@Innuendo :This is good advice:
What are you contemplating using it for should be the first question. Images? Audio? Purely text? Clipping web pages?
And what platforms are you contemplating having the need for it on?
It's all about "user requirements". Many/most people (including myself) often have not articulated/written down what their requirements are for a "new thing", because they are still forming their ideas about what they want and what is or might be possible.
I personally find that the best thing to do is to trial
a software application as though it were a potentially useful tool for what you generally might want to do. In the process of trialling, you will discover something, including, for example:
- Confirmation of your requirements, and/or discovery of new requirements.
- Whether it can effectively do what you wanted it to do.
- Whether what you wanted to do is feasible using that tool.
- Whether the tool or some other similar tool you might have read/heard about could potentially offer a - in some way - "better" (for you) approach, thus to some extent refining or redefining what you thought your requirements were - this leads to changed requirements.
So jump in for a swim and trial
something that looks like it might do the job. Discover/explore all its aspects for yourself. In the case of Cloud-based PIMs (Personal Information Managers), you have a decent and growing selection, but, as I said above, it is caveat emptor
(let the buyer beware), and, in particular:
Accept that a feature of life with Cloud-based services seems to be potentially reduced security and increased risk to loss/corruption of data almost inevitably arising from the user having a lack of control over data management by/on a remote third party/service.
I have trialled Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive and others, and I discovered that the clincher for me was that there are some general mandatory (must have) requirements that need to be met, including, for example:
- 1. Availability: The PIM must be fully-functional, and with fully available data, whilst online and/or offline.
- 2. Data Types: The system must be able to store and make use of my Information in all its various modes/forms - including files ( object linking and embedding), plain text, rich text, html (e.g., web pages), image, automatic OCR of imaged text in any image captured, audio (recording and playback), audio transcripts and searching of phrases in audio (and now video).
- 3. Search/Retrieval: To enable/make use of full and fast search/extraction of information, including metadata, and hyperlinking and cross-referencing (which latter implies Wiki-like features).
- 4. Data security: No trust. There must be provision for Client-side and Cloud-side encryption, where required, and there must be absolute minimal potential risk of breach of security, of loss/corruption of data, with recovery from same being entirely under my control (which also implies my control over full/comprehensive backups and the ability to restore from those backups).
- 5. Sharing/Collaboration: The ability to enable specific person or group sharing of sections of the PIM database, as and when required, fully under my control (granting of read/write permissions included).
(I have various other requirements, not listed above.)
From experience so far, there is currently no single Cloud-based solution/offering that can meet the test for these general mandatory requirements, except
in the combination of SkyDrive + OneNote
- so, for my requirements, that's what I use.
The Data Security
requirement, in particular, is/was failed by DropBox, Google Drive, and Evernote (they also fail on other requirements, with Evernote arguably being the least-worse).
you are likely to have similar requirements for Data Security
, then a Cloud-only solution is probably not for you, but otherwise the current crop of Cloud offerings isn't too bad, and will probably improve (as I suggested in this thread, above), and Evernote still seems to be the leader in terms of very good Cloud functionality + some good/minimal Client
functionality. Your peculiar requirements should/would always be the deciding choice factor though.
Each Cloud solution will have its own idiosyncrasies and peculiarities, and these have to be evaluated in any trial to see whether you can live with the thing, longer term. More likely than not, once you have learned how to change your way of working so as to make best use of the tool, and adapted to it, then the tool will become an indispensable and useful extension of your mind, and you will probably find yourself making ever more use of the tool because of that - and you could become reliant on it. (That is why Data Security
is always an important requirement for me.)