Who knows better than Mac users how valuable the Mac can be to keep track of valuable information?
Names, addresses, email, sites, documents. That Mac handles it all. What about notes? How do you manage notes on your Mac?
There is no shortage of Mac tools and utilities that track those bits and pieces of information that we find so valuable. Each piece may be valuable, but collectively, our notes on any topic or subject or issue or item is vastly more important.
TextEdit in OS X
On the low end side, Mac users can use TextEdit in OS X to keep track of notes in a highly manual method that’s the ultimate in low cost.
Store your notes in TextEdit documents, save them in some sort of organization folder in the Mac’s Documents folder, and use Spotlight to find what you’re looking for. Quick. Simple. Very inexpensive.
Well, inexpensive except for your time. Efficiency is why we look for better Mac tools, no? Time is money and all that.
High on the Mac360 list of approved utilities and tools is myNotes, a nifty Mac app that goes waaaaay beyond managing notes with TextEdit.
myNotes lets you create notes, organize your notes, keep to-do-lists, and clippings. This is the kind of tool you keep open and running on your Mac all the time.
The basics: Address Book integration. Search and filter engine (more specific than using Spotlight). Notes auto-naming (if you have a lot of notes, you’ll love this feature). Automatic saving and backup so you won’t lose notes.
The feature list doesn’t stop with the basics. iPod sync means you can take your notes with you. myNotes has a live word count, among other features, so you can use it to create documents on the fly and format later.
My favorite feature is the customizable work area which lets you change the fonts, colors, backgrounds and so on. Combine that with the customizable themes and myNotes really becomes yourNotes.
I found nothing magical or difficult about myNotes except that it’s simple to set up and use and it stores any kind of notes and makes them easy to retrieve. Bells and whistles? Enough.
Did someone mention bells and whistles? Notae is similar to other Mac note takers and organizers, and similar to myNotes, but with more bells and whistles and a different interface.
Notae lets you tag each item with keywords important to you, which makes organizing and retrieving notes even easier. Notes can be set up as template snippet, which makes organizing easier as they can be inserted into other notes.
Web Archives and PDFs are native to Notae which makes it easy not only to keep the URL of a web site, but keep the whole page from the URL. Another feature I really like is the Quick Note keyboard shortcut. No matter what I’m doing I can bring up a Notae window, add info, keep working.
You’re not limited to simple notes, either. Export options include RT, Microsoft Word, HTML or plain text. I’m not sure why, but Notae can read your notes back to you using the Mac’s text-to-speech option, and save them as an AIFF audio file.
Why do we keep notes on our Macs? Because our Mac can hold details and retrieve information quickly. Sometimes quicker than we can think. So, what’s the next step in “note taking?”
Change a paradigm and try NoteMind. Yes, it saves information as notes, but presents them to you in a very visual way using Mind Maps of your organization.
NoteMind tracks almost everything. Documents, text, links, pictures, PDFs, and more and stuff them into a database so they’re easy to track and find.
Depending on how you organize your information, NoteMind can do a mind map of your notes and documents. You can add comments, annotations, and more, and the visual display is remarkable. Click on a folder and see what is inside.
The Mac is doing audio in a big way these days and NoteMind even records and stores audio files and will play them natively. NoteMind dictation, anyone?
I love gesture navigation. Drag a NoteMind window to any side of your Mac’s display, and it becomes a docked window, and minimizes. That keeps notes and to-do-lists available without a click.
Each of the three note taker organizer information manager utilities approaches note management differently. Different strokes for different folks. In succession, each is a little more complicated than the other, with a few more capabilities. NoteMind is the bargain of the three, and from the same Mac developer who provides MacFamilyTree, CleanApp, and iFinance.
The trick with any note manager is in the ease-of-use, and organization. What’s your poison? Do you use your Mac to take notes and track information? What do you prefer? Talk Back to Mac360 readers and share your experience in the Comments section below.