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Software To Get You Organised by Mind Map: Software To Get You Organised
3.5 stars - 2 reviews range from 0 to 5

Software To Get You Organised

These will generally be OS X or web-based.

"Junk drawer"

What are junk drawer apps?

Handle large quantities of random information, Notes, Memos, Ideas, Tasks, Research data, Clippings

Allow it to be processed and organised

Often used for note-taking

Important qualities, Ease of input, Needs to be very quick to import or create new items, Usually have quick entry boxes, scripting support, Launchbar/Quicksilver etc, Metadata, Need to be able to quickly classify items and add information that will let you find and use them again

Usually some sort of "inbox" system exists, Allows quick dumping of information into the junk drawer, without distracting you from your current task, When you have time later you can come back and categorise, file or export

People use these systems for all sorts of things, GTD is popular, They're not necessarily designed for GTD, GTD can be used with pretty much any system though, Research, Storing receipts


Yojimbo, Have used this for years, since 1.0 I think, Tags and folders, Folders can't be nested, Folders WILL never be nested even in future releases, according to developers, In practice this doesn't seem to cause much trouble, Not for me, anyway, Limited smart folders for tags, Series of AND operations only, High priority for developers to improve this functionality, Allows effective nesting of tags to replace nested folders, File types, Editable, Notes, Plain text, Rich text, RTFD, Mac only, Command line "textutil" program, built into OS X, will export as HTML or DOC, Can edit these within the program, Bookmarks, URLs, Local bookmarks, Can be used to launch application-specific links, Mail messages, Other Yojimbo notes, I use this to store the location of project directories, Passwords, Internal format, Encrypted, Export as plain text, Serial numbers, Internal format, Not encrypted, Export as plain text, Read only, Images, Fairly recent support, All the usual formats, Can't be edited without export and re-import, Not much good for asset storage, but then that's what the filesystem is for, Okay for research notes, Web archives, Mac only, Not sure about exporting these, I try not to use web archives, for the above reasons and also that they may include Flash ads, PDFs, Can't be edited without export and re-import, Adds an option in the standard Print dialog, "Print To Yojimbo", Handy for receipts, Metadata, Tags, as mentioned above, Comments, Do not automatically export to Spotlight tags, Easy to script this, however, Integration, Applescript support, Sophisticated, Easy to create Quicksilver, Launchbar etc scripts to add new items or import, Drop-box tab, Sits on side of screen, Allows dragging of files and URLs into folders, Can't tag items from drop box, Quick entry box, Appears when F8 is pressed and Yojimbo is active, A bit of a pain to use in practice, Keyboard support is a bit awkward, I prefer Launchbar plus Applescript, Safari bookmarklets, Security, Individual items can be encrypted, Password items are always encrypted, One password for every item, Storage method, A big fat single SQL database and a few ancillary files, Only one library is possible, This annoys some people, I find it quite easy to cope with myself, Backups are a pain, Doesn't work well with Time Machine at all, Even the smallest change means that the main DB file has changed and will be restored, This uses up an immense amount of space - it will make a new copy every hour, rsyncing works pretty well, I sync to an external server regularly for backup purposes, Also sync between laptop and desktop, iDisk sync can be considered a sort of backup, Syncing, iDisk support, Used to work very well, It was in fact the original reason that I subscribed to dot Mac, Recently, doesn't seem to work at all, May be connected with database size, This is almost certainly an iDisk problem, In practice, whose fault it is doesn't really matter though, Manual solutions, rsync between machines, Could also manually copy files in ~/Library/Application Support/Yojimbo, Webjimbo, Third-party service providing web access and interface, Uses Applescript to control Yojimbo remotely, Can view and edit most entry types, On a quick trial, seems very good!, Automatically configures router, Could be used for collaboration, as long as two people aren't using it at the same time, Could be used instead of syncing, though it's not as good as having it locally of course, $30, Sharing, No built-in method, Could use Webjimbo, Could Applescript it, but it would be complex, Searching, Smart folders as mentioned, Built-in search, Spotlight integration for items

EagleFiler, Encryption, Only on new library, Don't seem to be able to change this after creating library, No individual file-level encryption, Passwords, Secure docs, Keep library on an encrypted disk image?, Encrypted libraries are sparseimages anyway, File handling, Imports pretty much anything, Won't do bookmarks!, i.e. webloc files, Insists on downloading a web archive, Author has explicitly said he won't be putting in webloc support, Workaround: drag and drop into a rich text doc, Doesn't understand some file types, Thinks everything is text unless stated, Shows raw source in preview, e.g., Omnigraffle, Mindmaps, Does preserve opening app though, Files can be edited in place, In Yojimbo, once imported, only RTF docs can be edited, Can edit images, spreadsheets etc, No filter on extension, Tags, Not freeform, All tags must be specified beforehand, Tag list not preserved between libraries, Could be good or bad, A template for this would be nice, Automatic smart search for tags, Can also use standard file colours, Exports tags to Spotlight comments, Performance, Works fine with Leopard, Bit slow on the G3, Slight pause moving between folders, I won't be using this much mind you, Not too bad, Searching, Slower than Yojimbo IMO, Spotlight searches on contents still work, Integration, integration is confusing, Wants to create a new mailbox each time for some reason, Annoying, Mind you, Yojimbo won't even allow straight importing, Can create custom import Applescripts, Usually pretty straightforward to cut and paste in, Browser integration, See bookmarks, Always makes a web archive, Useful for articles and posts, Not so useful for reference material that may be updated, "Drop Pad" for files/URLs, Requires app to be in front, Can also be used to select libraries, Prefer Yojimbo's to be honest, Notes on files, Stored as rich text in "Notes" directory, Doc contains link back to original file, Completely open

Evernote, Actually now also OS X, "Everlasting tape", Like writing things on a big roll of paper, Sequential, date-based, Good for entering log notes, Experience, Used this on Windows at work for a bit, Never really got along with it though, I preferred to write notes in a text document, On the other hand, work didn't really require much research.


Circus Ponies Notebook



Google Notebook, Really requires Firefox and plugin, Allows web clippings to be taken, Multiple notebooks and sections within notebooks, Can enter text notes, Probably best just for web clippings to be honest

Tumblr, "Scrapbook blogging", Easy to add notes, images, videos and links while browsing via bookmarklet, Publishes result as a mini-blog


Important features

Speed of entry


Dates, I'm told that due dates are against GTD, but GTD is not (supposed to be) a religion

Filing, Contexts, Projects

Access, Should be able to at least READ from anywhere, Writing from anywhere is useful too



Remember The Milk


Taskpaper, Plain text, Very cross-platform, Can be processed with scripting languages, Can easily be exported, printed etc, Simple, No date support, Could fudge a solution for this, No reminders etc, Some people don't want due dates

iCal To-dos, Can sync, dot Mac support, Also third-party dot Mac simulating services



Notae, Text notes, Uses tags, Apple-ish nested tag searching interface, I've not actually used it

Tomboy, Local wiki-based note-taking system, Automatic links to other pages if you use WikiCase and turn that option on, Can manually make links, This has some similarities to mindmappers, though without the visual feedback and being able to easily see the content of parent/child nodes, "Left-brain mindmapping", Nodes end up longer, Uploads/downloads to a server, with plugins, I've never gotten this to work, Comes as standard with Ubuntu, Personal experience, Liked it to an extent, Prefer mindmaps really, Difficult to tell what notes you already have, Possibility of duplicating effort



A lot of "junk drawer" apps tend to be good for note-taking purposes

Important features, Speed of entry, Even faster than the junk drawers, Keyboard-based is good, You have to use the keyboard to write notes anyway!, System-wide hotkeys, LaunchBar-type apps, Cataloguing, Overall view

Mindmaps are also good for taking notes with, for me anyway


Why are visualisation apps on an organisation software map?

Properly visualising a process or system can help you organise yourself and do things in the right order., Not knowing what you're doing is the cause of much timewasting, Diagramming a system almost always repays the time spent in my experience

Mind maps are also useful for taking quick notes which you edit later, Or at least I think so, I find it much easier to take mindmap notes than straight text, Straight text always ends up with just a few random incomprehensible words and not much else


Omnigraffle, Very slick and pleasant to use, Quite expensive, I have not upgraded to v5 from v4 because of the cost, Standard and Pro versions, Diagramming of all sorts

Visio, Never used it, to be fair, Expensive!, Industry standard or so I'm told

Gliffy, Online, Flash-based, Sharing and collaboration, Exporting, Image, Other diagramming software?, Not as powerful as the above paid software


FreeMind, Cross-platform Java app, Mindmapping, A few appearance and UI issues, Performance, Need to have Java installed, Very fast due to simplicity, Even on an Eee PC, File format, XML-based, Simple, Widely compatible, Export, Image, OpenDocument, Plain text

MindMeister, Mindmapping, Quick input methods, Geistesblitz, Email support, Offline mode, "Go offline" toggle, Downloads all maps, Can edit existing and add new maps when offline, You do need to know that you are going offline before you do, Won't help if you are suddenly disconnected, Requires Google Gears, You need Firefox for this, Doesn't support FF3 yet, Might be worth keeping Firefox around for that purpose though, Future support for HTML5 data storage in modern browsers?, Sharing, Allows public maps (like this one!), Maps can be password-protected, Collaboration, Tracks changes, Multiple editors, Skype support while collaborating, Speed, Fairly fast even on older machines, When not working offline, does require reliable net access, Saves nodes whenever edited, Noticeable pause with 3G/dialup, Have used with..., Eee PC, 800MHz 3G "Snow" iBook, Keyboard support, Compatibility, Requires a modern browser, Imports FreeMind files (plus others but that's the only one that I care about myself), Cost, Subscription-based, Affiliate program, Extra months for signups, Not very expensive, Free mode, Allows small number of maps, Advanced features not available