I have been on a quest for years to find the perfect tool to store all "my stuff". You know... personal information, code snippets, software keys, people's birthdays, whatever. There are lots of tools out there for this sort of thing, but I've never found any of them quite what I need. Ideally, I would just be able to type some notes, tag them (I don't like the idea of folder organization... too cumbersome) and then easily search and retrieve what I need later. It seems so simple, but for some reason I just can't find it.

I currently use Backpack (sometimes), which is OK, but I hate the fact that you always have to create "pages" to store things. I don't want to have to do that. I want to just type some notes, tag it and save. That's it. And Backpack didn't even have search for a long time.

What I do like about Backpack is that it's fast and it's web based. I've tried some desktop apps, which probably came closer to the functionality I want, but I just hate being tied to a single machine. I want to be able to get to my stuff anywhere, so the web based thing is a definite requirement.

Anyway, I'm thinking about writing my own thing for this if I can't find anything, but before I make the attempt, I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I've used Backpack, Zoho Planner, Stikkit and Google Notes so far, and they are not quite to my liking.


(Sorry if this is off-topic, but I figured you guys might be legitimately into this kind of thing... you know, storing code snippets and such.)

UPDATE: I've been using Evernote for a few days, and it is exactly what I've been looking for. It is totally tag based and allows both online and offline usage. The desktop app sits in your system tray and allows you to add whatever you want on the fly either as text notes or clippings from the browser. It also syncs it to the web (if you want) where you can get to it from anywhere using their web client. They even have a mobile client which I haven't used, but I will try it soon. Thanks again 18hrs. I wish I could give you 10 upvotes.


I've recently started to use Evernote and I must say that they've implemented their idea very well. It basically gives you the ability to store cut-n-pastes from just about anywhere and provides two nice and clean interfaces (web and desktop, although there's also a mobile one which I haven't tried) to manage, search, tag, etc. It has some cool features like automatic OCRing of text in images, although I would say what makes stand out is that it's simple (few clicks to get things done) and fast.


I use Office OneNote to store all sort of information. Everything from birthdays, shopping lists, passwords, code snippets, todo-lists and more. It's quite powerful and some of the features I like best is the ability to search within images you have added (like scanned pages or screenshots) and the advanced tagging. I also like that fact that you can password protect individual sections or books.

I'd also like to mention Evernote as a few of my colleagues have started using it and find it very useful. Especially the fact that you can synchronise your notes online and that it has good mobile support.


Text files and Google Desktop Search. The former is easy and relatively safe (no need to worry about being left stranded if my favorite text editor is abandoned); the latter is fast.


For some types of information, TiddlyWiki is very good. I keep one in a USB key and use it to take general notes, record names of people I will need to contact etc. Very easy to edit and to search.


You may want to take a look at Tomboy. I don't think it's been ported to Windows yet, but it's written in C#, has a plugin system and may be a better place to start than from scratch.


I keep a lot of stuff on a USB thumb drive. All personal data is in a TrueCrypt encrypted volume. I have a few TiddlyWikis as notebooks, as well as tools utilities ready to go. Non-critical passwords are also stored here.

When plugged into my PC at home, data is automatically backed up.

Compared to on-line solutions, I find this to be a bit more reliable and secure. As long as you trust the crypto you set up for the TrueCrypt volume!


I use a wiki at wikihost for the general, unsecured stuff. For more private things I use a truecrypt container and mostly PDF files for software keys, important communications and other stuff. My passwords are stored within a Keepass database in the truecrypt container on my USB stick. The only other important source of information is my gmail, and that's stored at - surprise - Gmail. ;-)


@Jeremy McCollum

Yea, I had also been looking for a tool to solve this problem for awhile. I use text files and mind maps but the issues with searching and portability have always left me itching for the right solution. The search/indexing and synchronization in Evernote are excellent... I think I might be getting addicted.

On the minus side, I am not too fond of having my data on the cloud, but I guess that's the price we have to pay.

I have also been using Live Mesh from Microsoft and it is not bad. I use it mainly to keep various code and pdfs in sync and available remotely. But they have a long way to go before they have something as usable as EverNote.


I use a system that I built a while back. Just a basic database with minimal front end. Something like 3 types of authentication and 2 types of encryption on an SSL. HEHE don't want them software licenses getting out.


searchable text files are good, though I'd suggest something like a word doc that allows you to format it to your needs, add clickable URLs etc. If you choose either an open format or a wildly popular format like .doc you should be fine. I can't imagine doc going out of fashion anytime soon. You could also use the Google web-based tools. With a calendar, docs and contacts (in gmail) you should be covered.


I'm using text files synch'd across locations through LiveMesh. For a lot of info I email myself at gmail.


@18hrs I really like EverNote so far. It's almost exactly what I was looking for. I had heard of it, but thought it was just a desktop app. Thanks for the tip!


I use NoteZilla, It is a sticky notes program that lets you to store personal information, reminders, todos, notes etc.


I have been in the habit of sending stuff to myself in a email with GMail. The search is so good that it's easy to find anything from the last few years.

But I think I'm gonna give evernote a try.