I am sure there are a few of you out there like me that have that little group of notes (some of them sticky maybe, though I general do not like those) that are everywhere in some sort of disorganized mess. I am sure, just like me, you have tried to organize them in some fashion or another as well. I am going to hazard a guess and suggest that a few of you are like and travel from place to place with in your job and that doesn’t begin to suggest the additional confusion introduced by the various travels I do for my off the clock fun time. I kept thinking there was a way to do this on the computer, but I was always having the wrong notes on the computer I had at that time. Enter Tomboy Notes and a solution that fixes it all.
Yes, I have went through all those different setups and configurations. At some point, and every once in a while, I still use a sticky note to jot something down when on the phone and in a sense of immediate need. I am, however well past the days of ten years ago, when I had so many sticky notes on the sides of my monitor it was a distraction.
Next up I did try the little bound note cards. That works very well in general, though it is hard to keep things organized once you move beyond one card worth of information. Event that was not to bad though, as all the cards were in at least one or two locations and kept in a bound format for the most part until the need for the information on the card was satisfied. The real downfall was the one notebook was always at the office or the other in the car and of course when actually trying to work on something on the couch and follow the notes, it was cumbersome to say the least. Note: I still do use this method on occasion, especially in the car, if I have someone with me that will take my note.
So next up of course is the various sticky note and note card emulators available on the various the computer systems. Of course the drawback to most of them is the all important platform the various tools will support. Beyond that though, as there are a few that will support multiple operating systems, was the thought of how to synchronize them from the various platforms.
So, by accident I stumbled into this solution over the weekend. As most know, I use a plugin tool for Firefox called ReminderFox that lets me put a checklist of sorts together of what I need to and even assign them dates. By virtue of synchronizing to my own FTP site and Firefox be available on most operating systems I am easily able to use it real-time with any of my three or four regularly used systems. Great tool by the way, but I was using it as more a note collector and hence my scheduled to do list was always so far out of hand as to be generally unusable and at least not effective.
So, while searching for a solution and looking at what I had on my systems, I did some searching to see and sure enough I found a solution suggested by Varun Kashyap of setting the sync settings in Tomboy Notes to a local drive that pointed to a folder in a Dropbox. You can see his exact steps, but in short install Tomboy, edit sync settings and point to a folder inside of your drop box. Force a sync. Repeat on other systems as needed.
I gave Tomboy a try and liked it. It is a Gnome project by the way and comes pre-installed and Ubuntu 10.04. It is also available for Windows and Mac OS X, which at least covers the big three (I would expect mobile stuff soon, but not sure when). It is worth noting, if all your systems are Ubuntu, Ubuntu one synchronization does this for you already. Given that I liked the organizing capabilities into notebooks as well as flexible format and the ability to include links, I set it all up. I have moved a few of my ‘project‘ note cards over and synced from Ubuntu over to Windows with problem.