In the ever-present effort to get my digital life in order, I am always glancing at note-taking applications, hoping that they somehow can guide me through the process of organizing the vast quantities of content that I produce or that I am in the process of producing. Simple systems generally are good for me, but the problem I have is that most simple note editors require me to affirmatively go back, open and re-read the notes to get the reminder. I could really use a system that reminds me in an unobtrusive and timely fashion, of note content so that I can act when I am supposed to act on one of the brainy gems of wisdom that I jot down.
GumNotes might be the answer to this virtual problem. MakeUseOf author Ryan Dube outlines the nuts and bolts of this desktop application in his great article here. GumNotes is a free download (link here). Install it and you can then pretty much annotate anything you need. Take a look at the supported apps:
Word, Excel, email, images, etc. Lots of places to gum your notes.
Once installed, the GumNotes icon sits in your system tray. Open a document, and if an idea comes to you (say, you want to conduct further research on a point or you have an idea for a future, related piece of content you may wish to explore), click the little icon. A window opens and you can write your note within. When you come back to that document (or even related documents, such as an email that attaches the document), GumNotes will pop open the window with your note, reminding you of your brilliance. Visit a web page and get some inspiration? Open GumNotes, jot down your idea and when you next visit the webpage, up comes your little GumNote to remind you. Add a GumNote to your desktop and it will show on your desktop, but only if you ask them to show, allowing you the ability to control whether your desk top looks pristine, or looks more like mine. Right click on the icon and see all your GumNotes in a window. Right click the pushpin at the bottom of a note and you can set a timer for it to pop back up. Create an unattached GumNote, add a tag or text that will act as a filter and any doc, email, or web page containing that filter or text will trigger the GumNote to open.
If you are working on a project with others, you can send your GumNotes to them so you can all bask in the benefits of your briliance. And, you can sync your notes with my top running note taking app SimpleNote. With the SimpleNote sync, you can now view your GumNotes on your iPhone, if you have SimpleNote running on it (*raises hand*). Sharing and syncing and reminders when you need them. Pretty sweet.
Check out the GumNotes vid below for the SimpleNote sync and a quick view of what GumNotes look like. And check it out – if you really love it (or really hate it) come on back and let me know.