Oct 102016

TreeProjects is a notes organizer, a very powerful one, that I became a fan of many years ago. It had started life as the free Smereka and grew to a full featured outliner and organizer. I wrote a brief review of it in 2011. It has many features that made and make it complete like tagging, linking nodes, global search and reminders.

After years of no development Yaroslav has made the last version, 2.9.4, freely available and paying for a licence becomes optional, if you want to help him.

Oct 042016


At version 0.3 clipLogger is a new, beta software that takes a no frills approach to capturing and storing clipboard content.

Download and extract contents to a folder, the program will create a clipLogger_settings.ini file in the same folder. Using the usual Ctrl+C text content is captured and listed with a time stamp. Files copied or dropped into the program widow will have their full paths captured. It is possible to uncheck one or the other so only text or file names are captured.

The interface is very minimalist. The program settings include system settings like fonts and start up and close to tray behaviour. The program can also backup to a text file but that is of little use as the backup file resides in the same folder with no way to configure location or back up schedule.

A bug seems to duplicate (or more) captured content and the developer does allude to it. clipLogger is one to follow and hope that it continues to be developed.

clipLogger does not requires installation and is around 130KB unzipped. It requires .NET framework.

Sep 232016

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.

Sep 172016


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.

Sep 122016

jaBuT backup

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.

Jan 162015


OutWiker (current version: 1.8.1) is a cross platform and freeware outliner or notes organizer. It supports plain text, HTML and wiki style notes with various markups.

Start with File—>New (Ctrl+N) and choose one of the aforementioned page types. Either manually or by using the wiki menu or keyboard shortcuts add formatting to your wiki page. The formatting and markup available include bold, italic, horizontal line, font size, preformatted text, code, bullet list, creation and last modified dates, equations (inside {$$}) and others. Wiki pages can be linked to each other as well using page:// – grab a page link by right clicking a page in the tree.

Pages can be tagged and all tags are visible and clickable on the lower left of the program Window.

Files can be attached to a note and an image preview or thumbnail can be inserted inline using Wiki—>Thumbnail (Ctrl+M). The attached files or images can be inserted in a wiki page with a user chosen width. Attached files can be executed or opened from the program using the play icon on the Attachments toolbar.

Pages can be moved and sorted within the tree. Pages can also be bookmarked for easy access when the tree gets larger. OutWiker supports global search of all text and tags and a search page type can be added to the tree to be used as a permanent place holder instead of using the menu or Ctrl+F every time.

The program’s preferences include an autosave setting, default text options and many other appearance settings. One can also set or change keyboard shortcuts for virtually all program features.

OutWiker has a selection of plugins to add features like ‘DataGraph’, ‘Diagrammer’, ‘Table of contents creation for wiki pages’ and ‘Export notes in HTML’. It is portable and available for Windows and Linux systems (ppa:outwiker-team/ppa) with python dependencies.

Jan 132015


Elephant, currently in rapid development and at Release 7 as of this review, is an open source java based note taker or organizer with an old Evernote type interface. It is no install software and doesn’t use a database, all files are stored and organized in plain text and folders. The storage location is chosen at first launch.

The interface is divided into three panes where notes are parts of notebooks. A preview of notes belonging to the chosen Notebook is visible in the middle pane. The right pane is where the note editor is, it supports several common formatting options, markdown and inline images via drag and drop. PDFs can also be dragged and dropped with inline preview. Tagging and search as you type features make notes organization much more effective. It is also possible to search using Tags: tagname or notebook: notebookname to narrow the search to specific locations. There are keyboard shortcuts for every action such as New Note (Ctrl+N), Move to Notebook (Ctrl+M) and Edit Note Tags (Ctrl+Quote)

Being java based Elephant is available for Windows, OS X and Linux computers. There is more to come but Elephant promises to remain lightweight. The program’s window title is ‘Elephant Premium’ but the author is keen to say that “Premium is free, no ads of any kind”.

Jan 072015


O2 calls itself a data organizer, it is designed like a file folder where Objects are created and each holds any kind of data.

After launching the program create a new database and then right click anywhere in the main section to create new Object. Each Object can be given a name and tagged. Tags can be created on the fly by typing them in the Tags input or add an existing one from the dropdown. Each Object can have fields associated with it for example to store names, account numbers and any other similar information. Additionally notes can be added to Objects as a form of descriptions.

Two Objects can have Relations to be connected, like if you want to group all your car repair data separate but dependant on each other. Ctrl and Click or highlight the Objects and right click to relate them together via New relation. When one Object is active (clicked on) the Relations tab displays its connection(s) to other Objects.

Click the Rules tab, right click to create a new rule and extend an Object’s fields. For example a password, a link, an email address, or an expiration date. Rules are basically extra attributes that can be added to an Object. Its implementation is not the most intuitive when it comes to every day use mainly because Rules stay visible when clicking on different Objects.

The program’s search can find data by Object name, date, tag or rule. The program is available as a portable download as well. O2 can export all data in XML, HTML or its own format.

Nov 132014
  • HeidiSQL, a useful tool for working with databases is at version 9.1. In addition to features that always make working with databases easier version 9 introduces some others like a rewritten SSH connection interface and better support for other languages.
  • Pixopedia, the freeware graphics editor has been rewritten for its upcoming version and the current development version includes some but not all of the upcoming features. For example Tree drawing – one of ornaments available within the program. It also has useful blending options ready for use.
  • O2 is a data organizer with an unusual look that makes it look like an address book but can store any data in fields. An O2 review will be written soon.
  • Artweaver, the graphics editor, has a new version out with new improvements and features like making symmetrical drawings and new brush options to make better layered drawings. However, many new features are for the Plus shareware version.
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Nov 112014
  • RJ TextEd, one of the better text and source editors will soon release version 10 which features major new changes. It will be fully unicode, support locally encrypted ftp passwords, will have dockable panels, will include new ways to handle themes and more.
  • XnView, one of the best freeware image viewer and editors is out with version 2.25 and as is usual fixes and improvements come fast and often.
  • Earlier, Martin over at gHacks took an early look at the new Firefox Developer Edition. This new version of Firefox is mainly for developers and can work along side a normal Firefox install. It includes some extra development tools and includes WebIDE, the replacement for Mozilla’s App Manager. WebIDE can be used to create HTML5 apps for the Firefox OS.
  • Blood Report Manager is a free tool that keeps a record of various blood test results like Glucose, Cholesterol, Triglycerides and others. Add data and view a graphical history of various test results.
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