Windows software of the day [April 5th, 2012]

Windows has hundreds of thousands of programs. Because of this great volume and lack of a central store, software discovery (aka finding new and useful programs) is extremely difficult. With our Windows Software of the Day initiative, dotTech aims to change that. Everyday we post three programs, allowing our readers to discover new software, daily. Enjoy! [Subscribe to our Windows section to never miss an article: RSS Feed | E-mail]

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Software for April 5th, 2012

7stacks

Want to pin a few files to your taskbar? Like previously covered Piles, 7stacks lets you pin folders to your taskbar. After supplying a folder and icon, just create a shortcut on your desk. After making the shortcut, drag it to your taskbar.

It’s that simple!

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v1.5b2

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista7

Download size: 2.74MB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/43

7stacks homepage

Thanks Mike!

7 Taskbar Tweaker

Many people like the Windows 7 taskbar but also think it could be a lot better. However, everyone has a different idea of what better could be. Some want to rearrange the live thumbnails, while others simply want to be able to use the scroll wheel to cycle between thumbnails.

7 Taskbar Tweakers lets you do all this and of course more. Hate the Show Desktop button? Begone! Want dragging a file onto the program to open it instead of pinning it? Consider it done.

7TT is a great app for anyone who feels that they need more control over the taskbar.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v3.4

Supported OS: Windows 7

Download size: 323.9KB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/42

7 Taskbar Tweaker homepage

Thanks Mike!

Flashnote

Notepad, as everyone knows, is a terrible notepad. However, it’s there and fast, so many people just live with the clutter of a thousand unorganized text files. Flashnote, on the other hand, uses a single, quick database and offers instant access via a keyboard shortcut, making it even quicker than Notepad.

Flashnote is a simple program. It lets you take notes and subnotes, and that’s about it. It’s a nice little program that’s easy to learn and downright great for taking notes.

Price: Free!

Version discovered: v4.3

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/7, Debian, Ubuntu

Download size: 2.2MB

Malware scan: VirusTotal scan results 0/42

Flashnote homepage

Thanks Mike!

dotTechies: We have tested all the software listed above. However, Windows Software of the Day articles are not intended as “reviews” but rather as “heads-up” to help you discover new programs. Always use your best judgement when downloading programs, such as trying trial/free versions before purchasing shareware programs, if applicable.

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16 comments

  1. Rob (Down Under)

    Here is the greatest FREE Note Tree program on the planet -
    TreeDBNotes
    You can make a portable version.
    You can create individual files for say -
    Health, PCs, Software, Electronics, Money, etc.
    You can, within any one of those files, have multiple Trees (they appear as Tabs along the top).
    Within any Tree (Tab), you create Folders (in the column down the left)
    You can create sub folders, under each folder.
    You can Have Rich Text and images on the right, for any level of your Folders.
    There are numerous options for how you can distribute files to friends.
    . . .
    I was an analyst (and programmer) for 20 years in large Banks, and Telecommunications, and never had a failed project. Yet with all that experience I could not develop a better program than TreeDBNotes

    Rob
    PS I have a folder where I keep the individual files (Health, Money, Software, etc). I just double click which ever file that I am wishing to open.

  2. Rob (Down Under)

    Thanks again to Richio for the heads up on The Guide.
    They have got it right -
    Nice and simple with ability to enter notes at any level of the tree.
    Some others actually show the sub tree folder names on the right (AGH!) and do not allow notes for the higher level folders (AGH! again)
    There was one on GOTD a couple of days ago, which everyone appeared very happy with, and it suffered from my AGH!’s above.

    For those that have needs for more features (than my simple requirements), you may be interested in trying -
    RightNote Free
    If you check the comparison chart most of you will agree with me that the features lacking in the Free version are not ‘wrist slashing’
    Download the PORTABLE version (Locutus, people like to know about portable versions when they are available).
    When it first runs, you will find a long button along the bottom (full width of the small dialog), that allows you to choose the free version.

    For those that have greater needs than my simple requirements, I think you will be very pleased.
    And being portable, what have you got to lose ?

    If I were you I would create a sub folder, in the folder where you run RightNote from called
    \_DATA_FILES
    And store your RightNote Data files in there

  3. RobCr

    @Richio:
    You forced me to organize my Start Menu folder for Editors (and Trees).
    I already had most of the programs recommended in the Posts. I just had not used them.
    I first tripped over SnippetHub, and tried that. It is quirky, and not well analyzed (I have written to the developer).
    Then I tried the guide. It is well analyzed , and I will now use it, instead of Swift To Do List
    (Swift’s limit to one PC is worrying the hades out of me, and I would not trust a thumb drive if you held a gun to my head)

    Raeldin,
    I did also have KeyNote NF. I will give it a try as well.

    Thanks for the ‘heads up’,
    Rob

    PS I have never used Windows Task Scheduler.
    When I wish a program to start with Windows, I just create a shortcut to it, in the Start Menu folder called -
    Programs / Startup

  4. William Neurauter

    Mike , thanks for the comparison of the three notepad type programs.

    I had been using Notepad Lite, until I discovered Notepad ++; I like it for looking at htm, html, CSS source coding when I need to make changes to an existing web page. multiple files can be opened at the same time & I can copy or cut & paste. A little like opening two windows explorer at the same time to compare folders, etc. The only drawback is not being able to see graphics.

  5. Mike

    Stacking the various notes programs volunteered above, it seems to fall:

    – Flashnote: simplest; no graphics; more limited formatting (and generally program-wide–i.e., not word-based), akin to Notepad plus; can export notes, txt format; on-going development (but developer has said that it will keep the program simple); includes a start and/or minimize at computer start-up option

    – The Guide: a simpler program but with graphics and formatting capabilities, akin to WordPad; can export notes, rtf format; development seemingly has ceased; no start or minimize at computer start-up options (but can implement via Windows Task Scheduler)

    – KeyNote: more complex (with lots of customizable options–can be more or less complex) with graphics and formatting capabilities, akin to WordPad plus; multiple note trees; spell-check and thesaurus; alarm; separate “scratch pad”; can export notes, txt, rtf and html formats; development seemingly has ceased; no start at computer start-up option (but can implement via Windows Task Scheduler)

  6. Mike

    A few extra points:

    – Note that with 7stacks, when you click on the folder icon you’ve added to the Taskbar, a menu then slides up (you can choose from three formats) showing the folders and file shortcuts you’ve put into the folder. It just makes it very easy to get to your frequently-used items without having to search through icons on your Desktop or using the Start menu; it also allows you to fit more short-cuts into the limited Taskbar real estate and to keep organized (for example, have one 7stacks folder for office tools, another for games, etc.).

    – As silly as it might sound, one of the nicest things for me in 7 Taskbar Tweaker is the ability to lessen the spacing between Taskbar icons (the reason I originally found it–I couldn’t find another easy way to do it).

  7. Mike

    @Richio: Many thanks for the tip on The Guide! Will check it out. In essence, The Guide and Flashnote seem very similar (perhaps they are based on the same open source software, or each other, the reason why Flashnote is freeware?) and The Guide looks to be Flashnote on steroids–nice! My only hope is that The Guide is as easy to use as Flashnote, whose icon simply sits in my Notification area until it’s pressed and poof, Flashnote is on-screen in a split-second.

    Update: on checking The Guide out, it does seem nice. A couple of admin. differences I noted with The Guide: The Guide doesn’t have a start on computer start-up option, as Flashnote conveniently does–but one could start the program that way using Windows Task Scheduler (tip: if you want the program to start minimized, create a Windows short-cut for the program set to start the program in a minimized window, and have Task Scheduler run the short-cut); and it saves your notes on a time schedule (every x minutes) that you can set, not by event as Flashnote does (switching to another note or minimizing/closing the program)–I can see the benefits of both ways (and, actually, it would be nice to have both!).

    Again, thanks for this great tip/tool! :)

  8. Richio

    @RobCr:
    The Guide is a similar tree notes program which does text formatting and color.
    You can also insert a whole variety of objects including BMP and Paintbrush images and even Microsoft documents.
    Creating a new paintbrush image makes TheGuide act like Paint.
    I haven’t played with inserting objects much, but I use TheGuide to organize my domain and email technical data.
    …Other stuff too.
    http://theguide.sourceforge.net/

    I just installed Flashnote also for making quick notes.

  9. kelltic

    I’ve used File Note for a few years now. Of course it IS Notepad. File Note just pops up an already named NotePad file. A gazillion .rtf, data, exe, and setup files are stored on my computer. I often need more information on them than what I can stick in the Comments column of Explorer. For that purpose, File Notes is perfect. – Well, almost perfect. Given my druthers, I’d prefer it to pop up WordPad so I’d have access to bold, italic, underline and colors for fonts. BUT – it is a convenient little app – and I love convenient little apps.

  10. Patrick

    @RobCr:

    I would compare it to Swift ToDo List as well. Using that I have no need for FlashNote ;-)

    I have no to the point suggestions for “allowing formatted text (mixed Fonts, and colors)” in a notes application that I know of.
    In a flash I was thinking of combining a very basic wordprocessor program with 7stacks (or similar). Individual notes could be put in a seperate map etc… It’s something that just popped up in my mind; i.e. nothing concrete.
    I really regret having no time to pursue this idea any further (I have some deadlines to meet doing research for a couple of papers), but I’m confident that you’ll easily find something that does the job you have in mind…

    Success & have a nice day!

    Pat.

  11. RobCr

    I have used FlashNote for some time now.
    I would not be comparing it to Notepad, as it has a different function.
    I have not used Notepad for a long time, and if DotTechies are looking for something better, they should get a Tabbed program like EditPadLite (which I have used for some time).

    Back to FlashNote, I would compare it to Swift ToDo List, if you were looking for a category for FlashNote.
    Of course it does not store graphics, nor formatted text. It is just plain text. But I am not complaining.
    As a companion to that, I would like something as simple, but allowing formatted text (mixed Fonts, and colors).
    Any suggestions, anyone ?