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  • Software for a reference material - Any recommendations?

    Looking for a reference system for "Non Actionable Items" - eg's top

    - 7 things to do when looking for a new job.
    or
    -Ideas you may have to market a new website
    or
    -Things you must remember when publishing a book

    Any suggestions? David Allen mentions using a reliable system to reference important information to refer to later.

    As of now i am using Omnifocus for my GTD lists on my iPhone, Mac Desktop and Mac Laptop. I am looking for software that integrates seamlessly over these platforms

  • #2
    Try evernote.

    Comment


    • #3
      Mac

      I don't play with Mac, but there surely is some software that can do a simple cloud sync covering those devices mentioned. In the meantime, here are some not off-the-shelf remedies.

      I recommend a large collection of text files. A free 2 gb cloud account can hold an insane amount of information if it is formatted as .txt. Nothing is more universally-editable and readable.

      This is based on the book Bit Literacy, but it is what I had to do in order to share information across a smartphone, Windows, and Linux computers.

      A microSD-type card in your phone with even 1 gb of memory can store an insane amount of information... if it's text.

      Another imperfect solution: open a gmail account, type up the reference information, then email it to yourself as a plaintext attachment or in the body of the email. You can have a file cabinet of information, available from any computer and most phones. You need some cell or Internet access but that's pretty available these days.

      HTH,
      JV

      Comment


      • #4
        Non-Cloud Alternative

        Originally posted by molves View Post
        Looking for a reference system for "Non Actionable Items"
        I originally started with that sort of stuff in Yojimbo. Sync was not an option though so I switched to Evernote for about a year. I hated having stuff in the cloud and even Evernote's encryption was problematic. I kept searching for something else but not finding anything that would work for me.

        When DEVONThink came out with DEVONThink To Go aka DTTG, I jumped ship. Sync issues have been difficult to work with, due to Apple's policy on limiting the number of beta testers for iPod/iPad/iPhone apps it basically was released in the wild as rough beta SW and very buggy but it is improving fast and I am confident enough of its capability to have switched entirely.

        Biggest advantage to me is no need for cloud services. Robust index and search of my database, potential for large datasets and also ability to index and therefore search large sets of files I have on my Mac. It's also very scriptable and so you can do a lot with it via AppleScript if the built in functions are not good enough.

        Comment


        • #5
          Considering the platforms you are using, I might suggest an email mailbox called 'Reference'.

          I do this for certain reference items that I want to have available on the go.

          This gives you:

          - reliable sync - if it breaks it will be top priority for your provider to fix it
          - search-ability
          - access from Mac, iPhone, plus any browser on any platform
          - formatting, such as bullet points, links, etc; and attached files
          - ownership - you can change your client application and still own your data ( you don't get that with a custom app )
          - integrated backup/recovery via Time Machine on your Mac

          P.

          Comment


          • #6
            portable ?

            Unfortunately, I don´t have a Mac, but only Outlook synced to my Palm.

            Do you think all of the Reference material has to be portable ?
            What if I store it in an intelligent way on my (non-portable) desktop ?

            Somebody who is totally paper-based doesn´t carry all the reference paper files with him, doesn´t he?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Tom.9 View Post
              Do you think all of the Reference material has to be portable ?
              Not all reference material has to be portable but for me a majority of it does. Depends on what you store in reference and how you use it I guess.

              Comment


              • #8
                reference material: 37signals

                I use basecamp (by 37 signals) to store all my reference materials in the cloud. Different "projects" in basecamp are really areas of focus for me, but my files area always where I stashed them.

                If you don't need multiuser access to the files, backpack (also 37 signals) lets you make pages where you can stash files too. I use that for home projects since there is less reference material and only a need to share the project with my hubby.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here is what I do for paper files. Maybe it is adaptable to electronic files.

                  I created a text file with contents like this:

                  1 schedule template startup
                  2 contract billing procedure
                  3 lockup alarm procedure
                  4 project management info flow
                  5 Allen Bradley multiplier discount
                  6 OEM Customer survey poll
                  7 square d price increase notice
                  8 service engineer test

                  Basically, I assign keywords to each doc. Then I write the number on the doc and file it in numerical order. When I need to look for something, I use notepad's search feature to search the index text file. Each 'hit' points me to a doc by number and I can find it really fast. Simple.

                  In an electronic file system, the index text file get rid of the constraint that the e-doc is not searchable (like a drawing), and I don't have to put the keywords in the filename.

                  Ken

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I second Evernote. For paper stuff get a ScanSnap to scan directly in Evernote. No brainer for me on 3 Mac, 2 iPhones and 1 iPad in the family.

                    Oliver

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am using gmail for this!

                      Originally posted by molves View Post
                      Looking for a reference system for "Non Actionable Items" - eg's top

                      - 7 things to do when looking for a new job.
                      or
                      -Ideas you may have to market a new website
                      or
                      -Things you must remember when publishing a book

                      Any suggestions? David Allen mentions using a reliable system to reference important information to refer to later.

                      As of now i am using Omnifocus for my GTD lists on my iPhone, Mac Desktop and Mac Laptop. I am looking for software that integrates seamlessly over these platforms
                      I am using ... GMAIL for this. I have created separated gmail account specially for all reference materials. You can create inbox.<YourName>@gmail.com

                      1. You can send emails to this account with any information you want to store
                      2. You can use labels, stars and automatic filters to organize your information in gmail as you like.
                      3. You can access your information from any platform (including mobile devices and web browser) and from any place of the world.
                      4. You can search your information very effective
                      5. You can organized your information in threads simply replaying to your own emails
                      6. You can copy/past formatted text to the email.
                      7. It is very reliable and secure.
                      8. You have plenty of space for your information.
                      9. You can post links to your gmail emails (to your reference materials) in other task management systems you are using (OmniFocus, MyLifeOrganzied etc)
                      10. With Gmail Labs you can add more functionality to your gmail account.

                      And guess what - it is all FREE!
                      So why you need other tool for reference materials?

                      Andrey

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Did you try EverNote? It works on most platforms.

                        Comment

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