Sugestions for a lightweight and open source notetaking and outlining editor
September 15, 2008 7:53 PM   Subscribe

Looking for alternatives to Keynote, a hierarchical note taking and outlining editor for Windows that is no longer under development.

I'm looking for something that:

- is equally lightweight and can be run from a USB flash drive
- is ideally open source
- handles data in a manner similar to Keynote, i.e. allowing multiple notes to be open at the same time as tabs.
- ability to open more than one database at a time would be a bonus.

Thanks!
posted by sk381 to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
One of the most popular note-taking programs, that can be used for all sorts of different notes (in a similar way to Keynote) is Evernote. But it is not free (not terribly expensive, but not free).
If you are stuck on the idea of open source, Lifehacker has a whole page of links to note-taking utilities.
Personally, I use Word outline view for my own hierarchical organization of notes, but that's just me ...:-)
posted by Susurration at 8:07 PM on September 15, 2008


Thanks for the suggestion, Susurration, but I'm looking for something that's a little less resource intensive and also allows for a hierarchical tree structure for outlines. Just wondering if Evernote can do that. Also, is there a portable version of it available?
posted by sk381 at 8:32 PM on September 15, 2008


For a free solution that I've used in the past, you may check out tiddly wiki. Never used keynote so I can't compare it's features, but from your requirements above it looks like it would work with some effort. It does not use a database but is a single file. You use it from a browser, so you could create multiple copies of the file and keep them open in different tabs. It'll reside on a usb drive.
posted by pemdasi at 9:52 PM on September 15, 2008


I was a Keynote user; now I use Treepad Lite, but it isn't open source and nor is it tabbed, so probably isn't for you. SEO Note isn't open source but does everything else (and "will help you be successful in your business, hobbies, education and personal life").
posted by 4eyes at 11:06 PM on September 15, 2008


I use The Guide, which is Open Source, and definitely runs from USB key (or at least the 2.0 beta does: see View -> Preferences -> Portable). It doesn't have tabs, but you can have multiple instances open at once.
posted by rjt at 12:15 AM on September 16, 2008


Have a look at TreeDB.
posted by flutable at 3:51 AM on September 16, 2008


Emacs org-mode meets your criteria. I have been using it for a couple of months and like it. There may be a bit of a learning curve, though.
posted by Coventry at 4:08 AM on September 16, 2008


I'm looking for something that's a little less resource intensive and also allows for a hierarchical tree structure for outlines. Just wondering if Evernote can do that. Also, is there a portable version of it available?

I'm a huge fan of Evernote but it doesn't do hierarchical lists (you could write an Evernote note in a hierarchical way, but it doesn't have the built-in outlining support) and there's not a portable version (although there is a version for mobile devices).
posted by outlier at 4:09 AM on September 16, 2008


The best fit is the non-OS, $30 MyNotesKeeper. There are a number of tree-based notes clients, many of them better than the others, but MNK is the only one that combines the hierarchical tree structure with multiple tabs, as Keynote did.
posted by yclipse at 4:21 AM on September 16, 2008


I use MyInfo. It's hierarchical and runs from a USB drive. I've used it for a few years. It has a number of nice features including to-do list type things.
posted by jdfan at 7:42 AM on September 16, 2008


I've been using Wikidpad for about 6 years now and it just keeps getting better. It's sort of a combination between a Wiki and an outliner. It is simple in many ways and powerful in others.

To answer your requirements:
- Portable and lightweight
- Open-source and regularly updated (very friendly community and developers)
- Similar to Keynote (although I have not used it in a long time)
- Can keep multiple instances of the application open at one time

Also, be sure to check out the Project link at the top for user scripts, particularly Christian Ziemski's, and other information.

Side note: the beta is usually quite stable.
posted by coolin86 at 11:29 AM on September 16, 2008


I'll second Coventry's recommendation of org-mode. There's a nice screencast demo here. A side benefit is that all your notes are stored as plain text (so any editor can manipulate or print them in a pinch), but Emacs can export them as formatted plain text, HTML, LaTeX, etc.
posted by harmfulray at 11:30 AM on September 16, 2008


Just found SEO Note. This may well be what you are looking for.
posted by yclipse at 8:52 AM on September 28, 2008


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