New RightNote 4. New Lifetime License
I’ve already stated I’m a big fan of Scrivener and don’t use other writing programs, so why an interest in RightNote? Well, there is a difference between word processing and note taking. OneNote used to be my program of choice, but it’s limitations sent me looking elsewhere. I picked up RightNote a couple years ago because it acts like OneNote in that it has multiple tabs, multiple notes per tab, saves images, links, text and just about everything else, but takes up a fraction of the disk space. OneNote may be free, but that’s because it’s not worth buying anymore.
The document portion of RightNote has a similar look and functionality to Word. There are rulers to set the page margins, text can be formatted, documents can be imported and exported. But unlike Word, there is a folder structure, so documents can be reordered similar to Scrivener.
There is also a spreadsheet portion, which allows for a majority of the same functions available in Excel. If you’re a hardcore accountant or statistician, this won’t compete, but for the average user of summing cells and making tables, this works just as easily.
But now to the note taking portion. Word, Scrivener and other pure word processing tools aren’t good at storing random data. It doesn’t work well to save screenshots, or URL links in Scrivener. Lists, passwords, recipes and other text information doesn’t work well in a word processor. You end up with everything smashed together so it doesn’t make sense, or dozens of files so you can’t find anything.
A few years ago, when I did technical support, the issues I encountered would all be logged in RightNote. After awhile, I had a collection of issues and how to solve them including examples. Each was a separate note within a section category. When an issue came up, I would copy and paste the information I needed, already formatted, with links and screenshots. Everything in one place, problem solved in no time.
Another notable difference is that RightNote stores all it’s information in a database format whereas Scrivener uses standard text files. This is fine until you want to store private information. This could be a Christmas shopping list, or something a little more important like passwords. The RightNote database can be protected and encrypted so that information can be stored safely.
With that in mind, it’s possible to create documents, such as employee reviews, resumes, and personal letters that can be safely stored away. The entire database can be locked so a password is needed to open it, and each folder and document contained within can have a password. This could also be used while writing a book to keep all parts of the plot and outline hidden away.
And yes, the way RightNote is structured, it would be easy to write a book with it. The hierarchy mirrors Scrivener so it could be used to lay out chapters and sections. The export feature would generate files in .doc or .docx format that could be entered in Scrivener or desktop publishing program for final compilation.
Bauerapps has just come out with a new RightNote 4 that adds some new tweaks and features and includes a Journaling feature. This is a nice move toward more general word processing tasks. But with the new version there is another option, a Lifetime License.
I like apps that offer a lifetime license. I would prefer to pay a fee upfront, help support program development and not worry about upgrading every year like a lot of programs are doing. I’m not a fan of software as a subscription.
If you don’t have a solid note taking tool, RightNote is a great place to start. It has a wealth of features and offers Office like functionality with word processing and spreadsheet creation. And if you work in the technical fields, you can clip and save just about everything you come across and easily retrieve it when needed.