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Comparison of Ultra Recall, Surfulater and similar programs?

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Expand All You can also Post on Facebook, and we'll answer it there!

Tazzie I hope this is ok for a form thread ... can anyone tell me how UR functions in comparison to other s/w such as Surfulater? I'm not asking for a critical comparison, but just a comparison on how they function, which can be quite different and not an indication of which is better/worse. These type of programs can be really beneficial for tying a lot of our work together and also for keeping records, etc., but I know not all the functions are similar.

Thanks!!!
        Jan 7 2011 at 11:32am
Nico Westerdale Tazzie, this is a great thread, I strongly encourage this type of forum post!
        Jan 7 2011 at 12:07pm
Mike G tazzie, I just noticed your post and had to add a few comments about Ultra Recall. I started off years ago using Info Select, but they become boated, expensive, outdated and unresponsive to suggestions. I evaluated many PIMs since then--including most of the major ones--and finally settled on Ultra Recall Pro as my favorite by far.

At work I'm constantly gathering bits of technical information across a wide range of IT-related technologies. At home I'm involved in an even broader range of topics. Like you and others posting here, I need to manage random thoughts, information snippets and documentation along with more in-depth writing projects and research. And I need to link this information in flexible ways.

With Ultra Recall I can effortlessly create, copy, drag and drop or link to information in virtually any form including text notes, Office documents, Web pages, emails and image files. If something needs to appear in multiple places I can use internal links. Powerful tagging features allow for automatic and/or manual tagging and the latest version has full text search.

If I need to focus on a certain area I can use hoist and/or custom layout features. Item templates are customizable and you can create your own templates. Every item has an attribute and notes window that you can pin or auto-hide. In the latest version, formatting of stored web pages and emails is among the best I've seen.

I think most information junkies (if you'll pardon the inelegant term) probably end up using more than one tool for various purposes. I use OneNote plus SkyDrive (and occasionally Google Docs) for cloud-based collaboration and xMind for brainstorming and synthesizing diverse topics. But 90% of my information ends up in or linked to an Ultra Recall database. I have one database for work and one for home. I tend to link to anything that's large so the databases don't get huge and search/navigation remains lightening quick even with 2400 items in one case.

Sorry I didn't provide much of a comparison with other products, but my PIM search ended some time ago. ;-]
        Jan 18 2011 at 4:12pm
Tazzie Hi Mike! Thanks so very much for the feedback ... it really helped a lot, with the other feedback I've gotten. I decided in the face of such positive reviews to give Ultra Recall a go. I really like OneNote, and have resisted MS Office despite that. However, I've gotten tired of so many programs and such being developed specifically for the MS Office programs. Some can be used with Open Office, but not many. So, I've given up in the interest of productivity and have decided to get MS Office so that I can have the option of using some of the great programs that are available.

I've been working on getting my notebook ready for a reformat. After reading and thinking, I'm debating replacing my notebook's spindrives with two SSD's, and converting the spindrives into external HDD's for storage and backup. I'm not sure I've got the tech skills and know-how to do that, though, so I may need to check out local puter shops. I've done stuff on a desktop puter, but not notebooks.

Anyway, thanks again for your feedback ... as always, it is very much appreciated!!!
        Jan 25 2011 at 6:39am
Candice Robertson Hi Tazzie,

I use a program I picked up here at btj about a year ago called NoteFrog. According to a comment from the publisher, it was fashioned after InfoSelect.

It's free form, not tree structured, but once you get the hang of it, it's wonderful.

Maybe it will show up here again. After using mine, my husband wants to get a copy for himself.

Find one that fits you. Good luck with whatever you select.

Candice
        Jan 28 2011 at 12:36pm
Mike G tazzie, as Candice said, good luck discovering whatever fits you best. More than any other software, selecting a PIM/outliner seems almost like an information-age vision quest doesn't it?

Let us know how it goes with the SSD upgrade in your laptop! For my desktop, the improvement was almost on par with going from dialup to broadband. I probably would have ditched my slooow 5400 RPM laptop drive first, but the desktop gets used a lot more often and it was overdue for a rebuild.
        Jan 28 2011 at 2:00pm
Mike G @Mike G "...they become boated..." I always marvel at the brain's ability to subconsciously fill in the correct word through multiple scans and then lift the veil AFTER I post, LOL. Please make that "became bloated".
        Jan 28 2011 at 1:00pm
Candice Robertson Hi again,

My son uses One Note for his college courses (they require it) and he seems to think it's OK. Of course he gets it for almost nothing through an educational arrangement with the college.

Most of them (but not all), are better than nothing. But it's best to evaluate several and see which one works best for you and enhances your productivity the most.

C
        Jan 28 2011 at 1:13pm
Tazzie @ Mike G ... LOL I'm a writer and former English teacher, and I didn't notice the typo either! I do the same type of typo more than I like, but that's normal when you're more focused on WHAT you are saying rather than HOW you are saying it.

I just got a new laptop "AirDesk" and I'm going to be reorganizing my workspace and putting it together, and will also be checking out the puter shops and getting some estimates. I miss using a desktop, but I get more use these days out of my laptop.

I like your phrase "information-age vision quest" ... that's pretty much what we do in some cases! So far I really like Ultra Recall. I have so many files, though, that I've had to really start to go through them and evaluate what to archive and what to delete, as well as what to keep in use. I'm toooo much of an info junkie, though LOL ... maybe UR will help me at least keep future info gathering sprees better organized.

@ Candice ... thanks so much for sharing the info about NoteFrog. I've never heard of it, but it's always nice to have a smaller and "easier" program for certain types of info. I'll definitely check it out. I haven't gotten OneNote yet, which I'll get with MS Office, but from what I've reviewed, I'll probably like it too much, then I'll have to decide what program to use for what function/info LOL.

I love using DOpus for heavy duty functions, but I also use Xyplorer as my go-to file manager since it has wonderful features that I need on a regular basis, but has a smaller footprint than DOpus (can even be used as a portable file manager) and not as complicated.
        Jan 29 2011 at 5:58pm
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