Changing jobs in 2005 caused me to switch from taking notes on paper to doing it electronically. My new employer provided a tablet PC with a stylus running Windows and OneNote. Taking notes on that system with excellent handwriting recognition was a revelation. The tablet was pretty clunky by today’s standards, but it worked well. It was particularly useful for generating meeting notes in real time and projecting them during meetings.
Last time, I wrote about some of the really nice note-taking apps available nowadays. Since then, I’ve come across another great one I just had to tell you about: Collate. It has just about everything I could want. I’ll let you read about all of its features on its web site, but some of the things I like most include: It’s cross-platform, capable of running on Windows, MacOS, and Linux.
Ever since dumping Evernote, I’ve been looking at alternative note-taking apps. I’ve been usingtiddlywiki, but, surprisingly, it has grown a bit slow. Probably from the sheer volume of notes that I’ve imported from Evernote. Maybe time to look some more? I’ve also been writing a lot of program documentation in Markdown. I like the wiki format just fine, but it seems like Markdown can do more. Both markup languages have a plethora of dialects, usually incompatible.
I’m kind of sad today. I erased all of my notes from Evernote and then de-activated my account. I had been a Premium user for years and had thousands of notes. I used it on the web (when using Linux), on the desktop under Windows, and on my iPhone and iPads. I liked that the data was available on all of those devices. I really liked the web clipper. But the killer feature that got me started on it in the first place was the ability to search in images.
Sure, this is a technology site, but sometimes you have to get a little retro. That is the case for my preferences in note-taking. I tend to do a fair amount of writing into paper notebooks. To do that, I use a pen. Fountain pens are pretty pieces of art, but too messy and fiddly. Ballpoints are OK, but feel a little harsh as you write. Roller balls are OK too, except the quality of the ink is a bit “smeary” for my tastes.