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Google Notebook v. Diigo Update

Well, it didn’t take long to decide whether I preferred Google Notebook or Diigo. As I said when I started the comparison, the real test was which of the programs I would end up using.

There’s no doubt which program has won. I’m still using Diigo and not using Google Notes at all. In fact I’ve transferred all the bookmarks I made with Google Notes into Diigo.

What were the factors that led to this?

I found Google Notes a bit slower to use, especially when entering tags (called labels in Google Notebook). Tags are the key to both programs, so the ease by which they can be used is crucial.

Since I often use Diigo as a way of summarising long documents and keeping my place in them, I was irritated that I could only highlight one passage per entry in Google Notebook. In Diigo you can highlight as many excerpts as you want and also add your own comments as sticky notes. It is much more flexible.

I also missed the filtered drop-down bookmark list, which is a real time saver in Diigo for frequently used bookmarks.

The plus for Google Notes is that you can enter your own separate notes as bookmarks. But then do you really want to keep your personal notes on-line? I use EverNote for that purpose and there is no clash at all between it and Diigo. To my way of thinking they are different functions and there is no problem having different programs for them.

As I am not interested in the social sharing side of either program, I have not compared them at all from that point of view.

Reader Comments (14)

Interesting - I also like Diigo very much. Before I experimented with Diigo I had been trying Evernote and was impressed with that too. However, I seem to use Diigo more and more these days. I've a feeling that my workflow could still be better, so perhaps when you have a moment you could outline how you divide up tasks between Diigo and Evernote?

I also use 'Remember the Milk', which is a great online 'to do' list manager but I'm worried that I'm going to over-organise myself and end up creating more work by using all these different resources!

Do you think it's feasible to dispense with browser bookmarks altogether and just use Diigo's tags? I think I might give that a go.
January 9, 2008 at 16:41 | Unregistered CommenterTony
Hi, Tony

I use Diigo for websites only - so basically everything else goes into Evernote.

Diigo has a useful feature called the Filtered Bookmark List, which provides an icon on your browser with a drop down list of your bookmarks. So I have a category called "Reference" and filter the bookmark list so that it shows the bookmarks that I use regularly.

Another useful feature of Diigo is that you can set it to make a browser bookmark whenever to make a Diigo bookmark. The bookmarks are arranged under the browser "Favorites" icon (in IE6) in folders according to each Diigo tag. That makes a useful backup if for some reason you can't access Diigo.
January 11, 2008 at 9:48 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thanks for the summary, Mark. I couldn't stand Notebook - seemed really broken to me. I'll admit my needs are very clear around PIM. No one seems to realize "it's the links, silly!" Just like our brain supports dynamic and flexible connections between thoughts, so should our tools. Sadly, I've looked at a bunch of them, all with at least one deal-breaking flaw (usually in the data model).

More here, FYI:

My Big-Arse Text File - a Poor Man's Wiki+Blog+PIM

Photo Blogs, Wikis, and Memories for Life
January 11, 2008 at 23:46 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Cornell
I am interested in how you moved your Google bookmarks \ notebooks into Diigo. Thanks in advance.
February 14, 2008 at 22:39 | Unregistered CommenterRaj
Dear Raj

I moved them the hard way - went to each site using Google bookmarks, then bookmarked it using Diigo.

Fortunately I didn't have too many to do.
February 15, 2008 at 16:05 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
I was hoping you had some cool trick; I have hundreds; well it might be a good way to clean everything up. I'm sure most of it junk I don't care about anymore. Alternatively, I might continue to use both, Diigo for more serious stuff and research and Google for everything else. Thanks for the great post.
February 19, 2008 at 22:01 | Unregistered CommenterRaj
Hi, Raj

My advice with things like this is just start afresh with the new system and whenever you use something from the old system put it into the new system. That way you will very quickly get all the ones you actually use into Diigo.

Works a treat on other things too, like starting a new address book or a new filing system!
February 20, 2008 at 11:22 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Electronic gadgets are dominating the world, everybody in the world feels need for these gadgets, some wants them because of their need but some wants them for entertainment. Google is a big name among the websites and now it is bringing the notebook; surely it will bring a revolution in the technical world. Google should seek advice from other notebooks and should bring something extra ordinary!! All the best
Shelly Smith
<a href="">
Laptop Computers South-Africa</a>
March 10, 2009 at 8:03 | Unregistered CommenterShelly Smith
Greetings all members,

I would just like to say hello and let you know that I'm happy to be a member - been a lurker long enough :)

Hope to contribute some and gain some knowledge along the way....
March 28, 2009 at 23:02 | Unregistered CommenterFinancialServicesRenoNV

This action proves to be a win, win situation. This is a true art work, which will be a success story.


<a href="" Laptop Fanatic</a>
April 14, 2009 at 6:32 | Unregistered Commenterwilson
You can then fill out the values and then drag the snippet to where you want to use it and it will automatically have the values merged right in.
February 10, 2010 at 22:55 | Unregistered Commentericon editor
I use diigo after trying lots of other things, including usekit, read it later, bookmarking locally in my browser, delicious, evernote/springpad.
The important specifications
1) Easy to collaborate bookmarks. If I'm on a research team, I don't enjoy getting emails with "hey, check this out" every day from each member. Very disruptive to not have a proper agenda associated with each member or the team at large.
2) Things on a web page are best annotated on a webpage. Short of converting it to a PDF, where else can I apply mark-up to this research material.
3) Summary information. The output must help me remember the key substance of that citation.
4) Easy to retrieve
My only complaint so far is that the community tagging as of yet is not a robust in Diigo as it is in delicious. Delicious seems to have so many more suggested tags when I'm book marking. They do sync with eachother, but as of yet diigo is not drawing these tags from delicious members.
January 19, 2011 at 21:30 | Unregistered CommenterJames Levine
I am doing exactly the same as Mark Forster, "...use Diigo for websites only - so basically everything else goes into Evernote. "
June 2, 2012 at 13:11 | Unregistered Commenterben
Totally agree with you on Diigo.
I like it because I don't need to make an archived version of a site just to take highlighted notes on it. Great for keeping all the links live on a Bibliographic database. I've tried them all, the runner up being zootool, which does not have highlighting. Like you, evernote is for everything but bookmarks. I like to maintain a constricted tag vocabulary on evernote. The tag suggestions on Diigo are very helpful, so long as I'm disciplined or clean my tags up occasionally (I try to use plurals only, for example). Just wish when sharing to delicious that the tag suggestions came from that service, not the other way around.
July 30, 2012 at 14:13 | Unregistered CommenterJames Levine

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