Late last year Paulo Brabo commented in response to the post on Pigeonhole here on RGdot and recommended I take a look at Notebox Disorganizer. This is a much belated review on the somewhat unusual freeware.
Notebox Disorganizer uses spreadsheet type cells or note areas to help organize and jot down notes and text. The author explains all the features in a very refreshing and entertaining manner and is the first to admit that the disorganizer part of the program may turn off users who prefer tree type note keepers for example. He also points out that the interface has ended up not following the best of design practices. In short Notebox Disorganizer will probably only work for you after getting used to using it.
The main portion of the program interface is divided into a note grid and an editor, group of notes are visible in the grid and clicking or highlighting one shows the full note in the editor below it, the editor has few keyboard and mouse controls, for text manipulation for example. These controls like every other feature is explained in detail in the accompanying documentation or on the program’s site. The two drop downs to the right of the grid and editor provide additional tools and navigation options which will be populated depending on the note in use or the feature being accessed. For example in the image above ‘categories’ (from the drop down menu) would be the months of year of the journal on the left. Note that the journal is part of 7 ‘NBTemplates’ that come with the program and provide starting points for its use, other templates (available via File —>Open Notebox and in the NBTemplates folder) include the likes of Companygoals and NonfictionPlanner.
There are many aspects to this program but a few words on some of it tools and features should prove useful:
- Outbox (Outbox menu) lets you save notes from different grids together for use on their own as a kind of quick view or move a note into another or elsewhere, as ‘semi-formatted’ text files.
- Exploded notes provide a similar function as Outbox as in providing a way to use notes to exist outside of Notebox Disorganizer perhaps to be used in another instance of the program, these notes will be tagged with their name and be placed in a folder of the same name.
- Keywords – in the lower right drop down area – let the user assign keywords to notes.
- Bookmarks – in the upper right drop down area – allows certain notes to be marked and therefore be easier to find later.
Notebox Disorganizer needs to be used to discover all of its features and nuances, I confess that I haven’t really discovered or understood the program fully. Once grasped it can prove very usable. It weighs at less than 1MB and is portable.