Note Studio - a personal Wiki on your Palm and PC
Note Studio is a unique application for the Palm OS and Windows PCs (a Mac desktop version is forthcoming) that allows you to create a Wiki on your handheld. For the uninitiated, a Wiki is something like a web site - a set of pages with links that allow for one-click (or tap) navigation between related items.
Webopedia defines a Wiki this way:
(n.) A collaborative Web site comprised of the perpetual collective work of many authors. Similar to a blog in structure and logic, a wiki allows anyone to edit, delete or modify content that has been placed on the Web site using a browser interface, including the work of previous authors. In contrast, a blog, typically authored by an individual, does not allow visitors to change the original posted material, only add comments to the original content.
The term wiki refers to either the Web site or the software used to create the site.
Wiki wiki means ?quick? in Hawaiian. The first wiki was created by Ward Cunnigham in 1995.
Note Studio on a PC:
Note Studio on a Palm:
Each Note Studio file is a "book". Books, naturally enough, contain pages. You can create links between pages within a book or to another book, providing a powerful means of cross referencing information as you assemble it. Books can be imported (the Note Studio site offers both the Windows Help file and guided tour as samples) and exported. The import/export file format is straightforward XML. You can also export clean HTML code to post to a web site.
Note Studio uses a very simple syntax of single characters to build its links and assign basic formatting to text. This simplicity is one big reason why the software is so easy to use on a PDA, especially one with a keyboard. Thoughtfully, single tap menu items are also provided on the Palm client for assigning these tags. For example, creating a link is as simple as enclosing the text you want to make "hot" in brackets like [this]. Want to make text bold? Simply type (or tap) an asterisk before and after the word or string like *this*.
If you create a link to an existing page in the book you're authoring, Note Studio creates a link to that page. If you create a link to a page you've not created, Note Studio creates it for you. This is pretty powerful stuff. In setting up a test book, I began with the default home page and simply created an index of pages I wanted in the book and Note Studio automatically generated each new page for me as I typed the link. You really have to try it to appreciate the ease with which you can generate content on the fly. Again, this simplicity is especially welcome on the Palm where screen real estate is limited and avoiding unnecessary taps is a virtue.
Note Studio lets you easily switch between viewing and editing modes. In view mode, you can see your formatting (bold, italic, font, color, and visible links). In editing mode, much as in an HTML editor, you see the underlying code. Individual pages and whole books can be encrypted and protected with a password and books can be set to read-only to prevent accidental editing. Books can also be shared over a network with other Note Studio users creating a true Wiki experience. A forthcoming release promises the ability to beam books to other Note Studio users.
You can open a sidebar panel for navigation, search, or list recent changes made to the book. There is also a Library icon that shows you a list of all books on your system with icons to quickly open a book, access a book's properties, set a book to read-only mode, or encrypt and password protect a book.
The possibilities for a simple, elegant, and powerful authoring tool like this are limitless. No better example exists than the work done by a member of the ClieSource and Getting Things Done forum communities. Going by the name Treo Renegade or ClieSource and PamG on the GTD forums, this creative individual has developed a master planning system to support David Allen's Getting Things Done methods that provides a unified environment for tasks, contacts, schedule, and reference. It's an astonishing piece of work and is well documented by a gallery of screen shots posted to the ClieSource board and in text posts on both forums. Here are links that describe better than I possibly could what Note Studio is capable of doing.
You can evaluate Note Studio for 30 days. A license costs $49.95. The web site offers a Tip and Tricks page and a helpful discussion forum for sharing ideas, requesting features, and reporting issues. Support response is outstanding and the developers are regular contributors to the forums.