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General brainstorming for Note-taking software

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Do any of these programs work with Google Desktop? 

Here are two messages I recieved from the author of Mybase.  It should give some insight to the philosophy behind his program.  He also talks about some of the upcoming features of the program and it sounds like he is looking to implement some of the things we've been discussing here, such as virtual linking ot other items and labels (or tags/categories).

Thank you for letting us know of this discussion. It is interested.

We currently do not have a login account with the forum, but
we'll have a short note about mybase freeform database software.

Mybase 5 incorporated the 'label' system and the 'symbolic link' feature, which
might have been missed on the forum discussion. the 'label' system works as the
mentioned 'Tag' and 'keyword' system does, you can assign any info items with a
label name. the 'symbolic link' feature allows you to create 'virtual item'
linking to another item, so you can have one item appearing in any other items
without producing duplicates; To create a symbolic link, simply drag-drop an info
item with the 'Alt' key hold down;

Mybase is basically intended to be a powerful personal freeform database
software. A good information management software requires a stable, efficient,
flexible database engine, and then define specific applications on the basis of the
database. note-taking is one of major applications of mybase database.

Mybase offers the addon API, so any utilities related to import/export (or
capture/share) can be designed as addons. this makes the program structure clear
and help improve the main code's performance.

Unlike others, mybase pack is incredibly small even if you have all plugins
packed into; The v5 is even smaller, the main code is only 1MB in file size, while
it contains most of the major components; More important, it is fast. There's
No delay at startup. We try to keep things efficient, uncluttered, flexible yet
simple as much as possible;

If you have any questions using mybase, please let us know. Thanks.

Best Regards,

wjjsoft support ( [email protected] )
Mybase Freeform Database ( )
--- End quote ---

Thank you for your postings; That is a good place unbiasedly discussing
software, we like it; You may post our notes anywhere you see fit. Here's another note
for mybase software;

We've built a very flexible infrastructure for the freeform database platform,
so we can develop over the database as many applications as possible, and users
can manipulate their own database as easily as possible. Our goal within the
main code is to provide a substantial number of powerful 'Organize' utilities,
'DB maintenance' tools,  'Fast search' capabilities and an efficient, intuitive,
uncluttered user interface, while the addon/plugin API makes limitless
posibilities for making the 'Capture, Share' utilities. All this are based on our solid
database engine. Unlike others, we've put majority of our energy on the
database engine and the flexible infrastructure, rather than focus on a bubbly bulky
UI design. We hope our customers understand all these hidden work done within
the product, as results, we've received a lot of positive words for the freeform
database applications. some of words listed on our website:  some can be found on the yahoo groups:

For later versions,  we planned to make more utilities on the basis of the
'Capture, organize, share, edit, search' concept, and improve existing addons, and
maybe the UI if that is really necessary and valued for customers;

As for the flexibility with our database, you might have seen that we've
developed some other minor code for GNU Linux and FreeBSD, all these applications are
based on the freeform database engine. We've ever planned to make a series of
programs across Windows, Linux, and Pocket OS like palm/ce; Currently our focus
is still on the Windows platform.

BTW, as to edit webpages, there's a 'HtmlEdit.dll' plugin for this task within
v4,8x, but now, if you've tried the v5 beta, you'll find we've seamlessly
incorporate the 'Inplace HTML EDIT' into v5 without launching a third-party tool. To
edit a webpage, press F2 on the webpage, the webpage goes into edit mode, and
you can make modifications to the webpage, just like the RTF edit;
--- End quote ---

I find this thread very interesting. I have been looking for the ultimate note taker for years and am not satisfied with my current choice (one note). Someone talked earlier about Memorymate (a DOS program) and this is still my reference today (although I can't use it any longer because of the format restrictions).

For me the most important criteria of a note taking software should be ease of use and automatisms. This excludes all tree-based softwares: building a tree is a waste of time and is irrelevant to the way the information is actually structured in my head and the way I am searching for it. As the information grows, the tree is anyway irrelevant. OneNote functions with a kind of tree structure but at least you can mostly ignore it since the name of each article is inserted automatically.

Tagging should be the way to go but not through formal tagging: defining and typing in tags for each note is a waste of time. Each word in the article should be a tag. The key should be to have a search functions which allows the refine or broaden a search on all words in the database. A very good example of this kind of search (but unfortunately badly implemented on other aspects and no longer supported it seems) is exalead, an internet or desktop search engine (I use it to search my local files, as an internet search it is useless). The search function should also allow to locate articles quickly from the date of their creation (Memorymate had a wonderful and easy way to do this with a search in the form of c<010106 where c means the date of creation).

The ability to view articles within a calendar would also be helpful (or a timeline like picasa 2). Templates should be optional and freely modifiable for any article.

Another important factor is unicode compatibility and the ability to import web pages and graphic formats. I work in a multinational environment and unicode compatibility is a necessity and the main reason why I use OneNote.

I like the concept of Asksam very much but it is not unicode compatible. The same with Keynote (as far as I remember). The concept of Evernote is interesting but unicode compatibility is limited (web pages in another language, I use Japanese, cannot be imported properly). Mybase and Surfulater are tree-based as far as I could understand and for me uninteresting (it seems that you could ignore the tree in surfulater and just build everything in the same page but this is not very elegant; in addition surfulater does not seem to handle well copies from the clipboard which are not in English).

I tested Zoot a long time ago but it was not unicode compatible and the learning curve was too steep (but the concept very interesting). Infoselect and Inforecall are just tree-based programs, like treepad and many, many others.

tokjdm, based on your previous post (welcome to DC, by the way!), Evernote is the program that comes closest to your criteria.  I don't think you will find something that suits your needs better.  As far as unicode compatibility and Japanese support, you should probably talk to the author about it and see if you can convince him to include that.

I think that, as of now, none of us will find that "perfect" program for our notetaking needs, and we need to just find the one that fits best.  Or in my case, what I'm doing is using several of them at once, and not committing to any for now.  I use one at work, I use free trial versions of other ones for a short period of time.  It's frustrating, but I think the genre is still in it's premature stages.  I know these programs have been around for ages, but the modern implementation of them is still premature, that's why I say that.

Thank you for this almost immediate comment. I agree with you that there is no perfect program. I am also quite used to the unicode problem: very few program are unicode-compatible and it is somewhat understandable. Why bother about the rest of the world when you see the size of the english-only market. I talked with the Evernote author and he offered some solutions for note taking (changing to RTF as standard format) which do not solve the internet page issues. Not enough to convince me to switch from onenote yet (unfortunately).


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