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.

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Mar 112013
 

Grab a copy of PCWinSoft’s SuperLauncher, normally $29.95. Click the link below, fill in your email and details to get the activation key.

SuperLauncher (Version: 1.9.3.00) is a program launcher and also a task scheduler and reminder. It can help make computer usage somewhat more efficient.

SuperLauncher

After installation it can be accessed via its tray icon, or if enabled, its floating icon on the desktop. By default it includes some common shortcuts. These shortcuts include calculator, command prompt, recycle bin, notepad, restart computer, shut down computer and shortcuts to yahoo, msn, google and others. Most of these already have a hot key assigned to them, shown in the program’s Shortcut Manager. These hot keys are editable using the Edit button.

New shortcuts are added by clicking the New button then typing a name, choosing one of application, file, folder, website, batch file, reminder message  or insert text and then setting parameters as applicable. When adding a file, folder, batch file or application shortcut use the Get button to browse to its path. Test any shortcuts with the Execute option (either right click on the entry to access the option or use the menu in the program’s Shortcut Manager ) and then set its hot keys, delete it and schedule it the same way.

The reminder message provides a pop up at the scheduled time if the Popup button is pressed or active when it is shown (see image below) . It can be set to a recurring reminder via the Advanced key in the scheduling window. When an insert text is created use the Ctrl+Win+left mouse buttons to activate a popup menu that lists the text configured with SuperLauncher.

SuperLauncher

There is brief tutorial available at first launch or anytime via its tray icon. SuperLauncher can export and import its database for backup and restore, is available in six languages and works on Windows 2000 and newer.

Giveaway link:
http://www.pcwinsoft.com/promotion/RGdotSP/registration.asp

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Jan 282013
 

GloboNote (Version: 1.3) is a sticky notes program that is based on Java and therefore multi-platform. It doesn’t require installation and adds a few features to make it a bit more than a simple collection of sticky notes.

GloboNote

Right click or double click the tray icon to create new sticky notes, the sticky note will use the current time as its title but the title can be changed with a double click on the title area – and requires the Enter key for the change to take effect. A single click on the title area rolls up the note up to minimize it.

Right click within any note to access its features and customizations. The features include the ability to assign a note to a (recurring) alarm and reminder.  GloboNote also features some basic rich text options plus image and file attachments. Images and files can be local or web based and the web based can be saved locally if required. Notes can be assigned to groups and be in hidden, parked or visible states per group, individually or altogether. Parked status doesn’t seem to be different than any other user created group, they are probably meant as a temporary or already available group. There is a built-in calculator that will work when mathematical calculations are entered followed by the F2 key. Notes can be printed and exported into txt files. Each note can be individually colored as well using its own Prefereces (sic).

An import option is listed when right clicking within a note but it seems to be missing as of this version. A look at the program preferences reveals more empty areas, perhaps reserved for future versions (The Security and Keys & Sounds tabs are two currently unavailable sections in the preferences). Other preferences include options to detect links, highlight the active note, change look and feel of the program much other Java based programs, change the date format, change the default note appearance, not use the time/date as the default note title and more.

GloboNote

Using the advanced tab of the preferences it is possible to change the location of the notes ‘repository’ to perhaps move it to the program’s own folder instead of burying it in system’s AppData folder. GloboNote works on any system that has Java 6 or higher installed.

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Oct 292012
 

Desktop iCalendar Lite (Version: 1.9.6.1) is a small calendar and to do program that sits on the desktop. Its lite version features to do and event lists besides its configurable calendar. It supports multiple calendars so one can have public holidays, personal calendar (including iCalendar support) and public google calendar displayed together.

Desktop iCalendar Lite

Using the plus buttons – visible when hovering over their respective windows or sections –  one can add events and to do items. Events can have summary, description, date range, category (icon), alarm and recurrence. To do items can have summary, description, start and due dates, category and reminder. Calendar days with events are shown in a different color. Hovering over a day with an event offers a tool tip style summary of the event and clicking on a day with one shows the text associated with the event inside the events docked window.

Several themes are available. Font, color, background and transparency of each can be configured to make it more individual. The to do and events windows can be turned off in the program’s settings.

Desktop iCalendar Lite should run on Windows XP and newer. Note that while testing it I noticed that it was trying to sync – the tray icon would change – when there shouldn’t be anything to sync with. Using the tray icon menu —> Calendars I turned off all calendars except the local one created for testing but it seemed to try to want to sync.

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Aug 102012
 

PNotes (Version: 9.0.110) is a sticky notes program, while cluttering the desktop with notes is not always the optimal method of keeping reminders and other text PNotes does it well and allows the user to easily hide the sticky notes and maintain a clear the desktop.

PNotes

PNotes’ features are accessible via a right click on its tray icon. To begin one can create a note, loads saved notes, create a note from the contents of the system clipboard or create a diary note. The latter features a configurable date format as its title. All note configuration options are accessible by right clicking inside a note or on its top or bottom section (title and toolbar sections respectively.)

Notes can be favorited and assigned to groups so that they can be managed in batches, for example different colors or different visibility added to a more than one sticky note at a time. Notes can be rolled, unrolled, tagged and linked together as well. They can also include images.

PNotes has extensive preferences, hotkey support and a control panel. The latter is like a central repository to manage the sticky notes. The preferences includes settings for transparency, font and the visibility of the toolbar – which include controls for text color, bullet lists and others – on the sticky note itself. Skin support is complete with width, height, color, padding settings just to name a few. Ready made skins can be downloaded as well.

Sound or note centering (to bring a note to one’s attention) is part of PNotes’ scheduling or reminder feature, a reminder can be added by right clicking on the bottom or top section of the note. Docking is a useful feature to move notes into different sides of the screen and adjust their distance.

PNotes offers extensive number of options in how notes behave and how to interact with the program. Forcing new notes on top, double clicking on the tray icon to create new note, using notes contents as its default name and many more. Protection is another important part of PNotes. Notes can be password protected either individually or as a group, they can be encrypted and automatically backed up. PNotes can also synchronize notes between a USB key and a local machine automatically. Notes can be pushed and pulled to and from a FTP server to be synchronized with local versions. The Misc tab in the preferences has option to launch a web search with a note’s text as the query or to open external programs.

PNotes

PNotes’ control panel shows or previews notes that are in the program’s database. Here one can create notes, change note group icons, launch the built-in back up or synchronization feature, export chosen notes as text files or search inside notes.

Hotkeys can be applied to almost any action. The most important one for this user is the ability to quickly hide or show all notes. Of the many hotkey choices available the show/hide section is probably most useful.

PNotes is available with or without an installer and should work on all Windows versions. Spell checking using the Hunspell library can be downloaded and used, the program as a whole can be password protected as well.

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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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Aug 122011
 

JC&MB Quicknote (Version: 5.5 as of this post) is a little program with a not so modern interface that is nevertheless a useful notes organizer or scrapbook. It offers a few additional tools and an efficient launch method that make it a bit more usable.

Quicknote

When installed Quicknote remains always close at hand by placing a narrow gray strip on top of the screen. Just hover the mouse over that strip and Quicknote animates into view. The location of the strip can be changed and also a hotkey can be added for keyboard users (see image).

By default it offers four note areas where a drawing tool is available as well. The extra features available via either the program toolbar or menu are a calculator, unit convertor, reminder with alarm, program launcher, screen distance calculator and also a ‘send text through a network’. The latter is probably best explained by watching one of the tutorial videos available on the author’s site at http://quicknote.de/help/network.php?lang=en

The program is still in development as witnessed by activity in its bug tracker page. It should run on all Windows versions.

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Jan 032011
 

Calender Magic

Calendar Magic is not a new program, it is at version 17.7 now and its history can be traced back to 1995. Its interface is not the most elegant but that doesn’t detract from what it offers.

Some of its features follow but there is more and playing with the program indeed reveals lots more.

Quick Notes for holding text. 15 numbered sheets are available which can be renamed to more descriptive titles.

Reminders. Three types are available, one which defines a repeatable day and month alarm. A second that lets the user pick things like every first Sunday of the month and lastly a third type to set alarms for day(s) of the month.

A reaction timer and stop watch (See Time menu)

A ‘This is your life’ feature (see Dates menu) which provides a lot information about any birth date.

Gregorian and 30 other calendars from the likes of Persian Astronomical to Baha’i and more. These can be viewed in ‘dual’ or ‘comparison’ mode to compare days with the Gregorian. Additionally a date conversion tool to show what any date would be in other calenders. Also a ‘number of days between’ calculator.

A list of holidays or ‘observed’ days for many countries.

Several ‘Planning Calendars’ that lay out dates in a way useful to bankers, teachers and others.

Solar and lunar phase and eclipse data for any year up to the year 3000. Sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset for many locations.

World clock to show up to 12 world times together. Many more current local times including distance calculations.

A rather comprehensive unit converter. Many calculators (scientific, fraction, statistic, Body Mass Index, Ovulation and others) in the Utilities menu.

Discovering Calendar Magic’s features is a fun exercise. Virtually every screen can be printed and Calendar Magic should run on all Windows versions going back to Windows 95.

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Dec 132010
 

Todomoo calls itself a todo manager. It is primarily aimed at keeping track of schedules for paid projects but it can be used as a simple to do list as well.

Todomoo’s interface is a tab like presentation with each category having its own tab. Tasks belonging to each or all categories can be viewed by clicking on their respective tabs. Tasks are added via the New Task button (or from the program menu: Task —> New Task) and assigned a category, name, description, color and priority. Additionally the new task window offers options to add creation, due and completed dates plus a timer to keep track of time spent on the task. Keeping track of payments is made easy by assigning per hour rates and a due date. Multiple notes can also be added to tasks with the tabbed interface indicating how many notes exists for any particular one.

Todomoo also supports sub tasks. These are made somewhat more useful because sub tasks can keep their own timers and payment details separate from the main or parent task. Those details can then be added and included when a parent task is complete.

Tasks can be exported to a *.csv (comma separated value) file. Todomoo can keep backups of its SQLite database. It is available in both installer and portable versions.

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Nov 222010
 

UK's Kalendar

UK’s Kalender is a no frills program that is a calendar, to do list and event reminder in one. It presents a list view for to do items independent of events that can be entered into the calendar which itself is available in week, fortnight, month and year views.

UK’s Kalender minimizes into the system tray to always be available for reminders and their associated popups. These alarms also have a snooze function. Events can have templates – complete with icon and color choices – and categories associated with them and UK’s Kalender supports recurring and multiday events. Tool tips, when hovering over events, show the complete event information.

Double clicking inside any day or in the to do list triggers the window to enter the details of an event and choose its looks, start date, end date, alarm settings and for the to do list also its priority setting. Both the to do list and calendar events also support attachments which will be opened or executed with the event and therefore turn UK’s Kalender into an automatic task scheduler.

UK’s Kalender has a useful search and filter function to pin down specific events, it can do text back ups and export to a comma separated value (*.CSV) file or an HTML file. It supports holiday information via additional downloads. It runs on Windows 98SE up to Windows 7.

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