let alone want, and I'd be perfectly happy to leave reminders and such to separate free or cheap applications.  But I'd certainly be interested to see a cut-down notekeeping-only version of Info Select at a much lower price.

I'm coming in a bit late to this conversation, but I was surprised to see that with all the discussion of tools old and new there hasn't been more mention of InfoSelect. From what I recall this was the product that spawned the whole outliner/notes application genre. (Or at least the grandson of the product. Tornado Notes for DOS was arguably the first outliner/indexed organizer, and InfoSelect is the suped-up Windows version.)
-Jimdoria (March 16, 2006, 04:04 PM)
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FWIW my take on InfoSelect is that it is a dead duck. You can't even download a version to try, which is unheard of these days. It was without doubt a very interesting and unique piece of software in its day, but I don't think it has kept up with the times. I'm sure plenty of folks are still using it though, just like Zoot et.all.

@superboyac:  I agree with you to a certain extent, though I havent tried the latest version yet.  I dont use it for similar reasons.  But it's another entry in the list of note-taking software.  I personally found the ability to add columns in the tree-pane interesting.  But, I dont think that's enough to make it a must-have.  However, I think it's interesting to see what each piece of software has that the others dont. 

@rjbull:  Keynote revolutionized the way I work and organize things.  I totally understand that note-taking is slightly different from the writing end of things... but I dont think the two are mutally exclusive!  They may be mutually exclusive in the current round of apps, but they dont need to be.  I'm not saying that note-software should have header/footer support, page numbering, etc... that's for office apps.  But, for the type of writing I do, Keynote 1.6.5 is fine.  For notetaking, Keynote was fine, until I saw Opera's email approach.  That ruined me! 

I have to agree with thomthowolf.  Note-taking apps need to be easy to get information into, easy to relate and re-relate information, and easy to assign rigid structure IF needed.  To polish things off, import/export is critical too.  (And those are two poorly worded sentences!)   I stand by my assertion that WHATEVER the backend is that holds the information, the user frontend should allow what is currently in place PLUS a whole lot more!  You should see all the people on the Keynote forums that complained about the "complexity" being added to Keynote 2. You also should see the people over in the Novo forums complaining about going away from the rigid tab structure... many people are content with the rigid structure, let them have it... and, at the same time, let them discover the benefits of filters etc at their own pace.  It OUGHT to be possible!!



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