Organized Text Files

I finally gave up on all the tree based organizers like treepad and notecase.  Both work well but I have decided to use the lowest common denominator to save my notes – plain text files and for rare exceptions odt documents (LibreOffice/OpenOffice/LotusSymphony).

These are the features I wanted in a note taker:

  • Must be easy to use
  • Must work on all my computers (home, work, netbook, vmware images, etc)
  • Must be easy to transfer from one location to another
  • Must be easy to encrypt just those notes that contain private information
  • Must be searchable with Google Desktop
  • Nice to have: formatting
  • Nice to have: attachments (but that also creates a searchablity problem)

I used Treepad for a while and them switched to NoteCase.  Both are good.  But Google Desktop didn’t find me the node in the tree – it just found me the entire ncd file.

My System

My system now is just to take notes using plain text files with simple Markdown formating.  I title each file with a date (mm.dd.yy) and a topic (like personal) and a title (like something personal) so the file would be named

mm.dd.yy – personal – something personal.txt

I keep files organized into folders on the file system.  Most of the time my folder system saves me from searching but search still works to turn up results when I use Google Desktop Search to find something.


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