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Holiday reflections

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Posted by jaslar
Dec 24, 2014 at 08:38 PM

 

First, happy holidays, everyone.

Second, my thanks. I check this site probably three times a day, and find it consistently cogent and on point. This is what an online community is supposed to look like. I appreciate your keeping it real.

Third, I wonder if I could ask members to reflect on how your software behavior changed over 2014. That is, while CRIMPing away, did you in fact make significant shifts in your outlinersoftware application tool chest or use of it?

For me:

- a longstanding Notecase Pro user, I still think it reigns supreme in its mix of features for me (a thinking, writing, and journal tool). Use it on Windows, Mac, Linux. But my desktop use has dropped; mobile use (Nexus 7 and iPad) has risen. The Android version just doesn’t cut it. No iPad version.

- LOTS more use of Workflowy. A lot of my work is migrating here. Why? I think it’s the deep but simple interface, plus speed. It doesn’t get in the way.

- SimpleNote works for me in many ways: capturing short notes, and even writing short pieces (online journalism). Again, I love the stripped down, zenware UI. Tagging isn’t outlining. But it’s not bad. ResophNotes on Windows is pretty slick, which I sync to SimpleNote.

- a specialized (running for elected professional office) but intense use of TreePad on Windows and Outliner on Android. An odd coupling, but handy and effective. It doesn’t seem to be growing beyond that particular life circumstance, though.

- moo.do really helped me crystalize the big picture. I was then able to move the results over to Worfklowy, but I find that I keep dipping into moo.do to fiddle with it. I think it will BECOME a keeper.

- WriteRoom pooped out on iOS. Plaintext is still a wonderful tool for writing, especially with Dropbox integration. But I don’t live in it.

On the horizon for 2015:

- very intrigued by markdown with code folding.

- Google seems to be always more compelling as a platform. Workflowy, Simplenote, moo.doo, and maybe some markdown editors, plus Google Docs, starts to look pretty complete.

What about your own shifts?

 


Posted by Stephen Zeoli
Dec 25, 2014 at 12:07 PM

 

Jaslar, et. al.,

Thank you for the holiday wishes. I totally agree with you about this forum. It is a shining example of how the Internet should work and seldom does. Like you, I truly value the friends who gather here!

How my “outliner” use has changed over the course of 2014?

It feels as if there hasn’t been anything new which is all that system-rattling, at least on computers. There has been some great stuff on iPad that I’ve enjoyed, but nothing that has really changed the way I work. Consequently, I’ve been less “experimenty” than in the past. I’m leaning more heavily on TheBrain than ever. It’s not a perfect app by any means, but I seem to click with its scheme, and that it is cross-platform is key.

I am looking forward to the releases of Scrivener and Ulysses for the iPad in 2015. And I am hoping Tinderbox 6 will continue to be refined (as of now, I just haven’t warmed up to it).

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all the folks on this forum.

Steve Z.

 


Posted by Paul Korm
Dec 25, 2014 at 01:55 PM

 

I agree with Stephen Zeoli’s overall assessment—I believe that on desktops in 2014 not much is new from a CRIMPing perspective. 

On OS X, in 2015 I will be looking forward to a possible new version of DEVONthink (speculating on hints dropped on that forum).  Also, perhaps better integration with iOS—especially Ulysses for iOS (announced and expected “in a few weeks”) and Scrivener. 

In 2015 and beyond, purely because of the small footprint and portability, I would like to do more work on iPad—but anything that involves sustained research and gathering a corpus of notes, annotations, and original sources is not yet as easy to manage on iPad as it is on the desktop.

Stephen Zeoli wrote
> It feels as if there hasn’t been anything new which is all that system-rattling, at least on computers.

 


Posted by Hugh
Dec 25, 2014 at 06:18 PM

 

Season’s greetings to all, but in particular to jaslar, Steve Z. and Paul Korm above.

I agree that there appear to be no great exciting seismic shifts in software on the horizon (although the force of the onward March of Markdown is in some ways quite remarkable - not particularly corporate in origin, not even especially mercantile in motivation, but apparently highly effective in making converts). Seen in the wider sweep, the recent past in terms of utility also seems unrevolutionary: Windows 8, though I probably use it too seldom to judge, seems to me to represent change for the sake of change, and Yosemite not to be a huge step forward.

Personally, I’ve recently taken more of an interest in how I write, not just in how I structure what I write (the motivation for my original interest in this forum). It seems to me that dictation to a Windows or Mac machine and voice-to-text are significantly less error-prone and much easier to use than they were, whether with Nuance’s products or the Windows or Mac dictation features. Although users still often give the software-providers a hard time, my impression is that the complaints are fewer, and the praise more frequent; such are the improvements that have been made, it’s hard to recall quite how frustrating using such software was, ten or fifteen years ago.

But because I’ve always believed - from experience long ago in churning out many thousands of words a week at work - that ideas forming words should best pass through the fingers and a pen or pencil in order to reach the page, and have this year had that prejudice semi-supported by brain research (see, for example, if you haven’t already http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/03/science/whats-lost-as-handwriting-fades.html?_r=0), I’ve long hoped that handwriting recognition would move forward as quickly as voice recognition. But on my recent experience - no such luck. (I could - and do - handwrite and then dictate.)

Next year perhaps.


.

 


Posted by WSP
Dec 25, 2014 at 07:43 PM

 

The major shift for me in the past year is that I have finally given up on Evernote. I was growing increasingly uneasy about its roadmap, but the last straw was that when I bought a Surface Pro 3 in October, Evernote would not sync to it. For two months now I’ve been corresponding with the Evernote support staff, but so far no one has come up with a solution. Because I’m in the midst of a large scholarly project (in collaboration with my wife), I finally pulled the plug and started shifting thousands of notes from Evernote over to OneNote earlier this month. It’s the worst software crisis I’ve ever had in my life, and it will probably be several more weeks before I complete the transition.

I continue to hope that MyInfo (which I like very much) may eventually represent another solution. I am still keeping all my notes for another unfinished book in MyInfo, and I would prefer, if possible, to use it more in the future. The two things holding me back are that (a) at the moment it’s not really a practical tool for collaboration, and (b) I can’t find an easy way to move notes from Evernote to MyInfo. (For the Evernote-OneNote transfers, I am using an excellent utility app called Onetastic.)

 


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