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« Concertina Files | Main | Interview on Matt's Idea Blog »
Saturday
Nov182006

Note Taking Software Progress Report

Here’s an update on the note-taking programs I have been trying out.

Evernote is definitely the clear winner so far. For ease of use it is far the best, and therefore it’s the one I go to naturally. I’ve been exploring what I can do with it and it’s impressing me more and more.

Of the other programs, Tiddlywiki is very interesting, but just that little bit too difficult to use. It’s one great advantage over Evernote is that you can easily arrange the information you retrieve into the order you want. Evernote’s hyperlink function is a bit less flexible than Tiddlywiki’s, but not so much that the ease of use of the rest of the program doesn’t give it the advantage.

Online programs may be great for sharing information, but are just too slow and cumbersome for individual use even with a high speed connection. So that rules out Backpack and Stikkit. I was able to produce a very pretty page with Backpack, but it took me a long time and I feel no incentive to go back and keep it up to date. As for Stikkit, I usually reckon myself pretty good at getting into a new program but so far I have no idea how this is supposed to work. I’ve visited the site three times and still haven’t been able to fathom out even the basic step of how to enter information. For a program which claims to be extremely intuitive and easy to use that can’t be a good sign!

Reader Comments (10)

So I wasn't the only person who couldn't write a word on Stikkit!
November 18, 2006 at 20:14 | Unregistered CommenterSilvia
Hello Mark,

since you like Tinderbox you may also want to have a look at following Windows programs. Both are not Tinderbox, but IMHO follow a similar concept of capuring information.

http://www.thebrain.com/

You can do TinderBox-like type of pages with classical mind-mapping tools, like Visual Mind or MindManager, too, but not as "free" as with TinderBox. I think TheBrain comes closer to a TinderBox-like structuring of data - at least to what I can tell from the screenshots.

http://www.visual-concept.co.uk/scrennshots.htm

Visual Concept implemented some nice ideas, but looks to me like "not ready yet" compared to Evernote or OneNote - although it follows a different way of capturing your notes. But I haven't tried that myself, yet.

Regards,
Thomas
November 20, 2006 at 19:21 | Unregistered CommenterThomas Wenzl
Thanks, Thomas. I have actually tried both the programs you mention in the past. Brain I tried for a considerable period, but I found its way of linking too restricting. I didn't get on with Visual Concept at all.
November 21, 2006 at 10:26 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
The link for Everynote is incorrect
December 5, 2006 at 15:39 | Unregistered CommenterN.
Thanks, N. I have corrected it.
December 6, 2006 at 22:34 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Hi Mark,

I found your site while I was searching for "covey four quadrants" on google. And I instantly liked the content on your site. This particular thread was very amusing to me because I recently wrote a review of a few note-taking software myself. Please read it when you get the chance @ http://srmiocc.blogspot.com/2007/02/software-review-tools-to-help-you-think.html .

Personally, I love "the guide" though evernote is a close second, for me. I also tried tiddlywiki and a number of variations on it. I figured I would rather use a full fledged wiki than tiddlywiki!

Anyway, you have just won yourself another loyal reader: me! I love articles on productivity and your site seems to have a lot of them.
March 12, 2007 at 20:31 | Unregistered CommenterMahesh
Hi, Mahesh

Thanks for giving the link to the review. Your blog sounds very interesting.

I had a quick look at The Guide. It looks a bit basic to me, compared to say Evernote. I think it is quite possible to use the categories in Evernote to duplicate the hierarchical structure of The Guide - though I haven't yet tried doing that!

Mark
March 13, 2007 at 17:15 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks for the reviews! I did a little research myself and found this interesting open source project <a href="http://www.seonote.info/">www.seonote.info</a>
I currently use it and like it a lot.
This one also seemed very interesting: <a href=" http://www.neomem.org/"> www.neomem.org </a>

Bart
March 13, 2007 at 20:31 | Unregistered CommenterBart
Oops sorry, screwed up those links
Didn’t read the small print ;)

Here they are
http://www.neomem.org/
http://www.seonote.info/
March 13, 2007 at 20:33 | Unregistered CommenterBart
Thanks for the references, Bart. I had a quick look at both of them.

It seemed to me from reading the descriptions that I could reproduce what both of them do more or less exactly with Evernote, Evernote has a lot more functionality as well.

And like them both, Evernote is free (in it's basic form at least).
March 14, 2007 at 8:37 | Registered CommenterMark Forster

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