I'm back in Lawrence. Worked out yesterday in the most "old-fashioned" way imaginable. Going to apply to a few new places.
This past weekend was awesome. Saw my cousins. Went to Gander Mountain and Cabela's. Decided Gander Mountain is far superior. Swam. Ate like kings. Sat around a fire. Played Battlefield 3 four TV's wide - See below.
It was a blast.
I've been doing a bit of back-sliding on areas of focus. A long time ago I decided I wanted a master note taking system that I could use for the rest of my life to keep things organized and keep my head on the right direction. The search for the best option became a bit of an obsession a couple years ago. Back then I settled for Springpad... but after a recentish update it is clear Springpad is going a different direction than I like. Last night, I broke the problem down and reached a few conclusions...
First off, what do I ideally want to keep track of?
- a history of doctor's visits, employment, vacation, and other major events
- legal forms, taxes, warranties, inventories, and financial tracking
- quotes, thoughts, notes to self, tips & advice, artwork, and the columns
- places, dates, and people of interest
- list of favorites, projects, ideas, and goals
- more as they come along
- Digital and Ubiquitous - must be backed up locally and online and accessible both ways
- Must be able to handle many types of notes - text, spreadsheets, PDFs, pictures, etc.
- Must include some sort of security - password protection
- Should be fully compatible with Android (specifically use the "share" API)
- Should be organized and searchable
- Should be convenient and aesthetically pleasing
- Additional features such as reminders, "add to ____" in Chrome, etc.
Top 5: Note Taking Systems & Their Strengths and Weaknesses
5. Pen & Paper -
The Good: I can do whatever I want with pen and paper.
The Bad: Indexing, searching, backup, ubiquity, and aesthetics all suck. There is obviously no support for android and the conveniences of a digital system.
4. Dropbox -
The Good: Handles all types of notes (handles all types of everything). Available everywhere. Good organization.
The Bad: Dropbox is definitely not a note-taker, it is a file backup and sync service. There is no real native way to view notes nor edit them from a phone. Search is limited.
3. Evernote -
The Good: Very well integrated into Android. Available across all platforms. Wide developer support. Handles text and pictures very well. Acceptable levels of search. Quick to make and open notes.
The Bad: Does not have adequate security. Does not handle spreadsheets. Disappointingly little organization. Wants you to do "Premium" for advanced features.
2. Google Drive -
The Good: Very well integrated into Android. Available in equal parts across all platforms. Handles all types of notes. Acceptable levels of search and organization.
The Bad: Does not have adequate security. Every note opens in its own viewer and takes a while to do so. Seeing information from more than one note at a time would be hardest this route.
1. Microsoft OneNote -
The Good: Aesthetically superior. Password protected notes. Great organization. Feature-filled & technically capable of handling most any note type. Acceptable levels of search.
The Bad: Very poor Android implementation. The online option sucks. Only text notes are easy and searchable.
"It's a well-known fact that you aren't responsible for things you smash when you don Hulk Hands"
- Me. I thought it was funny after I said it -