Anyone here interested in microwaving their notes?

This looks kind on interesting. It's based on the Frixxon pens that use ink that disappears when heated (friction - get it - ha ha). Includes an IOS/Android app to take pics of pages and send to the location of your choice.

I've played with the app and the downloadable PDF page and I really like the results. Comes out very usable in Evernote - better than the snapshot feature, and also works well with Dropbox and email.

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I agree this is interesting. Not sure I'd care for the microwaving thing itself. I have been using Staedtler Lumocolor correctable pens lately on laminated pages and I love them to death. I might rather grab these pages, laminate them, and use the pens I've got rather than the Frixxion. I like OneNote better than Evernote, personally, so the fact that it does both would be a plus.

I have seen some complaints from the sewing community about Frixxion pens becoming visible over time because the ink never really goes away, and with paper you're not even washing the stuff, so if the thing ever gets cold (like refrigerator/freezer cold) every note ever written would show back up..and if it really does get 'fatigued' after a while that'd just be weird. That could be interesting in itself, but not if it happened accidentally. With the Lumocolor on laminate, all you need is a damp cloth to get rid of the notes forever, and the little eraser on the pen itself is good for precision small erases.

Anyway, I might twiddle with the app. Thanks for the link!

separate issue but ...

Just curious why do you like OneNote. I ask because I've yet to figure it out.

OneNote is ...

MicroSoft (eccch!)
'Nuff said.
"I think the surest sign that there is intelligent life out there in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." (Calvin and Hobbes/Bill Waterson) ***



As others have said, OneNote allows a structure besides just timeline and tagging. I'm a coder and I work on lots of customers and projects with stuff moving on and off my plate on a periodic basis. I have meetings and emails and scratch notes and misc bits, and OneNote just matches my way of thinking better than Evernote.

I think in categories rather than time. Subject matter is more integral to my structures. OneNote records the time I enter things, which is good, but other stuff is more important to me. The tagging in Evernote in theory lets you do stuff by subject, but that's the secondary sort, not the primary. If I had to scroll through all my notes every time I wanted to get to the oldest one for a particular topic I think I might shoot someone. And yes, I know you can search with Evernote, it's just preference and what I'm used to. File/folder structures work for me, so sections and pages work for me too. It does bring to mind a parallel between the person who keeps all their files in one giant folder vs organizing them into subfolders and sub-sub folders.

My work notebook is organized this way:
Tabs (sections) across the top for each customer.
Within each tab, a page for each topic. For example, notes from one meeting or a series of meetings on the same topic. Or a page for scratch notes containing reference data. Each page gets a descriptive title.
Thus far I haven't used sub-pages at all, but I might if I stay on my longest account for another two years. Or maybe I'd just archive some pages.

For one customer, it's very important for me to record a reference number for each note, so that goes in the title along with the subject.
For a different customer, there were a series of requirements gathering meetings, so all those notes go in a single page. Usually the pages are short enough on my fairly large monitor that I don't have to scroll in any direction.

When a project or customer is completed, I can take that section out of the working notebook and stuff it into a standalone notebook that gets stored with the other files related to that same customer.

I can easily paste snips of documents or spreadsheets or images or webpages into my note and then annotate it with scribbles and circles and typed text, and when I'm done mashing it all together, I can take a screenshot of the mishmash and email it out as a jpg so none of the pieces move around on me. I can create tables in my notes, bullet lists, and all sorts of interesting formatting and doodles and stuff if that helps me retain meaning and memory. And it's all done in a way similar to microsoft software that I've become extremely proficient in over the last 25 years. The stuff in my notes copies and pastes easily into my outlook emails and retains its nice default formatting.

I usually don't embed files into my notes, simply because the company has a structure built to hold files for each customer. So links are good enough. Little snips and screenshots are handy, though, and I have lots of those in my notes.

I don't use any particular note application for personal use. I've fiddled with lots of different ones, and I just don't have that much that needs to be tracked besides appointments. I am just not organized or interested enough to care about a lot of fiddly stuff that other folks track in their personal lives. I have short-term exceptions like christmas lists or specific little projects, but even that isn't all that huge. I have Google Keep on my phone for little scraps and bits I want to remember til I get home. OurGroceries is for shopping lists. Google calendar is for appointments, which syncs with my work outlook.

Just my two bits. Everyone is different and it seems there are ways that fit better for each person. The trick is understanding how you think and what constitutes tolerable effort. It has to be least effort for any given use case or you won't maintain it. Likewise if you don't like a company's practices or policies then you'll resist using their stuff even if it does fit how you think and work. So there's always a balancing act to be done.



Your description of OneNote reminds me of the structure I created with the combination of several interconnected Palm programs that interacted with the built in Memopad program: Memoleaf, Acrowiki, Megawiki, and pToolSet, plus Flashnote and QMemo (all Palm programs interacting with the same data, and interconnected and linked with MegaWiki, which also linked to programs with separate data like Bonsai, iSilo, and many others.

All that wonderful structure. Cannot transfer it to a new device, have to start from scratch. So I am not motivated to create such complexity again, particularly since Microsoft is not exactly interested in helping you move your data away from their programs.

For me Evernote is to some extent what David Allen refers to as the "simplicity on the other side of complexity", not like a point of arrival at a perfect system by any means, just a realization that with what I cannot do with it, I don't really have to, though sometimes it would be nice (linking data is still in my blood, at least Evernote can handle that much).

Onenote Structure

My daughter likes Onenote because of the ease of predefining structure for your data before you create it.

I find it interesting but not intuitive, plus I never liked for my data to be trapped in proprietary formats, so I prefer Evernote's ability to handle freeform data that can be easily transferred among programs and devices, though it's way of adding structure with word processor style formatting feels unnatural for my way of doing things, so more often than not I just skip all formatting.


The comments on OneNote here prompted me to launch my copy for the first time since I downloaded it, I think... (I downloaded a demo of Microsoft Office, and it came with that).

And I have to say that I'm impressed. It's different from EverNote or DevonThink or Google Keep. And yeah, it's more structured. The graphic on the welcome note seems to indicate that it's almost designed for students. But the structure is simple and visible and adaptable, IMO. I quickly populated it with the content of some web pages I've been keeping open so I wouldn't lose the info. That part works ok, and allows me to save an "article" view--just the text, without having to select anything first.

Honestly, I'm liking what I'm seeing, and that surprises me. But yeah, the proprietary part is a bit of a scare... but IMO, Evernote isn't much better, and Google Keep is just as bad. (Evernote also seems kind of limited without paying for the good features--or they've changed things.)

Different, not better

If you avoid importing binary data directly into Evernote like they want you to, and just use file or web links when you need to, Evernote can be used just fine without paying, across all devices, though I ended up paying after they introduced a much cheaper option, mostly for the ability to keep offline data in my Android devices.

It is very easy to fall in love with the different data structuring abilities of different programs, but you will find your data will tend to stay in those programs without a lot of time and effort and some money expended in transferring and converting data.

I have not found the ideal freeform database yet since being forced to abandon Memoleaf.

If you google for onenote vs evernote, you will find tons of web pages devoted to comparing and contrasting both programs.

These days I tend to use a circa paper planner and a fountain pen more frequently anyways, particularly for GTD.


Well, if you are on a Mac, there's DevonThink. It's not free, nor cheap, but it stores everything in package files, which are just folders. Inside the package are all the files in their original format. The only thing proprietary is the meta data--and that doesn't translate anyway. :-)

I'm a bit weird, as I have stuff in all these apps. I also tend to just write notes in TextEdit or NisusWriter, and save them to my Documents folder, which is my real ad-hoc database. :-)

It seems that OneNote can export single notes as pdfs, and Evernote even groups of notes as HTML, but still, like you said, once you are in, you are in with these two.

Oooo. I just checked, and in Google Keep, I can select multiple notes, and export them all to Google Docs. That's nice. Need to remember that trick! I only wish that GK kept things more organized (well, besides labels and colors) than just a single notepad. In some ways, it reminds me of the old Newton Notepad, so it can't be too bad, I suppose.

And now all this discussion has my brain going...

Google desktop

No Mac, just Windows 10. I am using Google Desktop kind of like how you appear to describe DevonThink, but Google Desktop is limited in its searches, plus it is now unsupported by Google, but I find it better and more convenient than Windows search.

If this type of generalized search program was as good as programs like Evernote and OneNote, I would not bother with anything else, since programs that contain all their data in a single huge file are more likely to lose it all at once than with the data divided in separate files. But I have yet to find desktop programs to be nearly as convenient as single data programs tend to be.

nothing else...

I've done some Googling (actually, DuckDuckGo), and it seems there's nothing comparable to DevonThink out there for Windows. Everybody recommends Evernote or OneNote, but they aren't really the same, as you have mentioned, as they keep all their data in one, huge proprietary file, rather than in a format that retains the original files, or leaves readable files. And yeah, trying to use your File explorer app doesn't really work well. I don't know about the average Windows computer, but my Mac has hundreds and hundreds of thousands of files. Even limiting my search to just one folder tends to take a few seconds vs. the nearly instantaneous results I get from Devon or one of the other apps.

There is Tomboy for Linux, but I can't find a way to get that to work on a Mac--even though they say it's available. There is a Windows installer. Maybe it offers something. (video of the app: )

Oh. I suppose there's this too, but I don't know how complicated it would be to set up and use:



I tried Tiddlywiki for a while some years back, but I just couldn't get past the wiki formatting and the fuss and bother of linking. Maybe it's better these days, but it was just clunky for me when I tried it. For some folks, though, it could be cool.

I have invested so much time in windows-based keyboard shortcuts and drag and drop and right-click, left-click formatting that plain text or wiki formatting or anything else is just a tough sell. It's an uncomfortable learning period, which discourages me from using a new thing long enough to get good at it. That's why OneNote is sticking for me, I think. It's just easy for me to get my stuff in there, looking decent, with the right detail. Easy to share the info, etc.


Me too

I too used Tiddlywiki, more specifically GTDTiddlyWiki. I liked the fact that at its core it is all plain text (or it was last I used it), so I could tinker with it to my hearts content.

Ended up abandoning it because it is a self contained system, not designed for sharing or transferring data between programs, and it was hard to print from it correctly.
But building structures based on plain text was very much the way I did things during my Palm days, hence the attraction.

On Linux

Basket Note is an interesting free form way to handle notes. Less structured than One Note, pretty flexible.