I'm really into having "The right tool for the job", especially when we're talking about software applications. That being said, I'm having issues settling on the perfect tool to organize my entrepreneurial efforts.
I am looking for an application to:
- Take notes in. I need to be able to add notes quickly and easily. I would love for my notes to be date-stamped, but when I think about it, this is not a huge priority.
- I need to be able to store additional data with my notes: Pictures. Internet information. Information from my e-mails, and anything else that I come across. The easier, the better.
- I would LOVE for this to be internet-based. That way I would have universal access to it from anywhere, and I would be able to share pieces of it if I wanted.
- I would also like to have a local client to view and edit this information. I need to be able to pull out my laptop and retrieve information from anywhere, no internet connection required. This is a delicate point. Such a tool would need to be able to sync changes when I reconnect to the internet.
- Track to-dos and calendar items.
- Keep separate projects separate, while still being able to get a "universal view". Allowing me to ask "What are ALL of my to-dos across ALL of my projects?" Or all of my calendar items. Or what contacts have I saved within my notes versus within my address book?
Okay. What I've seen so far:
- Evernote. I currently use this. VERY EASY TO USE. It has Plug-Ins for my internet browser and my e-mail program that I like very much. This means that I can send any part of an email, or the whole email, or any part of a web page, or the whole webpage...to my Evernote with just a button press from that application. Very handy. Evernote also has lots of filtering options to help me find that data easily. The downside with this application is that it's a little TOO abstract. It doesn't naturally lend itself to a very organized, compartmentalized format.
- Wikis. Ah, wikis. Just a fad, or here to stay? Time will tell. Wikis offer formatting options to make everything eye-appealing, and wikis offer the web-based and sharing capabilities I desire. Wikis even allow me to create a new page for each project, and support different types of media, but so far I haven't found a Wiki that has a local client and syncs changes, and wikis don't lend themselves to leisurely data collecting.
- Other note-taking applications. Evernote fits in this category. Others are Microsoft OneNote, GoBinder. Livepad. OneNote is probably the most viable, but it's not online, and I'm slightly anti-Microsoft. I could probably work something out to make it shareable, but it would be a bit dicey. I'm honestly not interested in the effort share it or publish it to the web because of the aforementioned adversity to Microsoft.
- Some sort of hybrid app-thing maybe? We all have different applications that we use. Most people have a Yahoo or a Hotmail or a GMail or an AOL account. Then there's our work e-mail address, and some of us have one or more email addresses hanging off of our on domain names. Then, there are note taking apps like Evernote and OneNote. You have Wikis. Another category of "stuff" we use are our web-based services like del.icio.us or digg or Flickr. How about you guys get together and give me a super-app?
I consider myself a pretty learned and connected guy, so I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that there's nothing out there that gives me exactly what I want. (I'd love to be proven wrong!)
Where that leaves us is at the end of a bitching session, pretty much.
Know What I'm Sayin'??
Add "create my own software empire" to your To Do list please, then start making some calls.
few questions for you:
What if one day you decide to switch to Linux or Mac and 5000 notes and other information that you have collected with Evernote is stuck on windows.
I have used programs similar to evernote and later on found that it is best to just create folders in windows and mostly make .txt file notes which are simple and can be read anywhere. For more complex, I can just save in a .doc format. That way I can always access these files on any system regardles of its OS.
Evernote is nice and has many features, but what are you going to do if one day you will need all your info on a different system where evernote is not designed for?
I currently keep most of my notes in folders in a simple .txt format that way I can always have an easy access to these files on nay computer on any system. Most are txt then word documents and some html.
However the idea of having all the notes in one Data Base is kind of convenient. But Evernote is Windows only and I cannot easily carry my notes with me.
Also, what about a Calendar? Which software do you use or which web 2.0 service do you use? Why do you favor online vs offline ? I cant make up my mind for the past 3 weeks now about which Calendar to use? Offline or online and which one. An online can notify you via sms and email but you cannot access it where there is no interent. Offline is nice but you are attached to your laptop or your USB drive and cannot use sms notification.