Information Managers


For those of you looking for information management tools that work in a Windows '9x, NT, XP, or Vista environment, here are several of the more interesting ones I've discovered on the web: Note that the subsequent list doesn't include programs that are strictly speaking just outliners (like old DOS-based Grandview or like PC-Outline):



Ecco Pro-- a powerful outline-based personal information manager; once a highly regarded commercial product. Not only handles data well but has address book, contact management and other capabilities

Evernote-- An AskSam-like database, all notes are stored in one continuous "role". All notes time-stamped by entry and can be assigned on the fly to one or more categories, which are displayed in a panel adjacent to the individual notes themselves. Interfaces well with Internet Explorer so you can dump web page content painlessly into the Evernote database you have loaded.

Literary Machine 2000-- a non-intuitive, somewhat complicated, freeform database based on a notecard paradigm. Has extensive tutorials to get you up and running (and they're needed). A "Pro" version--with additional features--exists which you can purchase. This is software which has been constructed with writers in mind.

Keynote-- a three-panel, tree-based notes style database. Can import .rtf, .txt, and .html files; additional tool is available for importing e-mail. Has macro language and template capabilities. Can send notes via e-mail directly from the program. Can insert images, OLE objects, URLs, link to local files. Links with WordWeb Thesaurus. Can format text in various ways.

Maple Professional-- a two-panel, tree-based notes style database. Has grammar and spelling checker. Can store images, embedded objects, URLs, and links to files. Has bookmarking capability. Can import and export .rtf, .doc, .wri, .txt, .htm, .html files. Can format text in various ways.

Skwyrul Pro-- a two-panel, tree-based notes style database. Simple to use; but with very few fancy capabilities.

TreeDBNotes -- a two-panel, tree-based notes style database. Can import pictures and hypertext links. Can import and export .wri, .txt, .wps, .html, WordPerfect 5.x/6.x, Microsoft Word .doc. Can display and store tables. Built in calculator, calendar, and clipboard viewer. Can format text in various ways.

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AskSam -- a complicated, but powerful free-form database with lots of capabilities. In addition to standard support options, has a listserv through which some support is given by other users. Most expensive of the commercial information managers.

DoOrganizer -- An information manager that can link to TextNotes Pro; adds address book, calendar, contact management, mind mapping/brainstorming tool, journal management and similar PIM features. It has its own notes database, which I suspect is actually TextNotes, but nowhere on the site or in the documentation does it say so. Can encrypt your data files. 

Evernote Plus -- Big brother to Evernote. Has additional capabilities such as being able to interface with tablet PCs, Digital Pens, etc. Has handwriting recognition capabilities.

MDE Info Handler -- a free-form database, not quite as good as Zoot. In addition to standard support options, has a support group at:

TreePad Biz -- a two-paneled, tree-based notes style database..Very powerful. Can import/export pictures, .rtf files, HTML files. Has an .rtf editor which can handle tables, color text and background formatting. Its search engine is a full Boolean search engine and is quite fast. Can encrypt databases and password protect them. Can assign icons to outline nodes. Has automated Table of Contents generating feature based on the node structure of the database outline. Can use it to produce e-books. Can produce web site (HTML) pages directly from the database. Very highly Recommended.

TextNotes Pro -- Another powerful two-paneled, tree-based notes style database., very similar to TreePad Biz, but doesn't have quite the power of TreePad Biz or TreePad X Enterprise.

TreePad X Enterprise -- The big brother to TreePad Biz--it handles much larger databases as well as being able to load and work with eight databases at a time. Has most of the features of TreePad Biz except "quickformatting", encryption/password protection of databases, and some of the HTML exporting capabilities. This version of TreePad can handle databases with sizes of 12 GB or 384 GB, depending upon the version you order.  Very highly Recommended.

UltraRecall Pronew-- A really nifty database program, comparable to TreePad Biz or X Enterprise. Is able to snapshot web pages and documents intact and on the fly, which is something TreePad cannot do. Has "logical linking" capabilities that come the closest to old Lotus Agenda's logical linking and organizational capabilities. Very highly recommended.

Zoot -- an intuitive, free-form database which has some AI-like features for automagically categorizing data entered into the database. In addition to standard support options, has a support forum at


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Last Updated:

Sunday, January 20, 2008