• NotesMan — It’s the simple things

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    FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT By Deanna McElveen Need a program that excels at doing just one thing? Look no further. Last week, we discussed Jochanan Agam’s Inf
    [See the full post at: NotesMan — It’s the simple things]

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    • #2422379

      Even better, use Simplenote (https://simplenote.com/). It does all the things Notesman does except Groups, but it does way more: it automatically syncs your notes across devices! You can run it on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and in your browser. For me, it’s way more useful than having notes locked to a particular device. It’s free, so I guess it counts as freeware. Check it out.

    • #2422428

      Windows Notepad isn’t that bad. Mostly I use it to clear formatting or jot a quick cut and paste for email (avoids oopsie sends). Otherwise I use OneNote for notes.

      But for dealing with large text files, I use Notepad++ since it is better suited for programming. It offers line numbers, allows multiple notes to be open in tab format, and deals extremely well with large text files. For example, I have a 43MB file I import to Access. Notepad++ opens this file instantly if I need to do corrections or additions.

    • #2422439

      You can always use OneNote. It is free and multi-platform. It is as simple or complex as you wish. You can start very simply with just notes and add more if you need it.


      • #2422780

        Why would I want to use a program to emulate a large notebook that my laptop already is? I wonder what a note-taking program can do that I can’t already do with my laptop?

        • #2422863

          You can accomplish the same things with your current PC without OneNote or something similar. BUT, unless the Computer OEM or OS vendor supplies a more fully-featured program such as OneNote, you’d have to use multiple programs to accomplish the same things. For instance, a very simple text program might not support graphics. Management of the information becomes more complex, time-consuming, and error-prone.


          • #2422972

            Let me see if I understand. Most of my files are .docx, .xlsx, .jpg, .png, .txt, and .pdf files (produced from .docx or .xlsx files or downloaded as.pdfs, often with comments embedded in them), and web-based shortcuts (or web-based info cut and pasted into Word documents), all organized into a hierarchical folder structure, which IS my notebook on a laptop. So, hypothetically, I could do everything in OneNote that I do in Word and Excel?

            Will OneNote do the math that Excel does? or do the outlining (and automatic numbering) that Word does?

        • #2423171

          If you are talking about just storage of material – you are right, that is, as far as I know you can keep everything in some findable location on your C drive.  But the chief advantage of a “OneNote” binder is how material is added to the binder(s).  For example, either a portion or the entire content of any web page can be quickly grabbed and stashed into a binder.  Also, the “print” function from within an application, instead of being directed to a printer, can be directed to a specific binder.  “OneNote” is hugely more powerful than Google Keep.  “OneNote” simplifies the daily activities of the typical student.

          • #2423207

            Your post is very helpful. Still wondering if OneNote or NotesMan will do the math in a note that calls for calculations (as Excel does)?  And will OneNote or NotesMan do outlining in a note that calls for it (as Word does)?  Or more broadly, does OneNote or NoteMan have any Excel-like and any Word-like functions built into it?

            • #2423233

              OneNote can do a lot of different formatting. BUT, it is not intended to replace the full product versions of Word, Excel, etc. It is primarily intended to be a note-taking and organizational tool where you can imbed disparate types of data into a single notebook.

              See OneNote help & learning – Microsoft Support for more detailed information of OneNote.


            • #2423241

              “Or more broadly, does OneNote or NoteMan have any Excel-like and any Word-like functions built into it?”

              For OneNote:
              The short answer is “Yes – mostly.”

              Take for example Excel.  You can insert a blank spreadsheet on any page of a OneNote binder, then work with it exactly as you would with Excel.  [But actually the new spreadsheet is not part of the OneNote file, but is a reference to an Excel file that lives outside your OneNote file.  The Excel file can live at any location that you choose on the C drive.]  Personnally, I have found OneNote interactions with Excel to be clever and very useful.

              Word and PowerPoint can be inserted and worked with similarly to what is described above for Excel.

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            • #2423255

              OK. One more question. I’m thinking that if OneNote goes haywire for some reason, then all of the notes could be lost (i.e., it doesn’t know where any of the notes are or if it knows where they are, it can’t retrieve them, or …)

              I experimented with Notes Keeper and found that to be true.

            • #2423343
              1. When you initially set OneNote you will set the location for the master file(s).  Mine are located on my C drive, thus they are included in my own backup strategy.  The location for the Master File and OneNote backup files is confusing to me.
              2. OneNote has Excel capability.
              3.  OneNote does not seem to have the “advanced” Word capabilities such as Outlining.  But, you can include a link in a OneNote binder to an external Word File.
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    • #2422448

      You can always use OneNote. It is free and multi-platform. It is as simple or complex as you wish. You can start very simply with just notes and add more if you need it.

      That’s what I came here to say. I said exactly the same thing about last week’s suggestion of Info-Base. OneNote is much better and more elegant that both Info-Base and NotesMan, because it’s a free cross-platform app, storing its notes in the cloud where they sync with OneNote on iMacs, Macbooks, iPhones, iPads, Android phones, all PCs running Windows and Linux, and perhaps even Chromebooks (via a browser). (There used to be an app for Chromebooks that users are begging to be brought back.)

      Moreover, it allows rich-text formatting of notes that can be copied into word processors, PowerPoint, etc., and it allows insertion of hyperlinks and images, none of which is possible on Info-Base or NotesMan

      Imho, an informed PC user will continue with OneNote rather than Info-Base and NotesMan.

      Deanna is my favorite columnist on Ask Woody. She’s saved me a lot of time and work over the years, but indy freeware isn’t always superior to Commercial freeware.

      • #2422775

        But what if I do not want my notes in the cloud? As with cloud backups, what do you do if you lose Inet connectivity? I suppose I am stuck in the time when PC’s were functional stand alone devices

        Notesman works for me


    • #2422557

      Microsoft Sticky-Notes, part of the Office Suite, looks to be inferior to NotesMan because Sticky-Notes is lacking in formatting and grouping capabilities.  But Sticky-Notes is cross platform (in android look for it within the Office app).

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