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Summary:

As a student, I am always taking notes in class. Normally, I just use Word or Pages, but after a few weeks of school, my documents folder begins to look like it was hit by a massive hurricane. Recently, while surfing around version tracker, I came […]

As a student, I am always taking notes in class. Normally, I just use Word or Pages, but after a few weeks of school, my documents folder begins to look like it was hit by a massive hurricane. Recently, while surfing around version tracker, I came across VoodooPad.

VoodooPad is essentially a desktop version of a Wiki.
What is a Wiki you ask? Well, I’ll tell you. A Wiki is a content management system that organizes its-self by having objects link to each other. For example: Lets say I am writing a story about Powerbooks. I save the story, and the wiki catalogs it in its database. The next time I write the word “powerbook”, a link is created to my original reference to powerbooks in my story. All of the links live together in the index, where you can search to your hearts content all of the pages of content you have accumulated.

When you first open up VoodooPad, you are confronted with a basic outline of what the product does and its features. Delete it. I have summarized that all in the previous paragraph. To create a new page in your newly created wiki, combine two words.

Example:
Potential Link

As you can see, your new compound word is automatically underlined. This is what is called a potential link. As soon as you click it, a new page will be created.

TwoWords Page

From now on, whenever you type “TwoWords”, it will be underlined, because it is a link.

TwoWords Link

Click that word, and you will be taken to the “TwoWords” page.

Another way to create a link is to highlight a phrase or word, and click the link button. This does the same thing as smooshing two words together.

One of the most innovative features of VoodooPad is that it allows you to make little drawings using the Sketch tool.

Sketch

This comes in very handy when working with things that involve graphs, formulas, or diagrams. To create a sketch, simple click the sketch button, do your doodle, and your drawing will be automatically inserted into your page.

Absolutely the best thing about VoodooPad is how it automatically organizes all of your documents. By clicking the index button, you get a listing of all of your main pages. One of the things that makes VoodooPad so unique is its ability to create hierarchical pages. That is, you can have a link inside a page, to another page, that will show up inside that page in the index. For example: I use VoodooPad to organize all of my article ideas. In the index, we see my “the apple blog articles” category.

The Index page

If we click that, we are taken to a sub-index page that I have created, showing all of the current articles I am working on.

Sub-Index Page

If we were to delve deeper, you would see the innermost workings of my creative process. but that is for another time.

VoodooPad has even more tricks up its sleeve though. Not only does it keep all your notes in one place, it can encrypt them with the click of a button.

Need to find something in a hurry? No problem! Simply click the search button and you can easily search all of you documents at once.

This program is great for people like me who have lots of ideas, but are not so hot in the organizational department.

The only short-coming of this program in my opinion is the super simplistic bulleting system. Instead of changing from 1,2,3 to a,b,c with each level, you only get black bullets.

VoodooPad is available from FlyingMeat.com and goes for $24.95. Don’t feel like shelling out $25, and are willing to sacrifice some features? Good news, because VoodooPad comes in a lite version as well, which you can get for the low, low price of nothing.

By Dan Lurie

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