Lately at the Daily Mac View we’ve been looking at Notebooks and their value. There are so many Notebooks for any system it’s mind boggling. We have thus looked at Notebooks from the point of view of structured vs the unstructured. DEVONthink Pro Office would be considered, as an example, a highly structured Notebook and then you have Microsoft’s Onenote at the other end, which would be considered unstructured. The very popular Evernote would fall somewhere in between.
In these Notebooks we have cross platform say within the Mac ecosystem and those that are fully cross platform, which would include Onenote and Evernote. One Notebook though that stands out in this crowded field is Circus Ponies Notebook which is a plethora of things and Cross Platform within the Mac ecosystem.
Circus Ponies Notebook
From this point on Notebook will mean Circus Ponies Notebook for the sake of brevity and clarity. Notebook has a very interesting background and goes a long way back. It started when Steve Jobs had NeXt computers and migrated to the Mac when he came back to Apple. Of all the Notebooks we can look at, Notebook is one of the most versatile on the market and the only thing it really doesn’t handle is Markdown or the translation of Markdown to it’s intended output.
However, when looking at Notebook from what it does do the question arises what doesn’t it do. This app can be a repository for everything to the mere development of a paper, student project through to a business proposal and article. It probably has one of the best outlining facilities I’ve ever come across.
A Scratchpad and then Some
Notebook could be as simple as your scratchpad to jot down very simple yet important information down to that of a full blown repository for all information either intended just to be loosely bound into sections, much like a paper notebook or you might use it to outline the start to a project. It’s that powerful.
Notebook uses a standard Notebook Metaphor
Unlike many of the note taking systems, Notebook uses a simple Notebook as its working metaphor. It has a cover, sections that have divider pages and the pages you use to hold your information. Interestingly enough, this standard Notebook metaphor works incredibly well. Notebook will carry out all its functions within the metaphor and this is intended to give you something to work with that both looks and is familiar.
As with a notebook, you can have one or many notebooks. One might include many different sections and be a general purpose notebook. A section could have everything in it that a standalone notebook has. However, you might want a notebook dedicated to a project say so that the sections could be various aspects of your project. When you think about it this way, this is very powerful.
Notebook has one of the best outlining facilities available. Many aspects of a project require an outline to structure how you want the end result to look.
The outliner has full indent and level control. Notebook‘s outliner can allow you to fully mesh out your intended product. It could prove very useful way to get going, keep things rolling and tie them up.
Some products are just outliners. You then have to turn to a product to put the results of your outline together. Some let their outline fully guide their work whereas others just get the idea and structure of how the document will appear.
I’m very big where it comes to outlines. In the development of your outline, you can include all your references saving a great deal of time when it comes to carry out this task.
An outline is nothing to feel ashamed about but rather just the opposite. It says that you want a well structured and balanced document.Often in the outlining process the end result isn’t known. However, your outline assists in determining that. I view it as at a minimum very good practice.
Notebook is a full fledged repository. As previously noted, you can store anything in Notebook. It is a spot that you should be able to find all your research, people involved and on it goes.
You can store your diagrams, pdf’s, articles, references and on it goes. Relationships can be drawn between this material sometimes leading to that aha! Moment. Conclusions can be obtained as you expand your research, create relationships between your items and draw logical conclusions. Moments like this are real eye openers and lead to the advancement of knowledge.
Note Taking has never been Easier
When you have a program like Notebook you quickly become aware of the need for such a product and how easy it is to handle complex information. Notebook helps immensely at pulling together disparate pieces of info that you woo need to work on any project.
From the perspective of maintaining all relevant information in one place regardless of type Notebooks excels. This capability allows you to draw logical links and thus conclusions between things. Sometimes it only takes one thing, logically interpreted, to come up with forward advancing information.
Notebook’s outliner capability is one of the most powerful things about this Notetaker. You can structure complete articles and papers using this outliner. A good outliner a lone is as much as Notebook itself yet Notebook does so much more.
Notebook’s ability to store any kind of data, draw relevant conclusions between it all the while being guided by the outlining function is extremely powerful. Finally, this is not a complex system to understand which is of tremendous value. Although there is an iPad version of Notebook which works with the desktop I’ve tended to remain using the desktop solely although the iPad component does come in handy at times.
Notebook is a useful tool for anyone who assembles disparate pieces of information that needs to be easily related and found. If you use a tool such as Onenote or Evernote I feel they satisfy different capabilities. Notebook can work in conjunction with these Note takers rather than at odds. Anything that can assist you with your work as well as this product can rather than distract or take away from your focus deserves serious consideration as you move forward.