NoteFrog

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for November 5, 2008 is NoteFrog.

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{rw_good}

  • You can search your notes.
  • You can password protect your notes.
  • You can export notes in .rtf format.
  • Fine text/replace text option.
  • Has an “Insert Today’s Date” button.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Some icons are not as self explanatory as they claim – there is a learning curve.
  • Seems lacking in features. Besides the search/password protect tool, I do not see why you cannot just type your notes in notepad instead.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Features as Described” value=”9″}Only reason this gets a 9 is because it is not as user-friendly as claimed.
{/for}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Once you get to learn how to use it, its pretty easy to use.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”8″}While it is nice that is is format free, to get a 10 in usefulness, you need to be able to draw graphs.
{/for}
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This program is pretty simple. It is basically a program that combines multiple notepad files, allows you to natively password protect them, and gives you a search option.

When you first run the program, you will have to go to Options/Misc -> Enter/Change Registration Code and pasting in the following (you  can also find this in the Readme.txt that comes with the download):

[Removed as per request of GOTD administrator. See Readme.txt that came in the .zip file for registration information.]

If you did it correctly, it will give you a message saying “Your registration code has been saved”. If you did it incorrectly, it will say “Your code is not valid”. One problem I had here was that I entered the code, I was told my registration code was saved, yet it still did not register properly. I had to open/close NoteFrog and repeat the process again a second time to get it to work. To verify that it registered properly, go to Stack Actions -> Create New Stack. If it registered, it will let you create a new stack. If it did not, it will give you a message saying that creating multiple stacks is only available in the Professional version.

When creating a new stack, you will be promoted to 1) Name the Stack, 2) Enter a Password for the Stack, 3) Enter a password hint. You can opt out of entering a password/hint just by clicking no if you wish.

Stacks are “categories”. For example, you could create a “Sociology 101″ stack and keep all your SOC 101 notes in there. Within categories, you can write your notes. For example, lets say you want to take notes for your SOC 101 class on Nov 5th. Click on the “Stacks” tab (about 1/3rd down from the top of the window). Double click on the stack you want (you must have created it previously obviously). If you entered a password and a hint for the stack, it will display the password hint and you must enter the password. Please note that you must delete the hint before entering the password for it to work properly.

Before we move on, lets explain what the buttons on the top are. From left to right:

  • Create a new “note sheet”.
  • Save “note sheet”.
  • Create a new “note sheet” by pasting rich from clipboard.
  • Create a new “note sheet” by pasting plain text from clipboard.
  • Copy all text into clipboard.
  • Delete

The top row first, left to right:

  • Cut selected text.
  • Copy selected text.
  • Paste text (as rich text).
  • Left Align.
  • Center Align.
  • Right Align.
  • Text Color.
  • Select all.
  • Undo.
  • Paste contents of clipboard as plain text.
  • Bold selected text.
  • Underline selected text.
  • Italicize selected text.
  • Font options for selected text (color, type, size, etc.)
  • Insert current date.

After you have your stack open, go to the bar that has all the buttons. Click the create a new “note sheet” button. Think of a “note sheet” like a new notepad file – just type. The first line of the note sheet will be the name that is displayed in the left menu. When you are done, hit the save a “note sheet” button to save the note sheet. All “note sheets” that are in that “stack” are displayed in the left column.

You can delete “note sheets” in three ways

  1. Highlight the “note sheet” in the left column with a left click. Then right click -> Delete item(s).
  2. While your cursor is blinking in the “note sheet” text area, hit the “Delete” button up top.
  3. Highlight the “note sheet” in the left column with a left click. Then hit the “delete” key on your keyboard.

Other then the password protect feature, so far this program has been a combine-notepad-files-into-one-location program. Lets discuss the one little feature that make it a little different:

Find/Replace text (Item Actions -> Find text within selected items)

This feature is very similar to the CTRL+F feature with one exception – you can replace the text you are searching for with new text that you type in.

Alternative Software:

Microsoft Office OneNote (not free)

EverNote (thx Duane)

The features of this program are very similar to NoteFrog. There are a few exceptions:

  1. You must sign-up for an EverNote account to use this program.
  2. There is no individual password protection of individual notes in EverNote.
  3. EverNote has spell check (!!!!).
  4. EverNote has a much much better interface.
  5. You can “tag” your notes in EverNote.
  6. You can draw graphs in EverNote (but not in the same “screen” as your typed notes).

The *main* feature for EverNote is the ability to synchronize your notes with their online server. The biggest draw back? You are limited to only 40/mb a month synchronization if you have the free account. Here is the thing: if you do not want to synchronize, go to Account -> Properties -> Uncheck Synchronize Automatically. This way, you can use the desktop program just as a note keeping tooling and do not have to be limited by the capped Sync bandwidth. As far as I know, the desktop program has no limitations on it.

One thing I would like to say: While you can draw graphs in EverNote (you have to ‘toggle note type’ to change between the formats – the white oval shape button that has a T/G type thing written in), you cannot draw graphs and type text on the same note page like you can in Windows Journal or Jarnal (read below).

wikidPad

wikidPad is less a program just for note taking, and more of a program to write…wikis. Imagine that. So for that reason, I will skip a “review” on it since NoteFrog is a note taking programming, but I figured I should tell you about it.

Windows Journal (Usually pre-installed on your Windows machine).

To see if you have Windows Journal, check C:/Program Files/Windows Journal.

With Windows Journal not only can you type your notes, but you can also draw in things like graphs if need be. The program is pretty self explanatory. Open it up and the pen tool is selected by default. With this pen tool, you can draw what you want (or even “hand write” your notes if you want). If you want to type something, go to Insert -> Text Box and type away. Once done type, just click out of the text box and you are ready to go. If you need to edit the text again, go to Insert -> Text Box, and click in the text box you want to edit.

There is a highlighter tool that allows you to highlight anything. There erases tool to erase in case you mess up. You can also insert space where you want. You can also insert “flags” (literally) where you want. There is also a selection tool which will let you select stuff you did (like pen marks) – the selection tool is kind of odd tho.

It has the standard copy, paste, cut, undo, redo features.

Jarnal

To run Jarnal, run the Executable Jar File.

Jarnal is a Windows Journal for those who dont have Windows Journal. There are a few advantages with Jarnal though:

  • You can insert the time and day by clicking a button up top.
  • It is also a bit easier to type on Jarnal and draw graphs at the same time.

One disadvantage:

  • Windows has a less “over whelming” interface.

PMnet Verdict: If you have OneNote…forget all these programs. If you do not:

If all you do is type text for your notes, or do not mind having to create new “note sheets” for text and graphs separately, check out EverNote (be sure to turn off Automatic Synchronization). If you are weary of creating an account with EverNote, then try NoteFrog. Both programs are  very handy tools for keep all your notes organized.

If you need to draw graphs and have other stuff in your notes besides just plain text, look into Windows Journal if you have it (it should be pre-installed), or Jarnal if you do not have Windows Journal.

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