Mind you, I’m very happy here on the other side of the Mac Divide and already spoiled to a new way of thinking about installing software, finding files and text and making applications do their tricks. But I am digitally bipolar yet. Search as I have for that single program that satisfies the needs that were met in MS OneNote, I’m not there. But not for want of trying.
I’m typing this in Circus Ponies NoteBook. I have 30 days to decide, then it’s $50. I’ve blogged from VooDooPad Lite (free) and Mori (shareware that nags until you pay) and Journlr (60 day trial I think). They all have their strengths and quirks. And none of them gives me the whiteboard space of OneNote with drag and drop clips from the web with the ability to outline both within notes and within sections, folders and notebooks.
They all search indexes vastly faster than OneNote 2007 (I understand the lastest version that comes with Office has a much faster search.) They are all within the OS I paid so much to use versus switching back to the Parallels-run XP apps (OneNote, Ecco Pro, NoteTab Pro and an instance of Firefox at times) though that is fairly painless–enough so that I am not yet persuaded to abandon those programs for any of the ones I’ve mentioned. Yet.
Circus Ponies Notebook so far seems to offer the greatest variety of types of data organization and offers decent text display, which is the main thing I need, along with its own indexing engine (doesn’t seem to work in Spotlight–is this good or bad?) so that I can store passwords, serials, etc and find the quickly. It will let me pull in web clips from Firefox (paying the price of automatic saves from Safari) but it won’t let me nest and collapse those multiple clips in an outline like OneNote and you can only place them in a linear fashion on the page.
Sure as I PAY for one of the programs, the killer Mac OneNote will come along. I guarantee somebody is working on this, because it is the only instance I know of where Mac can’t better Windows in application performance and ease of use.
EccoPro replacement? Nothing close on the Mac side to let me quickly create and reorder multilevel outlines (with different formatted text at each level) and quickly set alarm dates and times and reoccurrence on the fly. Should I rely on online paid equivalents like BackPack?
This ambivalence is taking its toll on productivity–spending way too much time in the helps of the different programs, testing each for ability to do what I need to do in an way that “fits” my old habits. I’m trying not to be tied to old habits, but when they arose out of using a system that worked, I really want to match with Mac. Til then, I’m wandering in the digital desert.