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We all keep notes--whether they be grocery lists, outlines for a speech, blog posts, or just private thoughts. Over time, these notes accumulate, and with a bit of curation can morph into a journal or a treasure trove of knowledge and experience. What if you were able to store your notes securely, tag them, search through them quickly, and share them with others as needed? Using the free ResophNotes software to take notes and synchronize them with the Simplenote service, that's exactly what you can do.
In a nutshell, Simplenote is an online service for keeping notes and synchronizing them across multiple computers and mobile devices. It has an iOS client of its own, but developer Simperium lists a number of third-party applications for various platforms. And this is where ResophNotes comes in: By itself, it is a simple Windows note-taking application, similar to many others. But as a Simplenote client, it lets you make those notes on your PC and take them with you on your mobile device, without having to synchronize anything manually.
ResophNotes can either be installed on a PC or used as a portable application that you can run off a USB drive. It can keep your notes either in database form, or as plain text files in a folder. If you use the plain-text mode, any TXT file you place in its notes folder is automatically synced with Simplenote. This is fantastic, because it means you can use any text editor you wish, and use ResophNotes as a conduit from your PC to Simplenote--and from there to all your computers and devices that use Simplenote.
ResophNotes' own built-in editor is simple and effective, but where it really shines is search: The search function is "live," which means you don't have to hit Enter after entering your search query. It is blazing fast: Just start typing, and results instantly show. It searches both the titles of your notes and text within the notes, and when it finds a match, the note is instantly shown and the match is highlighted.
Each note can be "tagged" with one or more tags, which are effectively categories. You can then have ResophNotes search only within notes from one or more categories, which makes it easy to find a word such as "Tomato" in your notes about books, rather than in one of your recipes.
To format your text, you use a popular form of notation called Markdown. It's quite intuitive, and feels pleasantly "low-tech" and uncomplicated. For example, to make a word bold, you simply surround it with asterisks **like this**. This is not unique to ResophNotes; it's the convention Simplenote uses. It's widespread on the Web as well.
As befitting a keyboard-centric application, ResophNotes offers a plethora of shortcut keys. The most important one, naturally, is F1. That's the key for the online help, which lists all other keys. It came in very handy when I hid all icons and could not figure out how to get them back (Ctrl-O to get into the options, where you can toggle the icons back on). You can also enable its "global hotkey," which lets you pop up the application from anywhere with just a simple keystroke.
Using Simplenote is a habit that might just transform your digital existence, make you better organized, and preserve your thoughts for posterity. ResophNotes is the perfect way to get started.
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