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General brainstorming for Note-taking software

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I wouldn't mind doing a little mini-review of this after I finish the addressbook one.

@ thomthowolf.
-be easy to get information into[evernote]
-be easy to locate information in and get information out of [evernote]
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Could you elaborate on where you see Surfulater falls short here and what you'd like to see done to improve it.

@ mouser. I plan to offer another Surfulater discount soon. I just need to get the next release out the door first.

@superboyac. Zoot - Rewriting a 16 bit app to 32 bits can be tough. Most likely a substantial rewrite is needed for a variety of reasons, including updating its UI to the latest techniques. Been there, done that! That said it is now 2006 and it is hard to comprehend that technical issues alone would be taking this long. Programmer's like anyone else get burnt out and loose motivation. Maybe the rewards aren't sufficient or maybe it is time for a new challenge. You'll see this a lot with free software, as the kudos alone can't keep the developers going forever. And any demands from users can fall on deaf ears as they never purchased anything in the first place. Open Source Software is a whole nother kettle of fish altogether, but I digress. These are general comments and nothing to do with Zoot, as I wouldn't have a clue in that regard.

@all. In my never ending research into information organisation I came across this lengthy article today which I'm sure some will find interesting. The article states that one big problem with hierarchies is you can't put an item into more than one folder at once. Clearly they haven't see Surfulater. It also has an interesting discussions on facets and tags, the latter which is slated for Surfulater fairly soon. It concludes that tags aren't very useful either.
The items look like they're multiplying like rabbits Furthermore, the ability to assign more than 1 tag to an item is perhaps more convenient when you're tagging, but when it comes time to understand the landscape of your data in terms of all your tags, the ramplant multiplication of items showing up in multiple tags can make a mountain out of a mole hill of data.
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nevf, thanks for the explanation for the 15 to 32-bit conversion.  I guess we just have to wait and see if anything will happend to Zoot.

And regarding that article about information organization, wow, that is a lot of food for thought.  The author has really good points.  I'm left wondering what is the best way to collect and organize information.  I don't know, there's seems to be no real solution.  As for Surfulater, it's true you can clone articles into multiple locations in the heirarchy.  But then again, Surfulater's heirarchies are more "virtual" than the hard heirarchies the author is talking about.

Another thing that scares me about replacing heirarchies with some other more advanced, virtual organization, is what happens when you have a huge amount of notes?  In a heirarchy, you know that if the note isn't in the tree somewhere, then it doesn't exist.  But in these tag or clone systems where one note can be in multiple places, how do you go about finding a particular note when you're not even sure if you saved the note or not, and you're also not sure what category or keyword you want to search for?  This is the problem I had with Evernote.  When my notes became larger, sometimes, I wasn't sure if the note I was thinking of was even saved in Evernote, so i did a search on the keywords that I thought would be in the note, but nothing showed up.  But I was still not convinced that I hadn't saved the note, so i went and browsed each note one by one just to make sure.  See?  That's the probalem with the virtual're not sure where a certain note is, and in cases where there are a lot of them, you might not even remember if you actually saved a note, or if you just think you saved a not, but you're not sure.

(When I say this, keep in mind that I have NOT read the article yet!)

Just like we mentioned at the beginning, the organization of data is highly personal.  Some like extremely rigid trees, others like total freeform.  I like the middle!  But, I don't know that one person can decide what is "best" for everyone. (This is one of those times when there really is no absolute!)  One reason it is so difficult to jump onto someone else's computer is that even the filesystem, as inefficient as it may be, grows with the person who uses it.  My filestructure has evolved and makes almost perfect sense to me.  I know that my Library folder contains all kinds of data, including some pictures.  But my pictures folder contains all pictures.... no one else is going to understand it, it grew with my needs! 

I personally love trees for most of my data... I just wish they had filters built into them.  I agree nevf, I don't see where trees couldn't have more than one place to put the same thing... that's what tags etc are for!  But, I will read the article (this stuff is mildly fascinating) and see what else is said.  Maybe it will convince me to change my habits... well, maybe!


once Zoot can use the typical rtf stuff (outlines, bullets, changing fonts, font sizes, colored text, etc)
-superboyac (March 18, 2006, 03:07 AM)
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Black Hole Organizer has had RTF for ages, and seems to have a good deal of "mind share."  It looks more like a database for text scraps than an outliner.

We've been discussing these notetaking software for a while now, and this thread has become quite lengthy.

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Maybe it's time for an executive summary and <END OF THREAD> ??


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