Online Notes Applications

I have used various to-do and note applications over the years. I used to have a very sophisticated one on my Palm years ago. Now though, as I use a mobile phone, netbook and two desktops, I want something that is common to them all.

Google Notebook used to be rather good and I can still use mine, though I have to Google for the site as Notebook is no longer in their list on the home page.

I have been looking for a new way to track my work tasks and my actions list (and associated notes) using something online so I can access it from any computer. I already use Google Docs so do not need something that duplicates that.

Before I mention some of the on-line notes applications, just a note about Tomboy Notes (similar to Zim). This comes as part of Ubuntu and can be synced over Ubuntu One to be the same on all computers I use. It is powerful but not exactly what I want.

I think I have found the solution for me. I found that the only way to get a real way of comparing them was to sign up for many of them and have a play about trying the features.

Sticky Note Style
Jjot is like having a collection of sticky notes on a board, as is I want more than that.

Notebook G is rather minimalist, it looks like a blog with each post being a note. Searching for notes is through their ‘Powertags’ in one of four categories; people, places, things, dates. SnapBits is even more minimalist, though you can also add new items via email. See also Mojonote that allows you to set email or SMS reminders things on your to-do list. 3banana otherwise known as Snaptic is good for sharing stuff including pictures.

Notely seems more for student class use, as is NoteMesh. Not for me. Some of the power and collaborating features I would use are already in Google Docs. Others in this range are Grade Genie, NoteCentric,

Bells and Whistles
Stixy seems designed for collaborating. It is strong on document and photo handling, whereas I mainly want to manipulate text. Stixy would be ideal for a family wanting to share stuff with relatives. I suppose Facebook does that though. It is like a bulletin board that you can stick all sorts of things to such as documents, sticky notes, to-do lists, photos, etc.

Evernote is hugely popular and has a lot going for it with the ability to receive stuff from a mobile, including photos. See here for a review. A premium membership costs but the free subscription has a generous free monthly upload limit. I like it, but not enough.

Zoho Notebook is just a part of the Zoho cloud office suite and is excellent. It can import Google Notebook content and a Google user can sign in from their Google login. It has a very good very good feature-rich text editor. Notes can include images, video, audio, and hyper-links. There are even basic draw functions for your note making. There is a good browser extension available to save clipping quickly.

Helipad integrates well with Mac and iPhone. Helipad will receive your notes from your mobile phone, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and PSP.

For me Springnote (2GB of free storage – and that is a lot of notes!) and Ubernote (unlimited note storage) were almost neck and neck in the race. Springnote is a neat and attractive interface. It is so feature-rich some people will find it a bit overawing. Don’t be put off though, you can ignore the features you don’t need to use. The basics are intuitive. See here for a detailed review. I sometimes find it a bit slow, not as snappy as Ubernote.

UberNote is the winner for me – I think.  It is not the prettiest but it is very versatile, powerful, quick and – very important for Netbook users like me – it crams a lot of content onto the page, making good use of the small screen (the reason I rejected I like the left side panel which is GoogleMail-like in style. In fact the whole interface is very ‘Gmail’. It integrates well with Firefox. It has unlimited storage. UberNote allows you to share your notes and permit others to edit them. As with some others, notes can be added via email from a mobile – you can even add using Twitter for mobile note taking. Notes are continually auto-saved so there is no need to worry about lost work. See here for the full list of features.

I may use both Springnote and Ubernote for a while before finally deciding but I do like the clever ways that Ubernote’s tickbox can be used.

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