Over on the OStatic blog, Lisa Hoover covered Luminotes, which has been around for a while, but just became completely free and open source, for anyone to use. It’s a note-taking and wiki-building tool that you can either use online or offline, collaborating with others, or just collecting notes and information on your own. I’ve been working with it, and I think a lot of people will like it for its ease of use and flexibility.
Here’s a screenshot showing how you get started with Luminotes:
Like many other wiki tools, Luminotes collects a series of linked notes, each with a unique title. To make a new note, you just click on the “+” button (at the top of the toolbar, at left in the screenshot above). You can link notes to each other using the “Link” button on the toolbar, and then there are standard formatting buttons that let you do everything from bolding text to creating bulleted and numbered lists within notes. Wikis are searchable, and you can import and export content to and from them.
There is a complete user guide for Luminotes found here, but I doubt that many users will need the guide. Everything is implemented through a WYSIWYG interface in the application, so that it feels like using Word or any other common word processor. There is no tricky markup language to or wrestle with.
Luminotes also has a blog, which discusses new features and the like. There is a Windows version and a Linux version, but Luminotes doesn’t work with every browser. I couldn’t get it to work in Opera, for example. It supports Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari. You can do the download and installation in about two minutes.
You can either work online or offline with Luminotes, and can store it and run it from a USB thumb drive. If you decide to stop using Luminotes but want to keep your content, you can export your notes to a web page or to a CSV file to store in a spreadsheet. This application is very straightforward and could be a good way to manage projects among collaborators, or personal projects.
What note-taking tool do you use?