If anybody here likes Emacs--or if you're not that familiar with Emacs, but you're unsatisfied with the features of note-taking tools available in Pardus, like BasKet, KNotes, FreeMind, etc.--I recommend you give org-mode a try. Version 6.05a comes with the Emacs 23.0.60 package in the Pardus 2008 repo, and if you like it, you can download the current, full org-mode package (version 6.13a right now) from the project website at http://orgmode.org/
I was never that much of an Emacs person--in fact, a couple of months ago I hardly knew the commands to do basic editing on a text file--but it only took me a few days to adapt to org-mode. Just start up emacs and run M-x (that's Alt+X)
org-mode to give it a try. The basics are very simple to learn: things like Alt-Enter (or M-RET in Emacs-speak
) to turn the current line into a heading of an outline, Alt plus the arrow keys to promote/demote headlines, Tab to reveal or hide subheadings, etc. With a few simple commands, you can build a well-structured outline for your notes in a text file, complete with internal and external links (including to other Emacs applications, like searching for a person in the Big Brother Database or linking to an email you received in Gnus or RMAIL) and built-in, very fast support for making to-do notes and adding deadlines, schedules, and other timestamps without going into a separate calendar app. Better yet, you can have it display an agenda based on any notes associated with dates/tasks--across multiple org files! And export your notes to HTML (and easily make tables) or LaTeX (and easily write formulas)! There are also tags and lots of other features that I'll let you try for yourself, plus the ability to use most of the cooler features of org-mode as minor modes within other parts of Emacs.
A while after I started using org-mode to take notes in law school, I realized I would have an even more useful note-taking/organizer/PIM system if I was using one of those Emacs mail applications. I decided to set up Gnus. At first, I managed to intimidate myself by going straight to the Gnus website and trying to read the considerably overcomplicated Gnus manual, as well as some confusing Gnus-related blog entries. Then, I followed this
straightforward tutorial at the EmacsWiki for setting up Gnus for Gmail. After setting up Gmail IMAP and SMTP in Gnus, it was pretty simple to add my university IMAP mail account as a "secondary select method" following the same procedure.
Then, to make things even cooler, I added the Insidious Big Brother Database (bbdb)--Emacs' very clever, very fast automated address book, featuring regexp record lookup, automatic or semi-automatic "noticing" of new contacs from email/newsgroup messages, and completion of email addresses. I downloaded BBDB, followed the instructions right out of the BBDB manual
, and everything worked fine.
While settling in to my new PIM setup, of course, I Customized org-mode, Gnus, and BBDB to make everything work together just like I wanted. Give some or all of these great Emacs apps a try and get organized!
P.S. Carsten Dominik, a Dutch astrophysicist and the main org-mode developer, gave an interesting Google tech talk
about some of the cool features of his program.