Abject Neglect…

Yeah. That’s what I’ve been doing. Abjectly neglecting the whole study thing. Focused on other stuff. Texas stuff. Grumpy Lion stuff. Buying booky stuff. Gardening stuff (cucumbers and beans are in – took me a good half-hour to do that).

Anyway, new toy alert, new toy alert!

Over the years (some might say decades) I’ve futzed about with various ways of taking and organizing notes on the computer. I’ve used yellow sticky programs, formally structured programs like DeBrief (not an underwear program), and journal programs, and Personal Brain, which is an amazing program in all kinds of ways. And one of my favorite programs, Brainstorm, from England, a text-based program with its roots in the old days, but modern in being neat, clever, fast, and flexible.

Alas, none suited me. I need a quick way to gather information, put it into one place, keep it accessible quickly via searches. I want it to accept all kinds of information: direct text, copied text from any source, images, sound, videos, anything and everything that I might want to collect or create. I want the program to easily organize the stuff, easily categorize it, easily find it, and relatively easily integrate it into and with other programs. And the more freeform the better.

Might just have found what I want. It’s called OneNote. It’s from (shudder) Microsoft, and it works with their Office suite or independently.

You organize your information into notebooks, your notebooks into sections, your sections into pages. It’s got a fast search. It does tags. It takes anything, like a giant garbage sweeper. It’s got a quick note feature for notes on the fly while you’re working in other programs. It’s just very neat and well thought out.

I’d heard of it before, but never considered it because I haven’t been using Office programs. Recently I had the good fortune to be able to get my hands on an Office suite, and decided, after investigating, to add OneNote. It looks like a good combination. I won’t know for sure until I’ve messed with the whole package of Office and OneNote for a while, but it appears promising.

And there’s this incredible PowerToy for OneNote called Canvas. Stunning. It’s experimental, from Microsoft, and very very kewl. I think it may have the potential to completely redefine how people work with computer data if MS pursues it formally. For now, for what I’m doing, it’s not practical, but when it reaches final version it might be one of those must-haves.

For now, I’m off to play with OneNote – which is ironic, considering my seeming inability to focus on and stick with one thing. Too many interests, too many fascinations. A character flaw, no doubt. Or are flaws merely a part of character?

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