This MacNews Category Review looks at information organizing software for the Mac. Products covered include AquaMinds NoteShare, Chronos Sticky Brain, Circus Ponies Notebook, DeVONThink and DEVONnote,
AquaMinds NoteShare is a desktop application for creating, publishing and sharing multi-page notebooks.
With it, you can share notebooks with other NoteShare users for presenting, viewing and editing information. Like NoteTaker, AquaMinds' other solution, NoteShare is an information processing platform for organizing both structured and unstructured information. It's built for organizing written projects, keeping journals, creative brainstorming, doing web research, tracking project task, managing meeting notes, outlining study or lecture notes, aggregating client information, exchanging and presenting ideas, tracking tasks, group authoring and more.
NoteShare's content is "rich" -- not just text and outlines but dynamic, interactive plug-ins, live web pages, QuickTime, voice annotations, sketches, files and more. You create, control and access their data on your own terms, as there's no dependency on an outside hosting service or portal/search site.
Chronos Sticky Brain
Chronos Sticky Brain is a Mac OS X note manager. It works with the Spotlight search technology in Mac OS X 10.4 (â€œTigerâ€). Sticky Brain also sports: forward/backward buttons; speed improvements; a global default font for new folders; Dock menu convenience commands; seven new note types: a detachable FlashNote window; the ability to limit FlashNote searches to specific folders; selectable folders in QuickNote; enhanced Palm sync conflict resolution; and a streamlined interface
Circus Ponies Notebook
Circus Ponies Notebook is an app to help Mac users get organized. It brings diagramming and sketching to its electronic notebook pages. Notebook's PDF annotation features let students add class notes and lecture slides directly to their Notebooks, and then mark them up with sketches, diagrams and text. It also has handwriting recognition and anywhere-placement of text notes on a page.
DeVONThink and DEVONnote
Devon Technologies offers DEVONthink and DEVONnote. The former lets you keep all your text and RTF files, scanned documents, notes, e-mails, bookmarks and multimedia files together in one database.
It has 14 Automator actions and 10 sample workflows that demonstrate their possibilities and help you use Mac OS X's automation tool for creating your own workflows. You can integrate DEVONthink Professional with your other applications or your iPod. The app comes with a droplet for importing AppleWorks 6 documents, new scripts for importing complete mailboxes from Apple Mail and Microsoft Entourage, as well as a new script for copying e-mail from PowerMail to your database. The Microsoft Entourage scripts also import only short headers now, and all scripts have been overhauled for compatibility and performance. Compiled scripts and Automator workflows can be added to DEVONthink Professional's script menu.
The product Web site export allows you to choose from four different templates, select the text encoding and convert umlauts and accents to HTML entities, and the Address Book import plug-in formats addresses similar to the Mac OS X Address Book. With QuickTime installed, DEVONthink Professional supports lots of additional multimedia file types
Where DEVONthink Personal is primarily aimed at home users, DEVONthink Professional targets pro users with features like multiple databases, sheets and extensive AppleScript support that allow integrating DEVONthink into any workflow by using scripts and folder actions. Scripts can even be attached to groups to make them "smart groups."
The concept of sheets combines the database-oriented approach of records with a table-like view for keeping and maintaining structured data such as reference lists or data collections. The download manager, as well as the possibility to store web pages as WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editable Web archives allow archiving of Wweb pages and offline browsing of complete web sites directly from within DEVONthink Professional.
Import and export plug-ins exchange data with OmniOutliner, other OPML compliant applications, BibTeX, iData 2 and the Mac OS X address book, and the Web site export plug-in lets you publish information from DEVONthink prepared for your homepage. An iPod export plug-in converts selected documents for viewing on-the-go.
DEVONthink Professional's integrated Web browser and the AppleScript engine are able to handle RSS, RDF, RSD and Atom newsfeeds. Other pro features are the full screen mode, the Mail-like three panes view for navigation and the Dashboard widget for searching your main database.
DEVONnote helps you take and organize notes.
Next week: part two.