Notebox Disorganizer Tries To Organize Your Notes

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.

14 comments

  1. Hi and thanx for visiting and commenting. Notebox Disorganizer is great and fun too. Geocities certainly made its disappearing act with a few promises (proper content exporting tool to name one) broken.

  2. I tried it from the google link (thanks Mark!). I last used it on an XP machine.
    Seems to work okay, except when closing (win7 x64) – if you save, you’re okay, if not you’re in trouble cause the dialogue keeps coming back at you. Eventually you’ve got to save, or kill. So, still usable. (Anothor limitation is that tab separated text all gets pasted into one cell.) A good one to have, great to see it still downloadable.

  3. Update – N.D. was running in the background, for some reason I opened Task Manager (well, Process Explorer) and there were (estimated – but I’m not exaggerating) at least fifty [50!] instances of it running. I started hitting delete and enter to confirm, as quick as possible in case they were reproducing – luckily they weren’t, and I was able to close all. I wont try it again in a hurry though :-/
    (as above: Win.7 x64)

  4. Thanks for the comments Tom, I will try to contact the author if I can find a working contact address. Since it hasn’t been developed in many years I guess the chances of any fix are low I guess.

  5. Nobody writes such ingenious, tiny but packed with features little note-taking programs. It seems that all the cute stuff in the category was written in Delphi. Unfortunately all these little gems- CodeBank, GoldenSection Notes, KeyNote, minipad2, NotesHolder, QuotePad, etc, seem to be abandoned long time ago. About Notebox Disorganizer, what prevents it to be useful for me is that it cannot detect links (URLs, mailto links).

  6. The current state of note taking is far too often online tools or – in my opinion – strangely Mac/iOS. As an interested end user I check sites like outlinersoftware only to find Mac/iOS software.

  7. @RG

    My mote-taking setup is painful and convoluted. On desktop I use different programs for different stuff but the problem is when I take notes on Android, currently I use Simplenote on Android and third party clients on desktop for synchronization- AlephNote/ResophNotes because the native Simplenote client for Windows is Electron junk. Once I get my mobile notes on desktop via AlephNote/ResophNotes, I organize them in other programs but I waste a lot of time in the process. I plan to switch from Simplenote to Standard Notes but its desktop client is also Electron junk, which means that for synchronization I will still have to rely upon AlephNote/ResophNotes, which might be abandoned. I haven’t yet researched ownCloud for taking notes.

  8. I do too have notes all over the place and I have wasted too much time trying to find something simple yet useful that covers different uses for notes and reminders. For a while I was dropping text into Google Keep which has proven to be a waste because things just get lost and forgotten, similar issue with Simplenote. I have even resorted into emailing myself notes and labeling emails as tagged items. Overall it’s a mess for sure.

  9. Some minutes ago I came across a surprisingly nice little notes manager- TomiNote, which is both cross platform (it runs on Linux and Windows) and open source (https://github.com/tomitomy/TomiNote). The features are listed below the screen shots. The releases page is empty so in order to get it go to release folder, click on TomiNote_v1.1.7z and download it, the archive contains both the Linux and the Windows releases. The program is written in Free Pascal and compiled with Lazarus. It is fully portable as all data and settings are saved in sub-folders inside program folder. I suppose that you might be interested to have a look at it since it is portable, light and cross platform. It is most likely abandones as the last commits were made 4 years ago. I might ask the developer for the project status and if he intends to work on TomiNote in the future I might suggest several enhancements. You might also like to have a look at the animated screen shot I created (https://i.postimg.cc/fTC9xw9C/Tomi-Note-1-1-2022-04-30-010.png). What it lacks is links detection which is essential for me.

  10. Very interesting find, thanks for commenting about it and the animation. Will download and look at it.

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