Gmail replaces Google Notebook functionality for me

Let me tell you that I love Google Notebook and I am a moderately heavy user. I use it from brainstorming to taking note and storing them there. I use it when I want it and often times export it to Word documents. With Google recent decision to stop development on Google Notebook, I was a bit disappointed but it’s time for me to move on and find/create another system that works for me.

As I an existing user, I will still have access to Google Notebook, but I am not comfortable in using a system that will not be supported and no innovation will be further done on it. So I started to contemplate as to what else should I use now. I checked out Zoho Notebook among few other alternatives like (EverNote)but then decided to use an external program.

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While I was thinking about it, my intentions were:

1. Easily Accessible
2. Searchable
3. Notes should be grouped (Categories/Labels)
4. Should be Exportable (RSS or Word Documents)
5. Should not cost me money ( I spend enough on other web apps.)
6. Simple/Less Cluttery and should make me more productive

I like to make my systems work for me rather than me working around it. I started asking people questions on Twitter desperately to see if they have a better solution. Then I thought about using Gmail (Steve Rubel uses it and so does Vinayak Kamat). One issue I have with this is I hate living out of my email Account but then using Gmail will meet most of my criteria.

Below is the current system I have deployed.

1. Create Labels (These are my Categories by how I save my notes even in Google Notebook)

2. Create filters for those labels that once an email is sent to that address, it is automatically labels accordingly. (E.g. when I email to myemail+Categorycode@gmail.com it is automatically labelled appropriately based on the filter)

3. Create draft notes and save it under the label manually or send email to the appropriate filter code attached to the email address

4. If I have already emailed myself and note and now need to edit it, I just reply to that email with the edited version so it forms a email thread and also acts as a version control system

This system should make it very easy to search (using Quicklinks feature in Gmail) and I will not have to store in multiple systems.

I would love to know how you plan to migrate your data and to what system. Some other good Google Notebook alternative systems are listed in this article. Word of caution is, make sure that company is not going to shut down or they are not going to stop the development on that system.

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