Sep 132017
 

Leaf: Simple Notes is another small notes or reminder extension for Google Chrome. Installing the extension follows the familiar permissions based method and the extension’s icon is added to the right of the address bar.

Click on the icon and the interface is shown. Simply type any text and optionally add relevant details. Notes are stacked to the right of the text area. Click on the header or title of an existing note and the few available options become visible.

Notes can be dragged and re-ordered. Any note can be moved to the top of the stack. Information on the note’s creation date is also available. A note can be edited by clicking the fourth icon (see screenshot) or by double clicking on it. Notes can of course be deleted.

A needed more recent addition is the search function. It is also helpful that is a find as you type search.

Leaf: Simple Notes is not the first minimalist notes extension and perhaps it is too simple but it serves its purpose well.

Please follow and like us:
Sep 112017
 

Simple Gmail Notes is a useful Google Chrome extension. It keeps permissions to a minimum and uses the user’s own Google Drive to store all data. For this alone it is a very good choice.

Although given the ‘notes’ name it is somewhat awkward to use for storing personal or random notes because one has to use a gmail email for the notes. An email that exists in one’s inbox is presumably sent by another person. For the purposes of this review and for using the extension later I sent myself an email.

Once the extension is added to Chrome reload gmail and click on an email to see the text area for the notes. One must log in to Google Drive and allow Simple Gmail Notes access. This has to be repeated on other computers where the extension is used.

There is no text formatting. The text area itself only features the text background color option but the extension’s settings page includes options for font color and text size. The title of the note can be configured here as well and titles appear much like a gmail label when viewing the email list.

Notes can be searched and notes history or revisions are enabled by default. These two features use the Google Drive page, when using these a new tab is used to navigate to the user’s Drive page. In a similar fashion there is an Add to Google Calendar option.

There is also a way to share notes, this requires signing up for a gmail account and all those sharing notes accessing it. Again, as mentioned earlier, this is not the most intuitive way to work with notes but Simple Gmail Notes is an interesting extension that works well inside a popular tool that many use.

Please follow and like us:
Dec 272016
 

At first look DocusTree (version: 3.2) might look like a notes organizer. The interface and look is of the two pane outliner or organizer where the focus is on writing, jotting down and inserting various media or documents. While this is true of DocusTree it is more geared towards organizing existing documents or websites in a central location.

As the demo (see screenshot) shows when right clicking on a node DocusTree is mostly about adding. Of course a user can include a new document and start typing – for keeping a list for example – but this freeware is built in a way that is best suited for inserting documents.

DocusTree supports pdfs, urls, text documents, rich text documents, doc files, XML files and image insertion. It can import individual or a folder of these documents. It can also link to files or folders and therefore not directly show them.

The additional features are the activity tracker and note calendar. The activity tracker presents a six months calendar view where one can click on days to highlight days where the activity is done. There is no flexibility in individual days’ descriptions. As can be seen in the demo screenshot the “3 fruits per day” is either true (for any given day) or not. The note calendar present a single day view calendar with a text area for general notes and separate area for each hour of the day.

The built in search, using either the top right text field or the Edit menu did not find expected results. For example searching for jogging while the Jogging node was open did not return any results. The software also became slow to unresponsive after a pdf node was loaded/clicked on. The program interface is not fully bug free either (see right side of screenshot). These are not good signs, especially since this is at version 3.2.

A password can be set via the program options (Tools —> Options) to prevent access to the program. DocusTree should work on Windows XP and newer but is unfortunately too unpolished.

Please follow and like us:
Oct 312016
 

AnnoPad

AnnoPad (version:1.5.3) or URL Specific Notepad – AnnoPad to mention its full name is a Google Chrome extension that saves notes in a drop down accessible via its icon much the same way as many other extensions.

The interface is simple, click on the icon and add a new note. The URL of the current page is automatically saved with the note. The note can be formatted in bold or italic and be an unordered or ordered numbered list. Notes are saved automatically and clicking the back button takes the user back to the notes list.

It is possible to assign a category to a note however the notes list interface does not show the category. The category is therefore only currently useful in the as you type incremental search. The same search of course finds text in the notes’ content as well. When a page or site is open notes can be filtered to those with a matching address. Saved notes can also be displayed by newest, oldest, page ascending and page descending. The latter two refer to the URLs associated with saved notes.

AnnoPad’s settings are Export to TXT, Export to PDF and Delete.

Please follow and like us:
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.

Please follow and like us:
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.

Please follow and like us:
Sep 172016
 

Journaley

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.

Please follow and like us:
Jan 162015
 

OutWiker

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.

Please follow and like us:
Jan 132015
 

elephant

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”.

Please follow and like us:
Jan 072015
 

O2

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.

Please follow and like us:
Facebook IconTwitter IconGoogle+Google+