Saturday, November 25, 2017

One Dumb Note?

I know I got burned criticizing OneNote some time ago, but, I can't help my self. See here. Even if you like OneNote, it might be interesting reading.


raluke said...

I like Onenote but can’t get it to reliably synchronize with my iMac and iPad. Sick of deleting and reinstalling and googling for how to make it work. Maybe it’s because it’s macOS but I’ve heard other people say that it doesn’t work all that hot for them on Windows either. Anyway, I’ve gone back to using Evernote. It has been absolutely reliable (at least for me) since the new management took over the company.

Slartibartfarst said...

Finding something that can faithfully copy a webpage's content intact is a bit like seeking the Holy Grail.
Because it struggles so with getting the formatting right, I would NOT recommend that people even consider using ON (OneNote) to try and capture web pages, though it is OK for partial clippings of webpages, and usually picks up all the relevant/associated meta-data too - sometimes depending on which browser you are using (seems to work best with IE; I wonder why?). However, even with partial clippings, the formatting can be off and needs to be tidied up, which is ergonomically inefficient and a potential time bandit, prone to human error, and a PITA.

Sure, one can clip superb images of a scrolling webpage from IE to ON, and ON will capture it and OCR and index the visible text in the image, but the metadata and embedded images and links are lost, so it's not really a very good alternative - at least, not for my usual requirements, anyway. Why on earth. Microsoft couldn't have got that perfect at the outset, in ON is beyond me. They would surely have had the know-how and expertise for it. I tend to moan on a bit about that, on the DonationCoder forum site on the OneNote experiential tips and tricks" thread.

My absolute best webpage clipper was the Scrapbook extension in Firefox, which did the full wax. It could capture/download embedded/nested links and specified file-types from any links as well, to "n" levels deep (as required). Ruddy amazing.
Second to that would be Zotero (apparently uses a fork of the same engine as Scrapbook), though it only captures the content of the visible page.
Sharing 3rd place would be Wezinc and WizNote. Wezinc's webpage capture isn't so comprehensive, but it can automatically create a mindmap of all saved content, which could be pretty useful, and WizNote does such a good job the user can edit the page downloaded, using a built-in editor.
See fuller discussion here:

The trouble is though, that these tools generally save the webpages into a proprietary or semi-proprietary format in a database of some kind, and one has to use the tool that saved the pages to display the pages on screen. It is possible to use a web browser to do this, in some cases, but that can be clunky.

For most of 2017, with Firefox and later, after migrating to Slimjet (Chrome), I have been experimenting with copying webpages as single .mhtml files, which capture most/all the data and metadata, embedded links and images. Since these files are on the disk, they can be searched/indexed using WDS (Windows Desktop Search), and viewed in a browser (kludgy). Better yet, they can be viewed in the preview pane of the Everything search engine, xplorer² (Windows Explorer replacement tool), and Windows Explorer, so the user can just scroll down the .mhtml files in a filtered search, viewing the .webpage, zooming, etc.. I tend to save downloaded images and document files in the same folder as the .mhtml files, so I can view these different filetypes in this way - which is very handy. In ON, I can either put a hyperlink to these files, or save a copy (duplicate) of them as attached files in a Note.

The good thing about that is that the webpages, images and document files are indexed/searchable using WDS, so can be located relatively quickly, and are not kept in a proprietary database (though one put copies there, as mentioned).
Increasingly, the database metaphor thus progressively seems to become the Desktop client PC - which is less proprietary.

blumm said...

Hi. I just discovered your blog but I can not find the search engine. I would like to filter by some words, like "onenote" or "evernote". I would like to read what you have written on the subject.
Would you mind adding the search engine in the blog so we could search by themes?
Very thankful.

MK said...

It's right at the top of the page, left side.

blumm said...

Oh thank you very much. I had not seen it. He was used to seeing them on the right side. I already have what I wanted. Your blog is wonderful. From Spain, Thanks!

Use Evernote daily. I have 4000 notes and I am scanning all the paper that I generate, especially the files of my file, like this one:

I was thinking of moving to OneNote but I think not, that Evernote is more efficient. I love Evernote.

Here, in your blog, is what I wanted. I'll read it over the weekend:

Thank you very very much.