Why do you use Info Select?
Posted by Justin Pietsch
Jul 23, 2006 at 03:21 AM
For those who like and use Info Select I have to ask, why? I keep trying Info Select and feel like I’m not cool enough to figure out why I would use it over other programs. I’m currently trying out IS9 and don’t find it compelling enough to keep.
What is it that makes you end up using IS?
Is it the all-in-one approach? Is it a specific feature that works better than in other programs? Is it some combination of features?
I like the outline, but it’s not nearly good enough, and especially after using ADMs much more powerful outline I can’t make myself want to use IS outlines. Especially that there is a difference between a topic and a note. I often what to write up notes about a parent node in an outline.
People often talk about it’s search functionality. But I can’t figure out what about it’s search is better than in other programs. The smart folders in version 9 are pretty cool, and I’ve only seen similar in zoot.
How do people store lots of information in IS? Do you end up not really worrying about where exactly in the outline it ends up and rely on search? For those with lots of information in IS, what kind of information do you put? Lots of random bits? Highly structured bits? Notes, thoughts, etc all together.
I know why I don’t like it, but I want to know why I should *LIKE* it. And of course I understand that with software like this it is very personal and people use it very differently, which is why I want to know how people who like IS use it.
Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Jul 24, 2006 at 01:16 PM
Justin Pietsch wrote:
>For those who like and use Info Select I have to ask, why?
Actually, I don’t use it. For me, the question is why do I keep upgrading to the new versions? Well, aside from my CRIMP factor, there are a few other reasons I keep thinking I’m going to use InfoSelect. These are as follows:
1. Of all the tree-based PIMs, its tree (Selector, in IS parlance) is the most appealing. I like the ability to insert columns. I like the arrow icons… reminds me of the old days using Acta on a Mac.
2. The search is very fast and reliable.
3. The ability to insert databases and spreadsheets in my notes is appealing.
4. It has a rudimentary outlining capability built into the editor.
5. Basically, IS provides such a range of tools that it is hard to resist it if you have a bad case of CRIMP.
Anyway, I think the above reasons are why I SHOULD like InfoSelect. So why don’t I use it? Two reasons:
1. I find the editor very clunky.
2. But the main one is that, like all tree-based PIMS, I find myself overwhelmed by the complexity of the tree after a while. Yes, IS has some tools that allow you to manage what you view in the Selector—folders and views—but I didn’t find these all that effective.
Posted by Franz Grieser
Jul 24, 2006 at 03:15 PM
I use Info Select
a) because I have over 10 years of notes in it and do not want to move that amount of data to a new tool. I exported the notes for one project to a notes database on the Macintosh (Devonthink Pro), which took me more than a day. However, had I been capable of programming Applescript or the Devonthink scripting language, importing might have taken only a few minutes as compared to the several hours it took me to do it manually.
b) because of the ingenious and fast search feature. You wrote you couldn’t figure out why users are so fond of the Search feature in IS - I guess this is because you only looked at the Find command (in the Edit menu), the Search command (press F5) is what makes IS so good.
c) because of the Smart Folders: They make navigating the tree, which was cumbersome before, really easy for me.
But I should add that I use IS only for storing notes: I do not use the email, the calendar, the editor or the outlining feature - I have separate tools for that. I’d rather have a stripped-down version of IS without all the stuff I don’t use.
Posted by Captain CowPie
Jul 24, 2006 at 06:25 PM
I had just posted something about why I like InfoSelect to the Outline PIM group, and have copied some of that below:
Like many people on this list I have gone through many information managers that have gone out of business, including Pack Rat and Ecco. Micro Logic has been around since the 1980’s and should still be here next decade.
Unlike many people, I love IS’ email capabilities. It is great having all the emails of a person with all of their other information. I find this especially useful while implementing GTD. Being able to segment emails into many different deliveries makes my life a lot easier.
3. Fast Search
Info Select has arguably one of the best searches anywhere. You can even search your web cache to find a page you were on weeks ago.
4. Ease of Use
Info Select is pretty easy to use when you first dive in. Most people can learn to store basic information with minimal training. Sometimes the advanced features will take longer to learn, but getting up and running is fast and easy.
5. Multiple Data Types
IS stores almost all of the data types I need including spreadsheets, email, databases, images and more. With the ability to store web pages in the new release, I usually am not wanting for data types.
With extensive backups and the relative stability of the program, IS keeps my data safe.
My main reason for using InfoSelect is because I get everything in one program, including emails. That is probably not for everyone. Right now I think IS is unique in that it can be a complete PIM with calendar, email, web browsing, database, etc. ADM might catch up in this respect in version 5. Btw, has anyone else noticed that the ADM Yahoo Group is gone?
>the outline, but it’s not nearly good enough, and especially after using ADMs much
>more powerful outline I can’t make myself want to use IS outlines. Especially that
>there is a difference between a topic and a note. I often what to write up notes about a
>parent node in an outline.
I agree that you should be able to nest things under a note. I hope that changes in the next version. But you can easily change a note into a topic and back at any time.
>People often talk about it’s search functionality. But I
>can’t figure out what about it’s search is better than in other programs. The smart
>folders in version 9 are pretty cool, and I’ve only seen similar in zoot.
The search is fast and can search just about any way you would want. I never have trouble finding things in IS.
>people store lots of information in IS? Do you end up not really worrying about where
>exactly in the outline it ends up and rely on search? For those with lots of information
>in IS, what kind of information do you put? Lots of random bits? Highly structured
>bits? Notes, thoughts, etc all together.
I usually store things in specific places, not randomly. However, I do have some random storage places as well. As for what I store, everything imaginable. All contact information, emails, calendar items etc. Plus things like packing lists, itineraries, journals, articles, book ideas, business ideas, business invoices, proposals, moving information, self improvement ideas,domain names, any random ideas, etc. Pretty much anything I can think of goes in IS.
I think Micro Logic gets bashed pretty often about customer interaction, and in some ways they deserve it. But they often do not get credit for things they do right. One thing about IS is the small little things that are thought out so well. You find yourself doing something that goes smoothly and don’t even realize how easy it was. And then, of course, there are things that drive you nuts ;)
But overall, IS stores just about everything that I want, and does so pretty well. Some areas need polishing, but I am confident that Micro Logic will be around to fix those in the future, which I wouldn’t feel comfortable saying about a lot of other companies out there.
Posted by Gary N
Jul 25, 2006 at 05:37 AM
What “Outline PIM group” are you referring to?