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Keeping note

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Phone number to remember? New speaking date booked? ‘To do’ list for the afternoon? One of my bad habits is to put all that stuff into little notes to myself in Windows Notepad. It’s quick, but your hard disk is soon clogged with hundreds of tiny text files which easily get lost.

Over the years, there have been many attempts to improve on Notepad, but the most impressive yet is Cloudpad. Tiny but powerful, it lets you find everything you’ve written with an uber-cool ‘tag cloud’ which works brilliantly. You can grade your notes by urgency, so you don’t misplace vital information. It looks much nicer than Notepad, too.

Mac owners are even better served. Sketchbox lets you keep notes and sketches too, with automatic timers (so that they pop up on screen just when you need to remember them). There’s also a Mac application confusingly called Notepad but it does much more than the Windows accessory – organizing your notes sensibly, offering clickable web links, providing password protection. In the real world, I wouldn’t write vital information on the back of a used envelope; I’d use a proper notebook. In the virtual world, I need to start doing the same.

April 2010
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