Personal information management system

Drinking from the internet firehose just isn’t fulfilling when you’re not creating any knowledge from the flood of information.

All my scattered text files, del.icio.us bookmarks, blog entries, and overflowing file system folders just weren’t cutting it. I needed some way to take notes quickly, consolidate knowledge into a web-based respository that isn’t time-based, and organise my files with tags and folders.

All the local software (PersonalBrain, DevonThink, Journler, Tinderbox, Yojimbo, etc.) I tried didn’t fit. Tinderbox came close, but holy crap it’s expensive ($229?!). PersonalBrain did a great job of linking disparate information and linking files to notes, but it used up half of my Macbook ‘s CPU even when it was just sitting there, and it’s also expensive. All the others just had too many missing features or were too restrictive.

So instead of stuffing all my notes and files into one piece of proprietary software that might not be supported in the future, I’ve stuck to using open source apps. All my notes now get captured in xPad and all my files get tagged with QuickSilver and filed away in folders. It’s a quick, free solution that doesn’t suck computing resources on my laptop. The only thing missing is a high-level overview like Tinderbox’s map view, but I’m sure I can write a plug-in for mediawiki to do that one day.

How do you manage your personal information flood?

2008.04.15