Jun 092012
 

MyTetra (Version: 1.30 tested) is an open source and cross platform note taker, notes organizer or PIM. It doesn’t have the most modern interface but it is a good option if looking for an organizer.

MyTetra

MyTetra is tree structured. Its structure is item (or sub item) with separate note(s) within each item or sub item (see image). It comes with a base item and sub items or siblings or other items can be added.  MyTetra has an unusual characteristic, it requires each item to be divided into notes, the nodes in the tree themselves don’t hold any text, just a list of notes that belong to them. Notes are added by clicking the Add Note (top middle of interface) button.

Note content appear below the notes list. The note editor includes paragraph, justification, font, indent, list, table and image tools. Additionally there is an Edit HTML button to edit or work in pure HTML.

Search is a strength of MyTetra. One can search within an open note, if necessary, by clicking the Find button to the right of the font selection dropdown but more usefully the find section occupying the lower part of the program can search across all notes and all fields (tag, author, url, title or content or text). If the find area is not visible it can be toggled on at Tools—>Find In Base. Tags belonging to an open note are visible under the note area and are clickable to aid in searching for other notes with the same tag.

MyTetra supports copying and pasting nodes so one can create duplicates. It also supports encryption (Tools —>Settings —>Crypto) and Synchronization over a version control system like Git (Tools —>Settings —>Synchro). It is available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS X and FreeBSD.

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Nov 072011
 

EfficientPIM is a useful and multi-featured PIM (Personal Information Manager). Its interface is the now somewhat common Outlook type window with common and relevant links listed on the top left with access to all available features (not forgetting the ‘Show more buttons’ link to see them all) occupying the bottom left. EfficientPIM also has a few extra, less common features that make it a more complete PIM.

EfficientPIM

EfficientPIM opens with the default Today view or screen with the date, week and day of the year shown with, as expected, a list of upcoming events and tasks. As with all screens or views this can be customized to show more or less, for example to show different number of days than the upcoming 7. Also from this screen new events, tasks and diary entries can be added.

The Calendar view is where one can see and set events, each event can have a color associated with it. Double click a day to create an event. Choose its subject, start and end date, importance label (color) and optionally set a reminder with sound. The comment feature is a rich text area that can also include a file attachment and/or a link to a file (on the computer or online). The recurrence tab of the new event window includes all options from time, day, day of the week and also range. The calendar view also features a mini-calendar and task view on the right hand side.

Next up is the Contacts view, by default it features full name, company, business phone, mobile phone and email but by clicking the customize current view link one can show lots more including address, title, fax, additional email, website, nickname, hobbies, instant messaging address and even more. There are also 6 custom fields available. One can create groups (Action —> New Group) to group contacts together. It is also possible to sort contacts by any field and view them in card or table view.

Events and Tasks are similar in the sense that a name, comment, time, duration and reminder can be set for most anything.

Diary is ofcourse set by date but can be divided into groups. All entries can later be viewed by either date or group. An entry can also be associated with a contact.

The Notes section is the place to write down anything that perhaps doesn’t belong elsewhere, this can also be associated with a contact and grouped as well.

Desktop Notes (see image below) are similar to Notes but with the additional feature that if so checked the (resizable) notes can float on the desktop. This way a note is always visible and can not be missed.

EfficientPIM

EfficientPIM also has FTP and Email Account sections with all the relevant fields (server address, password, etc.) for each. The Favorite URL bookmark manager, Password Manager and Software Registration Code provide the EfficientPIM user with even more ways to store information.

The search within EfficientPIM can be global or per section to search inside notes only for example.

EfficientPIM works on Windows (both 32 and 64 bit versions) versions going back to Windows 98 . A free version with less features is always available.

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Sep 112011
 

Smereka TreeProjects is a feature rich freeform database that can manage, hold and centralize all sorts of information. It can create one or more fully searchable collections of information each in a single portable file that can contain anything from simple or rich text to entire web pages to file attachments and even alarm reminders.

Smereka TreeProjects

TreeProjects can be used to gather and organize data in a hierarchical way that also remains flexible where data or item(s) can be moved – right click and copy/paste or just drag items using the mouse – from one section, item or node to another. Each node or item can also be colored or assigned to one of the provided icons.

Tagging is another very powerful way of organizing personal data and TreeProjects offers tagging very much like the blogging method where under the details of an item or file one assign tags which are searchable and auto-complete as well.

Another important part of TreeProjects’ power is the revision feature. When saving an already existing item, a note for example, TreeProjects offers the user the option to keep the old version(s) as well.

The reminder feature (Items menu —> New:Reminder) lets the user work with alarm set to anything from once to yearly with not only a remind in advance feature but also a setting to make the alarm dependent to independent of time zones. This is useful because not only the program itself is portable –  after installing just copy the whole program folder, for example, C:/Program Files/Smereka TreeProjects, to a USB key – but as mentioned the database is in a single file, so the program, including the alarms, are useful everywhere.

In my tests TreeProjects did very well in capturing a webpage (see image below) with links and images intact. Just create a New:HTML via the Items menu or right click a parent or node, name the item, type in the URL (or browse to a local .htm/.html file) and go. Capturing items like passages of text is also easy and useful for research purposes. Using Ctrl-Alt-v keys instead of the traditional Ctrl-v pastes the copied item into TreeProjects’ active item.

Smereka TreeProjects

A spell checker is included as is a find as you type search feature which takes advantage of the SQLite foundation of the database. Transparent, behind the scenes indexing takes place and provides seconds away easy access to everything. SQLite allows for various views and sorting options that will always be available without destroying the ‘original’ view which the user may be comfortable with.

The Special monitored folder, see Tools menu, is another ease-of-use feature of TreeProjects. A folder, or the default provided by the program, can be monitored and items that are moved to it will be imported into the current item or database. Things like Word .doc files and .jpg images are imported as file attachments and ‘readable’ or supported ones such as .rtf files fully viewable and editable just like a new item created in the program.

One can set a whole series of keyboard shortcuts, see Tools menu, to things like opening a new item, capturing a new item and shifting between views.

TreeProjects is very impressive, it runs on Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. It is currently available in Dutch, English, German, Russian, Spanish and Ukrainian. It costs $49. A free, very usable ‘sister’ program is also available.

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Feb 032011
 

Snap DB is one of the 2011 entries in Donationcoder’s N.A.N.Y. (New Apps For The New Year) challenge. It is a simple database program that holds and organizes lists and information in a text like or flat structure. It is minimalist by design.

The uses for Snap DB are pretty much infinite. Keep a list of albums, software or books or anything else all with many a column to hold information about them. Open the program right click on the columns to rename them and to add additional columns as necessary. Then double click on a row and start entering the information. Import a Comma Separated Values (CSV) or tab delimited file to use with Snap DB or export the data to a CSV file. Activate the Filter mode (View—>Filter Mode) to search the data and get results as you type.

Snap DB has a few built in shortcuts to make entering information easier. For example use F2 to edit a record or F5 to duplicate a record. The usual Ctrl-C Windows copy key combination will copy whole row(s) of data in SnapDB ready to be pasted anywhere with each column separated by a tab. Conversely copying some tab delimited text and using Ctrl-V in SnapDB pastes them into columns. Also notice that when adding or inserting data there is Run button, that button will execute if the corresponding field has a URL, mailto or path to a file or folder in it.

Snap DB is freeware, portable, no install and is less than 700KB unzipped. Watch the screencast on the program’s site to see it in action and follow the thread and suggest other features in its DonactionCoder forums thread (linked above).

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Jun 072010
 

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.

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Mar 262010
 

myPortablePIM is a no installation Personal Information Manager that offers a chance to keep contacts, calendar and other information in one folder and carry data on a USB key or stick. Needing to keep everything in one folder means a newly unzipped myPortablePIM approaches 90MB in size.
myPortablePIM

myPortablePIM features include tasks and notes, alarms, a ‘gmail checker’, calendar – with support for both iCal and vCard – a RSS reader, a weather checker, an image viewer, an application launcher, a password manager and an address book.

Additionally the program can be protected with a password to make carrying it around safer and includes several themes (under the Preferences menu). The different features or ‘modules’ can also be viewed on their own. One can also add icons to use within the program and configure several options like using Fahrenheit or Celcius for the weather module. myPortablePIM runs on Windows 2000, XP, Vista or 7.

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esyPlanner Is A Useful PIM

 Software Reviews  Comments Off on esyPlanner Is A Useful PIM
Sep 132009
 

esyPlanner is a freeware personal information manager that provides calendars, reminders (which it calls popups), notes and password storage.


esyPlanner

The program doesn’t exactly have the best or cleanest of interfaces, which somehow mirrors the author’s website as well, however it is more than adequate as a PIM. Notes can be created by using the Microsoft outlook style side panel or bar. A note can be turned into an event so that a reminder can be set, they also include a number of fields to make categorization and future search useful, these include adding an attachment to a note as well. However there is kind of an overlap with what the program calls memo – accessible via its Windows menu. There is a similar confusion differentiating between the planner and the calendar. However after a few minutes of use esyPlanner does prove to be an acceptable and good alternative to the more known personal information managers. The strength of esyPlanner might actually lie in its search capability – accessible either via its Windows menu or by clicking F3. In my test the search provided quick results from all the notes fields that I had intentionally filled.
esyPlanner uses the SQLite database engine therefore at the very least one is not stuck with proprietary information storage.

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Dec 292008
 

Total Text Container is a PIM (Personal Information Management) software described by its author as

Store Documentation, Notes, Passwords, Images, Bookmarks, Contacts, Spreadsheets, Money Transactions, Calendar Events & Tasks, iCalander events, CD/DVD/Movie catalogs, Multi layer encryption, Portable, xml database, all in one powerful PIM app.

Total Text Container is a pretty complete and feature rich software that allows you to do a lot and organize your information all in one folder.

ttc

It has many interesting and valuable features.  It can store all sorts of lists, such as movies, bookmarks, confidential information and images. Syntax highlighted code and snippets can be saved as well. It is possible to add clipboards and even tasks to Total Text Container and access them via the program’s tray icon without actually wading through the program itself. There is also a ‘Mix Frame’  feature which allows the user to work on different ‘frames’ such as notes, spreadsheets, code and others at the same time, though it seems to be a work in progress in my tests, I got a few access violation errors while attempting to add or show frames.

TTC is worth checking out and though at alpha v0.a070 as of this writing it can prove useful with a bit of caution because as mentioned access violation errors can pop up from time to time. The author claims that

As long as TTC is below version 1.00 then its still in beta stage, I use TTC almost every day so i def want it to be error free myself. I fix errors as i find them but if I don’t know about an error i can’t fix it so let me know on my forums on sourceforge.

so one should be able to get some help just in case. Have a look at http://mtirnanic.googlepages.com/

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