PIM - personal information manager

Key note description

 all text you can find at http://tranglos.com/free/keynote.html

KeyNote is an Open-Source project. You can participate in the development.

Introduction to KeyNote

Keynote is a flexible, multi-featured tabbed notebook, based on Windows standard RichEdit control. It's always accessible with a single keypress, even if you work in another application. Take a look at the screenshots page.

The basic idea in KeyNote is that you can include many separate notes within a single file. This means that you do not need to open several files - for most purposes it is enough to create only one file and hold all your notes inside it. With the addition of the tree-type notes, you now have a three-dimensional notebook: many notes within one file and a multi-level, nested pages within a single note. Optionally, KeyNote can encrypt your data securely using the Blowfish or Idea algorithms. Keynote's interface and behavior are extremely configurable.

KeyNote was written to overcome major limitations in other popular information managers, both free and shareware. KeyNote is the only information manager that offers a combination of simple and tree-type notes, rich text editor, ability to mix freely many notes of different types in a single file and secure encryption. This makes KeyNote the most flexible and one of the most powerful applications of this kind currently available. Some functions, such as "virtual nodes", per-file configuration settings, multiple backups or WordWeb integration are unique and, to my knowledge, not supported by any other notebook program, freeware or shareware.

With powerful text formatting capabilities, easily navigable interface and additional features such as styles, macros, plugins, and templates, KeyNote is has become the favorite note keeper, diary, outliner, knowledge base and information manager for thousands of users.

What is KeyNote useful for?

In general, any structured of free-form information, especially the kind of information which lends itself to hierarchical representation, such as lists or outlines. KeyNote's powerful search facility quickly locates information you're looking for.

The ability to store many notes in a single file means no hunting for files scattered all over your computer. For many users it will be enough to create just one KeyNote file and add notes to it, with each note covering a separate topic (e.g., "To do", "Addresses", "Bookmarks", "Finances", etc.)

Built-in strong encryption allows you to secure your files against unauthorized access or modification.

The "virtual node" feature additionally allows you to pull together many files and edit them all within a single KeyNote file, while the original files remain on disk (so there is no need to perform any conversion).

Examples of use:

  • personal information management
  • personal diary or journal
  • to-do items
  • scratchpad for quick notes and ideas
  • writing and structuring small articles or larger documents
  • Creating and storing electronic texts (easily structure chapters or sections)
  • outlines, projects
  • project documentation
  • reports
  • recipes
  • personal contacts (addresses, telephone numbers)
  • accounts, passwords, PIN numbers (remember to encrypt the file!)
  • Internet bookmarks (clickable hyperlinks)
  • all kinds of lists! If you collect books, CDs, DVDs, or just your favorite quotes or jokes, KeyNote makes it easy to store them in one place and search through them quickly.
  • email archives (you can use the separate, free KNTConvert utility to import your email archives into a KeyNote file)
  • archiving documents, such as articles downloaded from the Internet or local files
  • templates for creating documents with a standard format
  • viewing log files (use virtual nodes to view log files without having to open each file separately)
  • for teachers: class notes, student attendance and assessment notes
  • for programmers: KeyNote is great for storing and searching through source code archives

Version 2.0 of KeyNote will further enhance KeyNote's usefulness by the addition of several new types of nodes, including a grid (a simple spreadsheet), HTML browser and image viewer.

KeyNote is Open-Source

KeyNote is distributed under Mozilla Public License (MPL). A separate website has been established on SourceForge.net to facilitate Open-Source development of KeyNote. Please see the Open-Source development section for details.

Information for developers

KeyNote supports macros and plugins. These are documented in the Help file. Software developers can easily create independent plugins that will work in tandem with KeyNote, and a development kit is available, containing full documentation and source code examples.

System requirements

KeyNote works with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000 and XP.
Required component: Microsoft standard richedit control, version at least 2.0 ("riched20.dll")
For Windows 95 and 98, you may need to install version 4.01 of Microsoft common controls, if it is not yet present on your system. This version is installed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.01 or later. A separate update is also available.

The origins of KeyNote

The concept of KeyNote is based on a similar tabbed notebook application I have been using for several years: DaRT Notes, by Andrew v.d. Merwe.

DaRT Notes is an excellent and free program. I have gotten used to it so much that I never, literally never use pen and paper anymore. The author was very responsive to all comments, and for a long time the program grew in features and functionality.

However, the development of DaRT Notes ultimately stopped. I have finally decided to create a similar program, one that would have most of the original DaRT Notes features, and then some more. Hence KeyNote.

KeyNote is NOT a "clone" of DaRT Notes, though. It is similar, but not a one-to-one equivalent. It is a bit slower :) but more flexible and featureful.

Important note to DaRT Notes users: KeyNote can read and save files in the format used by DaRT Notes. Since KeyNote has some additional functionality, certain features or properties will not be preserved across sessions. For instance, DaRT Notes has no tab icons, so whatever icons you specify for the tabs in the file, will be lost after you save and reopen the file in the DaRT Notes format. However, if you would like to try out KeyNote without having to transfer all your notes, you can. If you open a DaRT Notes file, it will be automatically saved in that format, too. If you wish to change the format in which the file will be saved, open the File properties dialog box and in the "Format" list choose "Keynote text file". Note that the file extension will be automatically changed depending on the format in which the file is being saved, so there is no danger of accidentally overwriting your DaRT Notes file.

Many thanks to the author of DaRT Notes, Andre v.d. Merwe, for providing a very reliable and useful application, and for inspiration. Also, many thanks for documenting the file format used by DaRT Notes.