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InfoQube versus UltraRecall versus Zoot 6

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Posted by Graham Rhind
Feb 10, 2010 at 05:47 PM


OK, I know I’m going to open up a whole can of worms, so let me just throw this out and see what happens.

I have given up my long search for the perfect knowledge management program, and I’ve been gradually hiving off parts of my work to different programs that do the job for me - tasks to the dreaded Outlook, document archiving and web page content storage to OneNote, certain web page functions to The Brain, my diary back into a trusted Filofax, my authoring in Whizfolders (or The Brain for web publication) and so on.

What I am left with are a set of structured data sets which have been in UltraRecall 3.5 and are now in Zoot 5 because I can text mine very easily with Zoot. 

I am, however, getting disillusioned with Zoot - it is full of idiosyncracies, and Zoot 6 looks like making the whole spaghetti a whole lot worse.

I desperately want InfoQube to be the answer to every prayer I have ever had, but I am finding it frustrating to learn and completely counter-intuitive - everything I think is logical, like tabbing between items or clicking a URL to open it, doesn’t work the way I expect it to.  And though I understand that IQ is item-based and works on creating grids to view data, maybe I’m just a tree man at heart and need some structure that IQ can’t provide. 

I had a look back at UltraRecall today and it felt immediately right, and I understand (after some digging in the past) how it works.  But I remember also all the niggling annoyances of it, poor documentation, unfriendly support (unlike Pierre’s) and so on.

And I wonder which way I should be looking.  So I thought I’d ask the experts: how would you ladies and gentlemen compare IQ, UR and Zoot 6 - what do you feel are the strengths and (remaining) weaknesses of each?  I’d love to be reminded.

Thanks a lot!



Posted by quant
Feb 10, 2010 at 06:44 PM


“UR: poor documentation, unfriendly support”

If I had to review UR, it would definitelly include “great help file” and very fast, to the point support (apart from one misfortunate event we all know about). It’s clear that developers are very “techie” and it shows in both help file and the support, but if sth is unclear, usually people on their forum help.

I openned the online help file just now, everything referenced, clear examples ... , very very goooood :)


Posted by quant
Feb 10, 2010 at 06:54 PM


back to your question:

Zoot: never used, cause it’s text only
IQ: downloaded and installed several times, crashed several times after installation (once it was non-unicode related, other I don’t remember). When it worked, I had similar feelings to the ones you experienced, things were not intuitive to me, I don’t know why. I thought I would move to it after UR “announcement”
UR: my PIM of choice, but waiting for calendar is taking toooo long. On the other hand, it now has very good search capabilities (not as good as dedicated indexed seach programs, but close). Certain operations take longer than some people would like (web import, import of large amount of data, etc), but otherwise, it’s great!


Posted by Ian Goldsmid
Feb 10, 2010 at 10:23 PM


Zoot 6 now has:

Internal Browser
Rich Text Notes
Internal POP & IMAP Email - like Thunderbird
RSS Feeds
Integrated with Dropbox

Completely build from the ground up.

I am now using - and am really happy with it as a comprehensive info manager. 



Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Feb 11, 2010 at 07:34 AM



I think that any kind of comparison between the programs will be ultimately subjective because they are completely different beasts. In my view (knowing that my oversimplification makes no program justice):

- Zoot is mainly an integrated manager for organising information that is mostly already there in some kind of textual (including rich text) form. Its integration with browsing, e-mail, RSS and the like, makes it internet aware, something very important given the “extended desktop” reality in which most of us operate. Zoot’s approach is to do more or less everything itself. It is a smart database, with outlining complementing its database functions, but it is not an outliner.

- UltraRecall is also a manager for organising information that is mostly already there, but is more file-oriented than Zoot. It depends on a tree outline to organise information, which can become overcrowded when dealing with thousands of items. UltraRecall does not try to do everything itself: it doesn’t have (and probably never will have) e-mail, RSS and the like. As a 2-pane outliner it’s arguably the best of its kind.

- InfoQube is a hybrid outliner-database-spreadsheet and its hybrid paradigm is probably the underlying cause of its unintuitiveness. Its numerical functions make it a very powerful business tool; at the same time, its conceptual 1-pane outline approach means that it is also a writing environment. Again, InfoQube does not try to do everything itself, in terms of e-mail and the like.

In terms of learning, I’d say that the learning curve for both InfoQube and Zoot is significant; for both programs people have complained in this forum that they “don’t get it”. UltraRecall benefits from its familiar 2-pane paradigm, though underneath it is similarly complex to the other two. I remember that when it first came out, its default view had several panes open and scared me away.


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