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General Reference Database

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  • General Reference Database

    Does anybody know a good database for filing general reference material?

    It should be a desktop based one, which doesn't need a server & it should support such things as, personal categories or keywords, darg&drop, the possibility to add web pages, e-mails & notes from Outlook.

    Thanks for your help.


  • #2
    Good reference database

    Two that have good reports are:

    - askSam

    - Zoot

    askSam will import just many file types, search by word / fuzzy / key , and is freeform text database.

    Zoot - will import Outlook , email and text rather well. Does not do graphics internally - you can link to the file if stored on local storage.

    Both are fast, Zoot has a higher learning curve, but once you learn it works well for a reference.

    askSam maybe easier to use, better manual, but the report writer (if you use it) is the weakest if you wish to use fonts / formatting of text.

    Both applications do have 30 day demos and should be explored.

    Have never lost any data with either application. Have used askSam since 1986 (good old DOS days) through the latest 5.x for WinXX.

    Zoot for the last year and a half, waiting for formatting (plain text only at this time) andtext larger than 32 k. It will automatically split text if larger than 32k into notes with a sequence number.


    • #3
      Marc, you might want to look at Lotus Notes (Client version)

      Marc, you might want to explore Lotus Notes as an option.

      You can purchase this for around $75. It will allow you all of the capabilities as the server, but in local mode.

      This means that you have a rich media store into which you can past almost anything. Also, all items can be made to be full-text searchable -- including file attachments.

      Eric Mack


      • #4
        Re: General Reference Database

        Originally posted by sniukas
        Does anybody know a good database for filing general reference material?
        I use FileMaker Pro for all my database needs. I found that other canned database apps didn't have the flexibility I wanted. With FileMaker I can create custom databases that fit my needs exactly. With FileMaker Mobile for Palm I can sync my reference databases to my Palm and have them with me wherever I go. You can get info on FileMaker at <>.



        • #5
          Re: General Reference Database

          Originally posted by sniukas
          Does anybody know a good database for filing general reference
          You also might want to check out iData Pro, It's pretty inexpensive, $49. You can create free-form or field-based databases, and it syncs with the Palm. The Palm software is pretty primitive, however, and I've found the desktop software to be a bit buggy, though they are constantly improving it. As I noted above, I prefer Filemaker, but if you don't want to lay out that kind of money, iData may be an option.



          • #6
            General Reference Database

            I used to find InfoSelect ( really brilliant. I'm not all that familiar with recent versions, though I know they've continued to extend its functions.

            The basic idea was to have very general stacks, with freeform notes in them (I think they can now be anything-- web pages, files, etc) combined with a lightning-fast search function. The search function gives you instant retrieval, so you don't have to worry about 'filing' in the sense of thinking about where something should go-- (howabout the 'to be filed pile?' ) Keywords are easy given the search function.

            There is a demo version available.


            • #7
              general reference filing

              Anybody that have any knowledge of the Paper Tiger; see

              From the description it seems well suited both for retrieving general reference information as well as any other piece of info.



              • #8
                My problem with Paer Tiger isn't the feature/funtionality of it, it's the trial period policy. This is from their Website:

                "You pay just $4.95 for shipping and handling. After 30 days, we will bill your credit card $149.95 plus applicable state tax. If you should decide that it's not everything you thought it would be, simply return it and pay nothing further, owe nothing. You must be 100% satisfied! "

                Not only is it quite expensive, but it's up the customer to cancel, otherwise you're billed automatically. Since there are other packages out there, that alone is enough to make me look elsewhere. Perhaps a minor issue, but...


                • #9
                  Use Outlook/Windows Explorer

                  Following in line with the concept of keeping things simple...

                  I actually use Outlook to store my discreet files (either attached to an active project or in the Journal folder; there are many different ways to do this in Outlook...) as well as provide access via shortcuts to General Reference (GR) filed materials. Folders in the GR are named using a Subject - Subsubject (ex. Pocket PC - Purchased Software) Search functionality is supplied via the very competent search capabilities built right into windows.

                  This keeps things within easy reach of from within Outlook where many of us GTD'ers live all day. Best of all as there is not "middle-man" all this can be ported to any other computer or pocket pc with nothing more than a file synchronization app like Second Copy 2000.


                  • #10
                    Since I really like outliners, my favorite is Treepad. It has a great search feature and is very keyboard friendly.



                    • #11
                      The link below has a good summary of organizing software for Windows.