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CRIMP Defined




Notes in one place - Wrong?

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Posted by Glen Coulthard
Mar 3, 2012 at 08:28 PM


It’s interesting to me that these conversations often reflect David Allen’s GTD principle of selecting a “trusted system” (but not necessarily a single system, if I’m not mistaken.)

A trusted system for me is one in which I am confident that:

1. my data is secure (stable)—buggy “beta” software can’t be “trusted,”
2. my data is accessible—proprietary programs and data storage systems scare me,
3. the data is findable—there’s nothing more important than good search functionality,
4. the process (usability factor) is fast and efficient—if it’s not easy I won’t keep using it,
5. the software will continually improve—long cycles & unresponsive developers scare me,
6. the software will continue to be fun and enjoyable (e.g., I like using TheBrain; it’s cool!)

So, for me, I use the following “trusted software systems” daily (in other words, they meet most, if not all, of the above conditions). As a disclaimer and for general usage background, I’m an author (of textbooks, not novels), business professor, and consultant—so, your mileage may vary.

1. ConnectedText - Rock solid stability, great for capturing text and linking thoughts, ideas, and resources; exports to html, good search, & responsive developer
2. TheBrain - Easy to use, great for storing links, making connections, and quick capture; indexes web pages and PDFs for great search; lousy for text heavy stuff
3. MindManager - Great for mapping out my ideas, thoughts, and overall brainstorming that can’t be done with previous two
4. Citavi - Top notch bibliographic software for academic research (if you need it, this one rocks!)
5. WebResearch - Fantastic program for web clipping and bookmarking; amazing reproduction of stored web pages/clippings
6. CintaNotes - Kind of an Evernote-lite; for quick text notes I store the entire program in DropBox and access it from multiple machines for quick notes
7. ListPro - All of my software purchases or other lists are stored in this customizable database program; great for store-and-forget record-oriented stuff
8. Evernote - With my tablet, I like taking handwritten notes in Evernote that are stored and synced across all my computers, but I don’t store everything here (like they want me to)

The applications that I use less often, but that are still important to my overall system:

1. MyInfo - Good for outlining and developing drafts of writing projects; useful when the tree outline is the important part
2. MyNotesKeeper - Not as strong for outlining as MyInfo, but better at handling graphics within notes and storing/managing attachments
3. Scrivener - When I move a draft into a more polished writing mode, I’m starting to use Scrivener for Windows (jury’s still out though)
4. Atlas.ti - Academic research tool for annotating and analyzing text documents (e.g., Word docs and PDFs)
5. Biblioscape - Academic bibliographic tool that I used prior to Citavi; I still have lots of captured notes and reference data stored here
Applications that show promise, but I haven’t yet (or have chosen not to) adopt fully in my workflow:

1. Surfulater - Purchased back when it was actively being developed, but it never met expectations set by MacroPool’s WebResearch
2. MemoMaster - Purchased because of strong text processing (great implementation of RichView control), but weak development cycle
3. TreeProjects - Purchased because of ability to index PDF attachments (MyInfo & MyNotesKeeper cannot do this), but weak text processing
4. InfoQube - Long beta; confusing UI, but very interesting promised feature-set (watching, but nowhere close to being a “trusted” system)
5. RightNote - One of the better outliner/notetaking apps; good text processing and search, but doesn’t exceed best features of other apps
6. Mendeley - Academic bilbiographic software that is cloud-based (which is nice, but provides less features than Citavi or Biblioscape)

Well, that’s my story this week anyway! Hope it helps someone make sense of all these tools that my CRIMPing nature has explored over the years.