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Am I just dumb, or is RightNote total rubbish?

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Posted by 22111
Jan 16, 2014 at 01:48 PM


Same weird info here: wsp (Bill) considers RN a real good program, up to the point of buying it (except for some bug he spoke about some time ago, without answering the question if that bug persists), and PIMfan speaks of RN 6 whilst the current version seems to be 3.0.6.

Anyway, I trialled it again today, and I must say it’s AWFUL.

1) No clones. Ok, we knew this, it is deemed to have an elaborate tag system instead. Accepted. Problem is, the tag system is not really good, to say the least.

Ok, you can both rename and merge tags, that’s very ok. But assigning tags by kb is not possible, you’ll have to move your move rather extensively. Then, it might appear unbelievable, but it seems it’s impossible to “search” for tag combinations (neither by the tag functionality, nor by the search one, hence the “”).

There are special “folder tags”, i.e. you assign those to sub-headings, let’s say a geographic classification (list of towns), under which then you place your customers, and those “folder tags” will be inherited by the children (here: customers in the respective town), be them present at that time or be them newly created afterwards, and the above renaming/merging functions properly here, too. So all this is very “inviting”.

But then, in real use, tags are a total mess (3 different panes in the special F9 pane just for tags), and in 1 hour’s “work”, with the help of the help file (there is no forum for bauerapps), I wasn’t able to see the horizon here, and it doesn’t seem possible to just see all your items tagged “ab” AND “bc”, let alone better combos, let alone OR: Not even ab AND bc seems to be possible, which means this tagging system is WORTHLESS.

If I just didn’t understand how to do it, please tell me.

2) Then for searching, i.e. the same task as above, but with simili-tags like ab, bc, de, whatever within the text (or #ab, $bc or whatever). Here, the help file doesn’t meet the real program:

“All terms (for FTS only) - Match all terms together or if unchecked then match any term”

So for all possible Boolean search, RN just seems to have AND and OR, the latter being the default.

Well, I switched forth and back from “free” to “Prof trial” (and closed the program in-between) but did NOT see any option “Match all terms” or anything, the search options in both cases just being

Search mode: normal, db, fast
Search in: captions, content
Options: match whole word, match case, exact phrase
Scope: current page, all pages, include protected

That’s all (and there’s an additional button to search, in Prof. version, within all open files/trees).

Then, of course, I try manual searchterm1 AND searchterm2 (and the same with OR), with NO result, since just a searchterm1 searchterm2 will not bring any result either:

Let’s analyze this further: st1 st2 SHOULD bring results whenever there are items containing either st1 OR st2 since that is deemed default, but in reality, no result even here (which means that “exact phrase” seems to be ON anytime, even when it is NOT checked; no result either when there are even items containing BOTH words, but not as a phrase, and this again indicates there is a BIG BUG which makes the “exact phrase” working anytime
I tried this with regular ascii chars, i.e. ab, cd, and such, not even öä, éà or whatever might cause special probs.

So, considering RN is deemed to work on SQLite, which is a very professional albeit tiny db, its search functionality must be declared ABYSMAL.

Or then, I did not understand that the “FTS” = “full text search” has to be triggered in some special way which I didn’t find, so please tell me, but from all I read in the help file, FTS is ON whenever I check those options and then click on the Search button.

3) This is negligeable in light of the above: Many functions ain’t accessible but by mouse.

3a) Ditto: Even in the free version (which seems very “generous”, i.e. not that much crippled, but that’s without interest if even the prof version doesn’t work properly), you can put links to external files into the tree, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to trigger that link but by mouse, again. But then again, in light of 1) and 2) this program seems to be really worthless, in spite of such little goodies as here in 3a (even without kb triggering), or hoisting, or whatever: The core functionality to be expected here doesn’t work properly.

Or then, please tell me how to do it right.


Posted by 22111
Jan 16, 2014 at 02:30 PM


Just in order to clarify: “forth and back” is not possible, the unique installer installs the free version, and once you try the prof version, going back to the free one isn’t possible anymore… except perhaps automatically, after 30 days, but not even that is for sure since the web page says that you must buy the prof version after 30 days. But then, I suppose it will revert to free after 30 days if you don’t buy… but I’m very tempted to kick it out this very first day, so I presumably will never know.

What piece of crap.


Posted by WSP
Jan 16, 2014 at 04:33 PM


You’ve used much more inflammatory language than I would, and I confess I don’t have the time or patience to go through each of your complaints. But I would basically agree with you that RightNote is not terribly satisfactory at the moment. I did buy it earlier, but my two main note-takers are still MyInfo and Evernote.

I have found one excellent use for RightNote, however, that justifies the money I paid for it. I attach PDF files (of which I seem to have a lot nowadays) to RightNote, and it then becomes easy to search the contents of a number of PDFs simultaneously. Once I have linked PDFs to a RightNote “page” (i.e. a subsection of a RN file), RN seems to absorb the PDF’s underlying text (but not the PDF itself) into its own file, so that any searches thereafter show a list of occurrences of a word or phrase in all linked PDFs, in each case with the word or phrase highlighted and in context. I find that extremely useful.

So I’ve left the RightNote icon on my taskbar for that one specialized purpose, and of course I keep an eye on any possible improvements to the program in general. But so far it hasn’t persuaded me to abandon my other note-taking programs.



Posted by PIMfan
Jan 16, 2014 at 05:55 PM


re: ” PIMfan speaks of RN 6 whilst the current version seems to be 3.0.6.”

Typo on my part.  I was looking at RN 3.06 and also at MyInfo 6 at that time and transposed version numbers….


Posted by 22111
Jan 16, 2014 at 07:43 PM



PIMfan, thank you for clarifying.

Bill, thank you for reminding me. It seems the bug you encountered with RN was precisely with its pdf functionality, so it seems to have been sliced out?

What you describe for pdf in RN - if I get well what you say: You just link TO pdf’s BUT in the corresponding link item in RN, the TEXT of the pdf is replicated, AND the respective terms are included are into RN’n index. Ultra Recall functions this way, by option, for some external formats, too (and perhaps for pdf’s also), but this again is another subject, i.e. HOW external formats are integrated in different programs (I tried to have us clarify this some time ago, but with no real success):

a) external file is imported (db is blown up, nobody really wants this)
- several variants similar to those below

b) external file is just linked to, but cannot be searched from within the PIM

c) external file is linked to, and is made searchable from within the PIM, by way of just including all its terms/words into the PIM’s index - we might have a synch prob here (see d))

d) external file is linked to, and its text-only is imported into the link item of the PIM (and hence it profits from any indexing the PIM will have got for internal things, too) - again, we might have a synch prob, i.e. will the PIM monitor whenever you open the external document (aa) from within the PIM, bb) from within its original applic), reenter its text, and thus rebuild the index? Here in d) aa) that might be simple, but bb) is less simple, and the similar problem in the c) case will probably be left out by most developers anyway. Of interest here: The developer could make his PIM CHECK the file data of all files linked to from within the PIM, whenever the user triggers a special command for this (“update links” or such).

Of course the synch problem is not there for read-only pdf’s.


My point with RN is

- A db-based PIM must make profit the user from the db layout, i.e. we accept in text-based db’s that we don’t have clones, tags and other goodies very difficult to realize in such formats, but for db-based PIM, all this becomes easily available to the developer, so he should make it available to the user. Hence my asking more from RN than from some simple TreeNotes 3 (or from Jot Plus).

- The same is true for more elaborate searching, since Boolean search is much simpler to realize with an index, and the index, in turn, with a db. This also applies to the existence or not of a “hit table”, and indeed, RN HAS got a hit table, similar to MyInfo, but such a hit table is not that useful if you cannot combine several terms from one item within your search. To clarify: I could perfectly understand that the developer takes such a feature out of the free version, but even the prof. one seems to be both crippeled and buggy, Even (non-db) Jot Plus’ search functionality is way better than is RN’s.

- And the same is true for tagging: Here again, it’s the db concept that makes this “possible” and easy. So RN’s got tagging, and multiple tags, of course, but then, you can’t gather several items into a group that combines several such tags: It seems to be impossible to gather, e.g., several “big” customers (with size tag 3 out of 1, 2, 3), from several towns (in the above example), let alone have a third or fourth tag, e.g. such customers but in a certain industry only, and which you should contact again this month (presuming you have some 6 or 12 different “contact again” tags for the months to come).

- And as said above, this is not possible with tags, and it’s not possible with search either since the search doesn’t allow for AND (and not even for OR - this MUST be a bug!)

So RN does not offer any “db advantage” to the user, except for the “hit table”... from which then you’ll manually pick those items that meet your additional search terms that RN doesn’t let you enter into its db search.

That’s devoid of sense. Btw, about 2 years ago, I had trialled RN, and now I remember very well that even then, it already had its weird 3-panes-for-tags-alone, but no possibility to “search” for a tag combi.

In short, they do a db-based PIM, and so you think you’ll get a db-based PIM, i.e. one offering the usual functionality going with such a thing, and then you won’t get that, or only in minor parts: indexing of external docs is there, ok.

But Bill, even for your external pdf M:
- The above-mentioned search bugs should apply!
- Not speaking of tagging external pdf’s and then wanting to search for combos of those, which could come very handy but isn’t possible with RN.
- And isn’t it awful to have to click on the view button, in the content frame, for viewing every single pdf, instead of there being a shortkey which’d allow for just getting to it from browsing within the tree? (But no control/shift/alt-Enter or such will do.)


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