What's the best portable and self-contained PIM (Personal Information Manager) I can run on my USB stick / thumb drive?
January 24, 2008 5:41 AM   Subscribe

I need to find a way to keep all of my various bits of information handy in one application on my USB drive - things like notes, to-do lists, addresses and project information - and would be very grateful for any recommendations or help you can give me :) ! I'm happy to pay for the right software so paid or free options would both be great. What I'm looking for is something that is... - Self contained: must run on, or from, the USB stick and not* require a webserver or apache to work (browser-based apps are fine if they meet this criteria) - Easy to use - Secure (a login would be ideal) - Searchable - Has checklists for my to-do items - Has the ability to write freeform text for project info / notes Do you know of a portable PIM or similar application that would fit the bill? A huge thank you in advance for taking the time to help me out :)! * Web servers, wiki's and Wordpress (so many w's!) are out of the question sadly since my work computer is in serious IT lockdown and I can't even change the apache port.
posted by katala to Technology (12 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
PortableApps might have something. Or try their forums.
posted by Leon at 5:48 AM on January 24, 2008

TiddlyWiki and its spin-offs should meet your needs.
posted by Happy Dave at 5:56 AM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]

2nding PortableApps. Failing that, you could try Tiddlywiki. No webserver required, just a JS enabled browser.

I don't think it supports checklists though, so YMMV.
posted by geminus at 5:57 AM on January 24, 2008

EverNote Portable.
posted by davcoo at 6:07 AM on January 24, 2008

Wiki on a Stick is pretty cool, too.
posted by so at 7:45 AM on January 24, 2008

Failing using TEXT FILES, you could probably do all this with Thunderbird Portable. with the sunbird/lightning and quicknote extensions.
posted by seanyboy at 7:48 AM on January 24, 2008

OMG, Happy Dave (and to a lesser extent, geminus), thank you for introducing me to TiddlyWiki.
posted by hjo3 at 8:11 AM on January 24, 2008

Back when I was using Windows I had Essential PIM Portable Edition on my thumb drive. Worked great.
posted by phrayzee at 8:19 AM on January 24, 2008

You can create a simple Todo List and Note Taker for Windows using the following file structure (and nothing more):
    |---- create New todo item.bat
    |---- Drag completed items here
    |---- create New Note.bat
    |---- Recycle Bin

The two .bat files contain a single line ...
echo "You can add further Notes in here." >>".\Click text to change name.txt"
Wiki.Html is a version of tiddlyWiki.
All other files are Folders.

In the todo folder, it's simple to add new items, rename them and then drag them to the completed bin. You can even add a [more inside] by double clicking them.

I've created a simple version of this highly advanced PIM which can be downloaded from here -->Simple PIM (It needs unzipping and copying to your USB drive)
And Here's a screenshot to show it in action.
posted by seanyboy at 8:29 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

b.t.w. I used GTDTiddlyWiki for my wiki (above).
It's a version of tiddlyWiki optimised for todo lists / GTD.
posted by seanyboy at 8:32 AM on January 24, 2008

I also use the GTDTiddlyWiki (see link above) - it's amazing. The only pitfall is that it can become rather slow if the wiki has a lot of data.
posted by cgg at 8:54 AM on January 24, 2008

In addition to EssentialPIM, for simple text entry with a tree-based organization model, TreePad Lite is excellent (and free).
posted by megatherium at 1:59 PM on January 24, 2008

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