Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Review : Freemind and Evernote

For the past few weeks, I've been trying Freemind and Evernote. Freemind is a mind-mapping program useful for taking notes and brainstorming. I've also been using this to handle a to-do list using the 4 quadrant approach (Sort tasks by importance AND due date) + 5 minute rule (if it takes less than 5 minutes, do it now) although it's not specifically meant for that purpose. I'm trying out Remember The Milk to see if it works better (A possible review later on).

Evernote is a notetaking application. It comes with a handy visual recognition system and automatic online-backup of the notes. I did find it annoying that I had to register (free!) to user the program. It has a wide variety of features and it's certainly better than my notepad approach to taking notes!

I do certainly wish that the good features of both of these programs could be combined into something better. I've been taking notes on this idea in evernote and brainstorming about it in freemind, so you might see a possible program (Definetly free and most likely under an open source license) for this task comming out in the near future.


Cerulean Bill said...

I've not used either, though I have looked at Evernote. Can you say what you particularly liked or disliked about either?

Cobalt said...

Evernote: I like the synchronization, the simple GUI and the fact that it automatically fills in the Source URL if you're copy pasting stuff from the web into the notes. I used to bookmark a lot of articles, but that wasn't really working. So now, I can simply save the actual content in a decent manner using Evernote.
I dislike that you need to upload to use the image recognition... They could also work out a small filter that'd auto tag and organize new notes based upon the general content of the post (something with a lot of HTML codes would go into a web development section, while a note about artificial intelligence would go into the programming and neuroscience sections)

Freemind: I like the general concept of mind mapping. The program does it in a very simple manner. The keyboard shortcuts (Enter and tab to begin with) are also very useful. I also like that you can export the mind map as an HTML file to publish or backup. I dislike that you can't post large texts without filling up an entire area of the screen. Freemind is open source, so if you know a bit of coding you can probably add in the new features yourself (I've downloaded the source code, but still haven't gotten around to working on it).