ZenR Notes: Simple Password Protected Notes

ZenR Notes

ZenR Notes (version: 0.2) is a recent entry in the note taking category. It presents mostly simple options for taking notes and securing them either individually or with a master password.

By default ZenR Notes uses what it calls an immersive theme that uses Windows colours. New notes are added, along with other features using big buttons. The minimal formatting options like colours and fonts are available plus a few others like creating simple lists.

Each note can be password protected (AES 256-bit) by clicking the down arrow to the top right of the note. The same menu features a reminder option to turn the note into a single non recurring reminder. The program notes that secured notes can not be reminders.

Using the same menu, notes, and the program itself, can be turned into a ‘widget’, clicking that option is similar to minimizing the note into a post it note. While in widget mode clicking X reverts the view to the program window, clicking the left arrow shows the notes list and the down arrow provides options to increase the widget size or keep it on top of other windows.

The hamburger menu present while looking at the notes list includes an option to set a master password, and to add enhanced security. The enhanced security feature acts as a complement to the ZenR Notes’ back up and restore feature also present under the same menu. The program can also be further secured by adding a recovery email. The latter makes the program look like a web app. The recovery email option was not tested for this review.

The ‘Total words’ number under the notes seems to be a bug (see screenshot). ZenR Notes should work on Windows Vista and newer, including server editions.

Journaley: Simple Journaling


Journaley (version: 2.1) is a simple yet unusual journaling program, it is freeware and hosted on GitHub.

The unusual nature of the program is two fold, perhaps. The first is somewhat disturbing, the set up did not provide any prompts (tested on a Windows 10 64-bit computer) until the program shortcut was ready on the desktop, whether this is a bug or not is not clear and there is no mention of this behaviour on the developer’s GitHub page. The second unusual aspect of the program is that, at first launch, it suggests the dropbox folder as the location to save its database.

Add an entry by clicking the blue + sign at the bottom left of the program, change the date, to any other date if necessary, and start typing. A word and character count is displayed as is the number of entries in th journal. Images can be added to an entry as can tags and stars. Starred entries will turn yellow in the left pane view

The entry, calendar and tag views (above the + sign) provide different glimpses of the journals written. When editing an existing entry the edit button must be clicked before the text becomes editable.

The program settings include (only three) different sizes for the font and only two, Noto Sans or Noto Serif, as fonts. The included spellcheck can be disabled and a password assigned to protect the entries.

The target user for such a software may or may not be obvious but it is nevertheless one newer addition in the note keeping category. Journaley requires .NET framework 4.5 and therefore works on Windows 7 and newer.

jaBuT Backup: Simple And Useful

jaBuT backup

Update: The blank dialog window bug has been fixed in version 11 of jaBuT

JaBuT (version: 10.0.39) is a simple but useful back up tool. It is free for non-commercial use and offers several methods to back up directories.

On first use the program provides a step by step guide for creating a backup profile via an express or custom setup. The profile creation process prompts for source and destination directories. The profile can be set to run manually, every X minutes, hours or days or crucially only when the data changes. It is also possible to run a profile at the start or end of running jaBuT itself.

The back up mode makes the program more useful, there are eight modes. Simple copy, Exact copy, Move, Exact move, Compress, Exact compress, Synchronize and Mirror copy. The difference between exact or not exact is that in exact mode any file no longer in the source directory will also be deleted in destination directory.  jaBuT backup error

Users then name the profile and can view and search for profile names in subsequent uses. Multiple profiles can be created and grouped together to distinguish them. Profiles can also be exported and imported. The program provides a preview of each profile which includes the size of the backup.

JaBuT can also run in portable mode and this is an option either when running the installer or at the program’s first run. When tested on a Windows 10 64-bit computer the former option of choosing portable mode during install prompted the blank dialog window (right), however a full install works as expected.

The program is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit at http://jabut.de/, check the author’s parameters page to see its command line options.

Back? Maybe!

Every once in a while I come across a mention of this site and it encourages me to think about a return. Yesterday I noticed that MK of Taking note found my review of Minipad2 and had a look at it.

In the recent past have been concentrating on other things, including maintaining the Milan (the football/soccer team) site, linked on the site’s front page if anybody cares.

Perhaps it is time to return and post occasional reviews again. Maybe. If time allows. If so also consider changing the looks or theme of the site too.