Dec 032013

I’ve switched away from Google Keep and now using the best state-of-the-art note-taking app called Simplenote. With its latest version, Simplenote got a clean & lean rebuilt code base and its new ownership by the makers of WordPress (which runs over 20% of the Internet) signals to me that it’ll be around for a while.


What I was looking for in a notes app was:

  • multi-platform (covering the whole span of web, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac)
  • cloud-synced (everything gets sync’d manually or automatically between all those platforms)
  • useable offline and online
  • fast and lightweight, plain text and searchable essential, tags and design and low-price/free are bonus

Simplenote delivers all of the above most wonderfully! The only other fast multi-platform notes app I had found was Catch, and I had used it for over a year. But that company shutdown end of August 2013.

The next best lightweight notes app was Google Keep, so that’s where I migrated to after Catch’s demise. Unfortunately, Google Keep has had a stagnant code base, and it crashes the Safari and Chrome browsers on iOS, and there’s not an official iOS app. Granted the Google Keep app for Android is great and the web-based version is good, but as I’ve created more notes, it’s gotten more sluggish. The sluggishness might be attributed to its infinite-scrolling user interface, so it’s loading too many notes at once, and maybe that’s why the iOS web browsers crash too.

For the record, I’m also an active user of the ever-popular note-taking app Evernote; and I do pay the annual subscription fee for the extra features and storage that comes with Evernote Premium. But, it’s slow to sync, slow to search, slow to respond on those moment when I need to jot a quick note. What I do use Evernote to store my big archive of documents, caching web pages, and that kind of stuff.

Oct 192009

One of my main StrengthsFinder themes is INPUT ::

People strong in the Input theme have a craving to know more. Often they like to collect and archive all kinds of information.

Yes indeedy I love gathering information. I’m a data pack rat. No information overload. I don’t keep it in my brain nor on my hard drive. I prefer to save my finds in an online notebook – for access from almost anywhere there’s internet access, including a friend’s smartphone or public library. Here are free online notebooks I’ve found and some of the features that I noticed:

  • evernote – this one is robust with tons of features, able to store photos, audios, PDFs, text, Word Docs; has bookmarklet, Firefox add-on, desktop app, iPhone app, so many different ways to post and to access info; paid premium version goes for $45 per year for extras [here's my public notebook powered by evernote]
  • logos

  • ubernote – this looks like a robust online notebook web app, so much so that one user moved to ubernote from evernote; yes, it’s got a Firefox add-on toolbar, and a paid premium version in the works
  • diigo – this online notebook can gather notes, make lists, and keep bookmarks, plus has community features to share notes with others in the diigo network, and you can post sticky notes on web pages to add & read comments; Firefox add-on toolbar or bookmarklet; integrates with; has an import from Google Notebook function but I couldn’t get it to work
  • springnote – this one is based on an editable wiki idea, and developed in Korea, so it can handle English, Korean, and Japanese; personal and group notebook; this has an iPhone app too
  • Zotero – this one is more tightly integrated with a Firefox add-on extension, and has a stronger academic researcher feature set to manage bibliography citations; not sure where the actual notes get stored
  • springpad – this web app is more than an online notebook, and has all kinds of apps that you can activate to organize your life, like recipes and reviews and lists, more than notes
  • Zoho Notebook – gather tons of content, and even has version control to track changes, which is very useful if several note collectors work collaboratively
  • Google Notebook – this was a good online notebook, but the software has ceased development is running on cruise control, or as I’ve said on several occasions, put on ice.

Which online notebook web app do you use, and why do you love it? While it’d be great to keep everything in one place, that also means all the risk is in one place.

Sep 052006

My workshop this past weekend was provocatively titled “Doing Work You Love: Godly Wisdom for Career Choices.” Knowing what I know of people who live in the New York metro area, or anywhere for that matter, career and work would be a hot topic for young adults attending a weekend conference.

Here’s my workshop notes in PDF, Doing Work You Love, and related references:
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