If you like using a software program to take, store and search your notes, then you'll know what a difficult job it can be to decide how to arrange and classify your entries. And that's why a dedicated notes app such as OneNote or Evernote is often better than simply using a text editor or word processor.
Allow me to explain why traditional word processors don't work for taking notes. Let's say that you keep notes of your favourite recipes. How do you get the information out in the most flexible way? Searching for a pancake recipe, or a chocolate gateau recipe, might be easy if each note in the system corresponds to a particular dish. But what if you find yourself with 6 eggs that need to be used up within the next few days, and you want a list of recipes that include eggs?
Equally, if you keep a list of all your friends' birthdays, do you store them in order of each friend's name, or the month in which their birthday occurs? What's more useful to you? Knowing when John's birthday is, or knowing how many cards you need to buy in April?
The solution to this problem is tagging. When you create a recipe, add tags for eggs, sugar, flour, chocolate and so on. When you create a birthday record, add a tag for John and for April. Now you can search not just for chocolate cake or John, but also for April or eggs. And you'll find what you were looking for.
I've recently been looking at to-do list managers and note taking apps, and Cinta Notes appealed to me because it's really easy to tag things. In fact, you can set it up so that the traditional left-hand pane of note entries is actually a tag list instead.
Cinta Notes is a commercial program, but the basic version which allows up to 3 tabbed sections (and unlimited notes within each) is free. You'll find it as a 4 MB download at http://cintanotes.com/ and, according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust, it's malware-free.
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