Evernote

Top choice for note taking software

Evernote logo

If you have random data scattered around your computer, a digital scrapbook of clippings, recipes, scanned receipts, reference data, web clippings… stuff that you squirrel away because maybe you’ll need it one day then Evernote is your friend.

I’ve been testing a number of other similar programs but, bang for buck, Evernote is still my #1 choice.

It’s come into a bit of flack recently because the company have changed the rules for the free version, and changed the pricing structure. We’ll cover that later in this post.

Evernote makes filing and quickly retrieving your data easy. Your notes, files and images are saved to your computers’ hard drives and simultaneously to Evernote’s own servers. Its main raison d’etre is quick and easy location of those data. You have the advantages of online storage, instant powerful search capability, and automatic synchronization between your computers, tablets, and smartphones and between them and the cloud.
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Cloud storage

cloud icon

No such thing as a free lunch?

There is when it comes to your data security.

Until quite recently, if you wished to back up your valuable data without cashing in the family jewels, extra storage drives were the logical choice of medium.

The quandary

The question when backing up to extra internal or external hard drives is where to draw the line. If your main computer hard drive crashes a backup is invaluable, but if you only have one backup drive it can be stolen in a burglary or destroyed in a fire along with your computer. So for total peace of mind you really need two and one should be kept at a remote location. That means regular exchanging of drives, loss of data created since the last backup, and an administrative hassle we could live without.

Do you use more than one computer?

Data management is further complicated if you need to synchronize your files on two or more computers. There is excellent software for this. Microsoft’s free SyncToy and the excellent SyncBack SE are two very good sync utilities.

But running these programs is yet another job that we can do without. If you flip back and forth between your laptop and desktop, or between home and work, it’s a never ending task.

Enter the cloud

An extra hard drive is invaluable at home or in the office. I wouldn’t be without one for backing up my whole system with imaging software, but recently the game has changed for data files. There are services popping up like spring daffodils all over the place clamouring to back up your data files on somebody else’s hard drive in the “Cloudi.e. on a remote Internet site.
Continue reading “Cloud storage”

Cloud storage

cloud icon

No such thing as a free lunch?

There is when it comes to your data security.

Until quite recently, if you wished to back up your valuable data without cashing in the family jewels, extra storage drives were the logical choice of medium.

The quandary

The question when backing up to extra internal or external hard drives is where to draw the line. If your main computer hard drive crashes a backup is invaluable, but if you only have one backup drive it can be stolen in a burglary or destroyed in a fire along with your computer. So for total peace of mind you really need two and one should be kept at a remote location. That means regular exchanging of drives, loss of data created since the last backup, and an administrative hassle we could live without.

Do you use more than one computer?

Data management is further complicated if you need to synchronize your files on two or more computers. There is excellent software for this. Microsoft’s free SyncToy and the excellent SyncBack SE are two very good sync utilities.

But running these programs is yet another job that we can do without. If you flip back and forth between your laptop and desktop, or between home and work, it’s a never ending task.

Enter the cloud

An extra hard drive is invaluable at home or in the office. I wouldn’t be without one for backing up my whole system with imaging software, but recently the game has changed for data files. There are services popping up like spring daffodils all over the place clamouring to back up your data files on somebody else’s hard drive in the “Cloudi.e. on a remote Internet site.
Continue reading “Cloud storage”

Info Select: is it dying?

Info Select, a flawed gem

This is a resurrected post following a website crash. It had a high Google hit rate, a lot of links around the web, and many users’ comments which have unfortunately been lost forever.

  • In my opinion Info Select was the best single computer program in the known universe. It still could be with a few tweaks.
  • If I were only allowed one program on my computer it would be Info Select.
  • There isn’t much you can’t do with it.
  • I’ve been using it since 1992 or thereabouts, shortly after it evolved from Tornado Notes.
  • Despite these sterling qualities, until I initially published this post in 2007, I was the only person I knew who used it.

Hmm…

There’s a lesson here.

If this program’s so damn good why was I the only known user this side of the black stump? That’s easy. Info Select is the product of Micro Logic, a company whose grasp of marketing, design, pricing, listening to user feedback, and customer service are, umm, different.

Info Select window

What’s so great about it?

Info Select started life as a program for storing and retrieving random text information. It gradually gained extra functions and evolved into a word processor, spreadsheet, database, email client, web browser, news feeder, contact manager, calendar, form builder and organizer–I could go on, but you get the picture–all rolled into one. Having said that, I only use it for its core function. I don’t use all those extras. I have other programs which do those things far better for my purposes. Until I switched most of my data to Evernote in 2009, I had whole filing systems of information packed into my Info Select data file. I could find anything in milliseconds.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading “Info Select: is it dying?”