What's the best way of keeping track of a large collection of Quotes?
February 25, 2007 4:24 PM   Subscribe

What's the best way of keeping track of a large collection of Quotes? What I really want is a searchable collection of short to long quotes on a large variety of topics that can be categorized/tagged. I'd also love it if it could be online, self contained or use a standard like Office so that I could access it via the internet or my external drive from wherever I'm at. Is there a product or service that does this that I've overlooked or a great workflow using existing software that makes this easy?

Short of learning Access or some other database platform to build my own quotes database is there a good way of storing and cataloging quotes? This seems like a perfect idea for some new Web 2.0 product or as some downloadable Access template but I can't seem to find anything that fits the bill. Right now I typically send myself an email with the quote and let my Gmail labels and good search organize them or I write them up in a text file and file them away in some arbitrary folder on my hard-drive but neither solution seems very elegant. For a while I also kept them in an spreadsheet organized by name but it was too hard to maintain and difficult to search and sort.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
posted by chrisWhite to Computers & Internet (17 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Can you create a quote blog using Blogger, just enter each quote individually, and tag it however you want? You can then search your quote blog or click on a certain tag ("war," "love," Hemingway, etc) to see all in that topic.
posted by GaelFC at 4:29 PM on February 25, 2007

Did you try Googling "quotes"?

posted by flabdablet at 4:31 PM on February 25, 2007

Although you say you don't want to learn a database, it sounds very much as though you want a freeform text database---e.g., AskSam or MyBase or Personal Knowledge or the like.
posted by LeisureGuy at 4:40 PM on February 25, 2007

BibDesk is made for storing references. So you could easily bastardize it to work with quotations. This would work especially well if you cared about metadata about the quotes like what book it's from, year, etc.

It is fully searchable, taggable, and pretty much the full on dopeness. It is Mac only, so that's another consideration.
posted by zpousman at 5:11 PM on February 25, 2007

Would a pbwiki work? Easy to use, they provide hosting, search works well, you could create pages for different categories.
posted by clavicle at 5:44 PM on February 25, 2007

If you're unixy, format them as a fortune file, which means you can use fortune to randomly pull them out, and so forth.
posted by eriko at 5:51 PM on February 25, 2007

I did this very thing, using a WordPress blog. It was about three years ago, and I don't think tags were very big yet (at least, on the blog-writer / publisher level). I had two categories for each post: the topic and the author. Then I could pull up all posts from a specific author, or all posts on a specific topic. Tagging would make that even easier.

Seriously, a blog is the perfect tool to do what you want.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:14 PM on February 25, 2007

If you're familiar with Wiki markup I find Wiki On a Stick really useful, especially the category and hyperlinking functionality. Drop it on a thumb drive and you're away.
posted by Paragon at 6:22 PM on February 25, 2007

If you don't want to go the blog route, Quoth sounds like it might have some of the features you're looking for, namely tags and search. All quotes are world-readable, so it wouldn't be useful if you wanted to keep a private database, but otherwise it might be a simple way to keep track of your quotes.
posted by Aster at 7:18 PM on February 25, 2007

Considered Evernote?
An ask.mefi thread recently asked a similar question about storing code snippets in a retrievable way. Similar answers. Blogs, google mail, evernote, various tree-based knowledgebase programs. For code snippets Evernote does wonders; might work well for quote collection too.
posted by jak68 at 7:34 PM on February 25, 2007

You guys rock, thanks for all the ideas, quite a few of those look like great solutions! The wiki and blog ideas look really interesting, I have no idea how I didn't think of those. It wouldn't be hard for me to throw up another Wordpress blog or a wiki on my own host, great ideas!

flabdablet, I'd missed that page, or at least, hadn't fully read it, I'll correctly use 'quotations' from now on. ;-)
posted by chrisWhite at 5:50 AM on February 26, 2007

If you like the "wiki on a stick" idea, you might also check out TiddlyWiki, another self-contained wiki which can handle plugins and tagging. It comes in various flavors that people have adapted with specific plugins; I use the MonkeyPirateTiddlyWiki (that's the best link I can find to it right now).
posted by JohnYaYa at 9:15 AM on February 26, 2007

WikiQuote already does this. It's an online encyclopedia of quotes, from the wikipedia people (i.e. everyone, I suppose).

As it's a wiki, you can add your own and edit existing quotes, if you want. You could also collect you favourites on your user page on wikiquote, if you wanted.
posted by dflock at 10:26 AM on February 26, 2007

If you can find the quotation somewhere online, you can tag it on a bookmarking site like del.icio.us with your own quotations-database tag (e.g. myfavoritequotations) and whatever other tags you want. I've looked things up on bartelby.com to tag after originally finding the quotation in printed media. I guess this works best if you stick to famous literary quotations, though - it might be hard to find movie quotations or specific chunks of song lyrics or whatever on separate bookmark-able pages of the web.
posted by vytae at 12:52 PM on February 26, 2007

Thinkexist lets you keep a "book" of quotations, separated by chapters of your choosing. The site has a HUGE database (which is always growing) to search, either by topic or author.
posted by messylissa at 2:48 AM on February 27, 2007

I finished setting up a Wordpress blog to do this yesterday and it manages to be a really elegant solution. It does everything I was hoping for and a few things I hadn't thought of. Thanks Alt F4, and thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions!
posted by chrisWhite at 1:43 PM on March 3, 2007

posted by Alt F4 at 8:17 AM on March 6, 2007

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