Incollector: a desktop note-taking app that uses tags to structure information

Incollector is a freeware note-taking program that runs in the background and offers simple notes on demand from the system tray.

It uses user-defined tags and saved searches to structure information rather than a traditional folder/category hierarchical structure.

If you have been following this blog you may have noticed that I am always on the lookout for good note-taking programs. Lately I’ve been keeping an eye out for non-hierarchical, tag-based notes apps (see the Tobu review), moving away from the standard, hierarchically-structured notes programs.

Incollector is another good option that uses tags as its primary means of organization. It resides in the system-tray to facilitate the quick creation of notes and even provides a search box in the system tray for easy notes retrieval. Here are more notes on this program:

  • Structure: note are structured using a framework of user defined tags as well as virtual “folders” that are created out of saved searches.
  • Incollector Tags dropdownTags: allows you to create tags on-the-fly when creating a note. What’s cool is that a dropdown will appear as you type in your tag that filters the letters you type by the existant tags and allows you to scroll down and select a tag that has been defined previously. You can view information by checking or unchecking multiple tag labels in the left pane.
  • Note types: Incollector provides for 7 different note “types” (note, quote, conversation, serial number, web address, source code, word). The difference between these is the in the form used to enter information (for web address, for example, it asks for title and URL; for source code it will ask for the language used, etc. Personally I am uncertain as to the usefulness and value that this extra layer of information might provide.
  • Other info: aside from tags and type, each note can have a star rating (out of 3) and have a comment text filed associated with it.
  • Incollector searchbox in the system traySearch box: a quick and easy way to find what you are after. Scans all fields including tags, comments, content, etc. The system-tray based search box is really cool.
  • Saved searches: a virtual folder is created for each saved search. What is interesting is that you Incollector folder criteriacan apply multiple filters that utilize the tags created, the note type, the rating, and the contents including the comment field. You can either require the search to satisfy all or some of the search criteria when retrieving results.
  • Importing/exporting: of notes is supported, which makes backing up and/or moving your notes easy
  • What it does not offer: no rich text editing, no support for images or other objects, no links to files, folders, or URLS (except in the web address note type).
  • Memory use: approx 10 megs minimized, 16 or so megs while in use (note: .NET Framework based apps are a bit hard to gauge in terms of their “real” memory usage).

Wish list:

  • Any or all of the items mentioned in “what it does not offer” above would be good.
  • The ability to define the location of the saved notes file on the hard drive.
  • Portability; although I imagine that might be difficult to achieve with an app that requires the .NET Framework.

The verdict: there aren’t many free non-hierarchical, tag-based desktop-note taking programs out there, which is what makes Incollector so interesting. You will appreciate Incollector if you are (a) not looking for a lot of bells and whistles necessarily, but (b) are interested in a good, straightforward desktop note taking program with the ability to structure information based on your own user-defined tags. A very nice program overall.

Version Tested: 1.1

Compatibility: Windows, Linux; no info on Vista. Requires .NET 2.0 Framework for the Windows version, requires Mono and GTK-Sharp to work on Linux.

Go to program home page to download the latest version (approx 4.87 megs).


 
 
 
Samer Kurdi

Samer Kurdi

Has been reviewing software since 2006 when he started Freewaregenius.com
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  • hari

    Thanks for the article, sounds interesting. Rich text editing would be nice, at least bold, italic, underline, bullet & simple table.

  • http://xbeta.info xbeta????

    I like software only handle plain text,
    but dislike those too huge and .Net based.

  • http://www.webtechdaily.com/ Sridhar Katakam

    I use EverNote v2.2.1.386. It is also tag based and very fast.

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  • http://www.Rarst.net Rarst

    I am totally into WikidPad. It’s not exactly simple – there is considerable learning curve but it is worth it.

    Main difference is that usual note-taking apps give you structure to fill with data. WikidPad gives you tools to build your own structure.

  • jfjb

    I use a simple TXT file always ready in the task bar. My needs are simpler, as a fiction writer, to grab notes.
    Now, to work on them, OpenOffice spreadsheet is superb as a storyboard, and excellent to order data based on flags (I used to be a database designer).
    And then, OpenOffice Writer for the creation based on the … on my blah-blah-blah above.
    ( smiling )
    My 2¢, of course

  • h

    runs on win and nx. that’s nice seeing they had to use “frameworks” from both.
    having separate “fields” for web urls (vs text vs whatever) is good, especially if data can be dragged to all of those “boxes” (note i have not used any of these notes apps, cuz most seem to require a lot of typing, while more than 50% of my note-taking is dragged snippets (plus comment)

  • h

    i keep notes w/ a tabbed editor w/ project sidebar (crimson editor).
    the major topic groups have their own “midi” notes file. i keep those (shortcuts) in quicklaunch.

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  • JA

    Existant is not a word.

  • Eliteindian

    The difference between these _is the in the form_ used to enter information
    _confusing usage

    _(for web address, for example, it asks for title and URL; for source code it will ask for the language used, etc. Personally I am uncertain as to the usefulness and value that this extra layer of information might provide.
    _you forgot to close the bracket. This sentence is meaningless. Consider proof reading you work before you post it.

    Importing/exporting: of notes is supported, which makes backing up and/or moving your notes easy

    _add full spots where needed. Check you spellings too.

  • Midas

    Download unavailable. This is posted at Incollector’s site:

    “The website is unavailable for a few days. We’ve found a serious bug in Incollector that couses data losing. The probability of it is very, very low, but it happends. If you are using Incollector, just make backups.”

  • Samer

    Well, I could post a link to download the version that I wrote up, but if there is indeed data loss then I recommend Resophnotes instead.