Ruth's Genealogy

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”

I have been trying to find an application that, in a nutshell, acts as a virtual spiral notebook on my desktop that I can use to take notes and jot down my findings as I do my genealogy research. It must:

  • be very simple to type text into
  • add cut ‘n paste snippets from online sites
  • allow images as I fnd them
  • reside on my desktop- no internet access required
  • no storage limits (except by my hard drive size)
  • searchable

In a perfect world…APPARENTLY!

I have spent the last 2 days Googling, downloading, trying, rejecting.

TiddlyWiki seems to be the closest, but what a pain in the backside! Very confusing, not very image-friendly. I have tried it in the past and upgraded to the latest version yesterday, which had fixed several of the problems I had run into, but still not easy to add images to.

Zim is similar to TiddlyWiki, but not nearly as versatile. Very little in the way of documentation avaiable- not user-friendly!

Several other wiki-type apps, none were what I’m looking for.

Online possibilites include Ubernote and Springnote. Both work ok, but I want SOMETHING ON MY DESKTOP! Neither has unlimited storage. I don’t want to suddenly find myself up against a wall!

A third option is to set up a WordPress blog as a notebook. Easy to add images to, at least.

Looks like I’ll go with SpringNote- but I still want something DESKTOP!

11 thoughts on “A virtual notebook

  1. Ruth Stephens says:

    Wow, Yoonsun, I am impressed….maybe I’ll go back to Springnote. It certainly seems to be working for you!

    Thanks so much for the link! A great example of what Springnote can do!


  2. Ruth Stephens says:

    Thanks, Vickie!

    I’ll check it out.


  3. Ruth Stephens says:

    Looks great, Thomas!


    I really like the tree structure. Easy to rearrange notes.

    I think this just might work!


  4. Ruth Stephens says:

    Thanks, Thomas!

    Looks interesting, I’ll check it out and let you know.


  5. Vickie says:

    Just an FYI . . . I have been using TurboNote in a similar manner for 5+ years. I do not at this time use it for images, but it will do screen captures. It’s like a sticky note for your desktop . . . from . . . and it’s free . . . not sure about any storage limits . . . I have never exceeded them if there are any . . . but then I only use it for “current” projects . . . and things I need quick access to on an almost daily basis . . . vle . . .


  6. This is a free, open-source and downloadable app called The Guide:

    It can also be loaded on a USB/Flash drive and taken with you on genealogy research trips.



  7. Ruth Stephens says:

    Hi Thomas!

    Yeah, I looked at Evernote, but there is a monthly usage limit. I don’t want to be tied to that. Actually Springnote seems to be just what I’m looking for, but not as a desktop app. Mac seems to have a good one, Notebook, by I have a Windows Dell. I found a blog run by a chemist that is set up like a research notebook, full of his scribbles and scratches. That may be the way to go. I kinda like TiddlyWiki, but it’s a pain in the backside to add images to it. I’ll keep looking…
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Hi Debbie, if I find something, I’ll certainly post it. I’ve been Googling for 3 days, haven’t found what I want yet. Basically, a virtual spiral notebook on my desktop where I can get to it anytime without needing internet access. Gotta be out there somewhere…
    Have a great day!


  8. Debbie McCoy says:

    I’ve looked for the same thing. If you find anything, let me know. I’ve tried some of the web-based programs, but I just don’t like them. Like you said, I want something on my desktop. I am just using MS Word to take notes and web snippets.


  9. Have you check out Evernote? Many Google Notebook people have migrated over to that.


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