NoteBook 3.0 full review

Not every piece of software we review – not even the five star stuff – stays on our system very long. However, we’d only spent a few minutes with CircusPonies NoteBook 3.0 when we realised that it’s a keeper.

On the surface, it’s a note taking and organisation tool, wrapped in a cute, real world notebook look and feel that includes lined paper, ring binding and sticky notes. But it’s more than that. Everything you enter into NoteBook is categorisable – every line of text, chapter of a book, shopping list, or set of directions. They can be tagged, categorised and content lists automatically generated. And it’s not just text that it unmuddles for you. Freehand scribbles, PDFs, video clips, address book entries, photos, voice annotations and URLs can all be dragged or added to the NoteBook interface for instant inclusion.

It’s very easy to use, but the sheer number of possibilities that NoteBook 3.0 presents is a little overwhelming at first. There’s a ‘Starting Point’ screen – a dialog box stuffed with templates for common projects. From there you can create a simple task list or plan a novel. You can make a recipe book or prepare a court case. The documents this screen produces seem staggeringly complex – and yet they’re all assembled using the simple organisation tools that drive this program. It’s the combination of the generic – a relational database with hypertextual capability – with the specific metaphor of real world documents that makes it so useful.

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