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Note Taking

March 10, 2007

Think about this: You surf over the internet and encounter a sea of information. So many to bookmark, so many to scribble down for later use. Is there any better way in this Information Age?

Yes, there are some, with slightly different functions. (1) Social bookmarking with tagging (2) Clipping (online or desktop) (3) Note Taking. For desktop clipping, I have introduced some when talking about Firefox’s add-on, “ScrapBook“, vs Google Notebook. There are other online clipping services combined the browser plugin, which I hold until that I have time to talk about (for the moment, I’m using Furl). As for social bookmarking, two are quite popular, del.icio.us and digg.

But not all of them are good for organizing thoughts and collecting information. ScrapBook and Furl are for the latter. How about organizing thoughts? You need some note-taking tool. Again, there are many similar softwares, which I may introduce later. Here I just talk about the one I’ve been using for a while. Writing journal, collecting random information, and organizing thoughts etc. That’s KeyNote.

Wait, it’s not the Keynote from Apple, but a freeware RTF editor supporting tab window and tree structure. In logic, it’s easier to take note and write anything. Unfortunately, this software is no longer in development. There are some drawbacks, e.g. cannot embed link in with text or image and does not support to insert JPG. But it’s still very convenient in writing (fiction, nonfiction, journal) or organizing thoughts. Even in collecting ideas. Here I use the screenplay template as an example to show you its functions and interface. If you’re into writing fiction/screenplay, you can pay attention to the layout of this template.The left column is a tree structure of this “note”, the right is resource panel (can be hidden), and the center is the writing area. One can have several notes in one file, appeared in the tab windows.

You can insert link to objects or a location within the same keynote file or in another keynote file.

The convenience of several notes in one file. You can save your thoughts or research information in other notes. While you write, you can go back and forth to check them without opening another file or program. Here the resource panel is off so that the writing area can be enlarged.

Even the tree-structure window can be off too.

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