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Ask Slashdot: Life Organization With Free Software? 133

Posted by timothy
from the new-year's-resolution dept.
BigZee writes "For many years, I've used a page-a-day diary as both a planner and a method for taking notes. While not perfect, it's proven to be an approach that's worked fairly well for me. Conscious of the limitations, I want this to become more electronic. In principle, I want to be able to use my Nexus 7 for this function. There are some limitations: My workplace uses MS Outlook. However, I am not able to use Evernote (or similar) on my workplace machine. This limits possible integration along the lines proposed with GTD. What I want is to be able to take notes that are organized by date as well as being integrated to a calendar (preferably Google). Additionally, I want to be able to prioritize my work along lines similar to GTD. I'm not averse to spending money for the right software but prefer to use free software where possible. Can anyone suggest what could be used?" The above-linked Wikipedia page lists some relevant Free software as well as closed-source options. If you use such organizing software, though, how do you use it, and how well do you find it works?
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Ask Slashdot: Life Organization With Free Software?

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  • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @02:23PM (#45830995) Homepage

    I know this goes contrary to what a lot of people here will think, because it ignores the technology aspects we're all so obsessed with.

    Me, I still use the same black lab-books for persistent note-taking I've been using for 20 years.

    I've got a stack of them, numbered and with dated pages. Every time I've looked at an alternative, I've found it cumbersome and less useful, and sooner or later you discover whatever technology du jour you're using has gone away, and you're left finding yet another alternative.

    By all means, apply technology as you see fit. But for some things, many of us have found that old fashioned pen and paper is still superior. Everything else is a temporary solution which will eventually fail on you or go away completely.

  • Re:OneNote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiggles (30088) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @02:51PM (#45831261)

    Whoever modded you a troll should be chastised for misuse of mod points. OneNote is exactly what he needs, and will work with his office software.

    Open Source is great, preferred in many situations, but nothing else will satisfy the poster's compatibility requirements. End of story.

  • Re:Try Google Keep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chemisor (97276) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:01PM (#45831357)

    I don't know about you, but I have no intention of letting google know what I'm doing on a day to day basis. So no, I won't try Google Keep.

  • Re:Try Google Keep (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh (216268) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:02PM (#45831369)

    Not a good idea; it'll probably be taken down by Google sometime in the near future. I've never heard of Keep, and I've noticed that Google frequently discontinues products I haven't heard of, so I expect to see an announcement any day now, now that I've heard of it thanks to you, that Google Keep is being shut down as it wasn't popular enough.

    Relying on any Google product for long-term use is a bad idea for this reason alone, unless it's one of their extremely core products (search, mail, maps).

  • Re:Try Google Keep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fencepost (107992) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:35PM (#45831651) Journal
    I don't know about you, but I have no intention of depending on any Google product for something that I wish to have available for long periods of time.

    And yes, I know about their export capabilities. It only marginally improves matters.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @03:39PM (#45831685)

    It also allows me to have my notes be fairly unstructured, include diagrams, and lots of other things I don't always find a good analog for in digital things.

    This is what OneNote on a tablet with a stylus should have been good for. Unfortunately, as soon as tablets quit being impractical because they were too heavy and expensive, they started being impractical because they'd lost their styluses.

  • Re: OneNote (Score:4, Insightful)

    by geminidomino (614729) on Tuesday December 31, 2013 @04:11PM (#45831965) Journal

    Yeah, because no FLOSS projects people can come to rely on are [alternativeto.net] ever [eweek.com] abandoned [sourceforge.net].

    Open source absolutely has a lot of advantages over proprietary software, but let's not pretend that it's not subject to most of the same software engineering concerns. A five-year-old source dump isn't a whole lot of use when it relies on a long-deprecated version of a library (also open source) that's not backward compatible, and so on.

    Yes, with FLOSS, you have the option to become/commission a new maintainer for an entire toolchain, but if you're being practical rather than idealistic, you'd spend so much time and money doing so, you'd never have the opportunity to use it. And gods help you if a second of your beloved applications was abandoned.

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