I added NoteLynXPro to my thinking toolbox

I picked up another interesting Android app today. so some spiel on how I'm using it.

I purchased another obscure software license. This one is for my android tablet and phone. It’s called Notelynx and it fits a very particular need within my toolbox. It’s for Note-Taking for when I’m reading books. (I use Markor for clipping snippets of Articles I’m reading, because the work flow is different there. A really good article may have no more than 3 or 4 snippets that I will grab. I just append them to a running plain text file in Markor.)

Notelynx is utterly unique in this sense, which is what I love about software like this. It’s an outliner, mindmapper and a wiki, all rolled into a nifty mobile app.

How I use it:

  1. Select and clip interesting bits of the book I’m reading and export to Notelynx.
  2. When I’m taking a break from reading, i go into Notelynx’s outliner and reorder the snippets.
  3. I go into each snippet, which are now – wiki pages, make notes and link snippets together.
  4. I go into mindmap view, so i can see all the snippets spatially arranged.

Rinse and repeat until the book is done. Then export it as html, opml or what I typically do – export to plain-text.

This isn’t a famous app, it’s UI is dated, and it uses html markup as opposed to Markdown which everyone (including me) favours. Here’s the thing though, it does what it does very well, and there isn’t anything else like it. Just like my other favourites: Zim-wiki, Treeline, Moo.do, Simplemind, Mindly, Vue, Freeplane, Vym, GTime log.

What they all have in common is that they are a part of my thinking tools, tool box. They each offer me different ways to slice, dice, resee and retell the information that I find myself dealing with. What makes them so unique is that all of these seem driven by counter-intuitive design decisions that mainstream software seem to miss.

I love the idea that Zim-wiki uses the file system to store and manage it’s pages, or GTimelog’s simple, plain text, time logging system. I enjoy Treeline’s reimagining of an outliner, with custom fields for each node, and recursive viewing of nested nodes. That is so useful! And Moo.do. How come it didn’t occur to anyone in Big-Software to create something that meshes email, files, events and tasks in the same space?

Large companies obviously want to atomise their services to be able to reach larger audience and maintain their codebases more easily. The price it’s audience pays is a dumbing down of its knowledge workflow to match the over-simplified software.