Review: Info Select 2007 Helps Organize Random Info
This high-powered tool makes fast work out of organizing random Web clippings, snippets of text, and more. But its high price and restrictive evaluation policy are a real problem.
Info Select is a great product for organizing huge volumes of random text, Web clippings, e-mail messages, reminders, and all the digital detritus that we all collect, but often have difficulty keeping track of. It's fast, powerful, and easy-to-use. The latest version, Info Select 2007, released last week, continues that tradition. It's a fantastic product.
Unfortunately, vendor Micro Logic seems to be actively discouraging people from using it.
Info Select offers powerful, fast search to help you find random information. Click for complete image.
Info Select falls into a broad, loosely defined category of products called "personal information managers," designed to help people keep track of their calendars, address books, to-do lists, notes, writing, images, stuff they've clipped from the Web, bookmarks -- basically, all their digital information, with exception of audio and video. The two best-known products in that category are Microsoft Outlook and OneNote. Other products in that category are a bunch of cult software products that nobody but their devoted users have heard of, including Zoot from Zoot Software, TreePad from Freebyte.com, and EverNote from EverNote Corp. These products are sufficiently different from one another that, in some cases, they can't really be called competitors.
The main thing that Info Select does is create, store, and organize formatted text. Individual text documents are called "notes." Notes are stored in outline format, in "Topics." You can "pin up" notes so they open in separate windows for easy editing.
Info Select also lets you organize notes into folders, with a single note appearing in as many folders as you want it to appear in. You can tag individual notes with tiny icons to visually categorize them, including an exclamation mark for to-dos. You can designate an individual note as a "Tickler," with a due date; it'll get a little icon of a bell next to it, which will become an exclamation mark -- making it a to-do -- when the tickler becomes due.
And while Info Select excels at organizing and helping you find information via its outline format, the application's search capabilities are where the program really shines. Info Select has lightning-fast incremental search -- it locates text as fast as you can type.
Info Select's creators have really given a lot of thought to usability. In particular, there's a wealth of easy-to-use keyboard shortcuts that come naturally to the fingers. For example, F5 calls up search, F7 starts a new note, F2 starts a new topic, and so on. I was a devoted Info Select user until a couple of years ago, and I when I tried out this new version, I found that my fingers still remember the most common keyboard shortcuts.
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