Natara Bonsai downloadable from the Internet Archive

I still get visitors coming to this site looking for the outliner Natara Bonsai almost daily, as I mentioned it occasionally that it was one of my alltime favourite pieces of software. Unfortunately the Natara Bonsai download page went down sometime in 2014, never to come back again. There is now only a placeholder page for the main Natara site that points to the Natara blog (the last post on which dates 6 June 2013).

A few months after the Bonsai site has disappeared, I stumbled upon some kind of a mirror site at http://64.226.29.51/Bonsai/Download.cfm where it was still possible to download the software from. I was very happy to share that link, and I got a few emails from Bonsai fans thanking me for it. Apparently Bryan Nystrom, the owner of Natara Software, Inc., was kind enough to sell them a licence.

Alas, a few months ago this mirror site has also gone down. It seemed that Natara Bonsai was well and truly gone. I was kicking myself for not having taken some screenshots of that site at least, just as a keepsake (yes, that is how much I love this software). Then one day it occurred to me: what if there are some archival pages of the Natara site on the Internet Archive? And lo and behold, there indeed are a number of such pages. And not only that: the Bonsai files can still be downloaded from there! Here is one such link for instance: http://web.archive.org/web/20110519183308/http://www.natara.com/bonsai/Download.cfm

I cannot vouch for the safety of these files, so download and run them at your own risk. But chances are they might just be the original Natara Bonsai files. So fellow Bonsai fans, rejoice!

Natara_Bonsai_Internet_Archive_2011_05_19

Part 2 of an Interview with Mike & Jesse: WorkFlowy Features Present and Future

WorkFlowy

This is a guest post by Frank Degenaar (@ProMashUp), author of the book,“Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.


This is the 2nd of a 2-part interview with Jesse Patel and Mike Turitzin, WorkFlowy’s co-creators. Mike and Jesse talk about WorkFlowy features, the inspiration behind it all and big dreams for the future. Get the first part of the interview here.

FRANK:Is there anything you can tell us about your inspiration for or any epiphany concerning WorkFlowy’s zoom? Would it be an overstatement to say that the ability to zoom into lists is WorkFlowy’s superpower?

JESSE: Zooming is definitely Workflowy’s superpower.

I tried a bunch of outliners before starting to work on it, and they all had the same problem: If you start a huge project in it, that has many big sub projects, which have many significant sub sub projects of their own, you quickly get to…

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WorkFlowy Co-Creators, Mike Turitzin & Jesse Patel on WorkFlowy’s Early Days

WorkFlowy

This is a guest post by Frank Degenaar (@ProMashUp), author of the book, “Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy”.


This is the first of a 2-part interview with Jesse Patel and Mike Turitzin, WorkFlowy’s co-creators. Today’s post is a throwback to the early days of WorkFlowy’s ideation and inception… while the next post will take a look at some tougher questions about WorkFlowy’s vision and behind-the-scenes development. 

FRANK:I went fishing for WorkFlowy’s genesis and unearthed the following from a 2012 blog post elsewhere on the ‘net:

The idea for [WorkFlowy] grew out of Jesse Patel’s work at a nonprofit, “a job that was really overwhelming, where I had to manage a bunch of moving parts for 30 different projects.” While at that job, Patel tried many different programs to help him get organized. “The biggest problem with all of them is that they don’t support flexible data structures—they don’t…

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An Interview with Dr. Andus on how WorkFlowy Stacks Up Against other Organizational Apps

WorkFlowy

This is a guest post by Frank Degenaar, author of the book, “Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy“.


Today’s interview gives us a peek into, Dr. Andus’s WorkFlowy modus operandi and why it’s such an essential, baked-in part of his life. Dr. Andus, a PhD social science academic, is based in the UK, conducting qualitative research… and has a kick-butt blog, “Dr Andus’s Toolbox” where he dissects and gives us his take on a range of research, outlining, writing and productivity tools. If you’re an academic, his “writing-process” page is an absolute must-see.

TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY

FRANK: Dr. Andus, I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now. You’re an insanely prolific tinkerer. Could you tell us how you stumbled upon WorkFlowy and what your initial impression was?

DR. ANDUS: You are too kind to associate my obsessive tinkering with insanity. It probably has just as…

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Frank And His WorkFlowy Book

WorkFlowy

WorkFlowy Book Cover

Frank, from productivitymashup.com, has written a 254 page book about WorkFlowy! How cool is that? The book, “Do Way, Way More in WorkFlowy“, is entertaining and crammed full of WorkFlowy tidbits. He describes using it with different productivity systems, extending it with external tools and a lot of stuff in between. As one of the creators of WorkFlowy, I found the book interesting, so you should be able to learn from it even if you’re an advanced user. Check it out.

After looking the book over I thought, “Wow, Frank is a prolific, entertaining writer and he seems to really enjoy WorkFlowy. Maybe I should see if he wants to write on the blog.” We talked, and lo and behold, Frank starts blogging in a few days. He’ll include some content from the book as well as original stuff. We shall see where it leads, hopefully up and to the right :)

Anyway, welcome Frank! Thanks for…

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ConnectedText .CSS files

And here is the link where some of Paul’s CSS files can be downloaded from. Thanks, Paul! http://connectedtext.com/forum/index.php/topic,3169.msg15041.html#msg15041

I used to be undecided, but now I'm not so sure.

When I first used ConnectedText (CT) I was a little put off by the aesthetics of the program.  I am a visual person and how a program looks is almost as important to me as how it functions.  In particular the rendition of tables was not good, I use tables a lot and the default rendering of tables in CT was such that the text was crammed together and the borders of the cells were too close to the text.  The whole thing looked very claustrophobicand to me this is very oppressive.

I have been using the program now for several years without realising that how much those aesthetics could be changed.  I have known for some time that the page rendering was controlled by a CSS file but all the CSS files which are included in the installation package had the same shortcomings to a greater or lesser degree.

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Long Term Usage review of ConnectedText

A considered and balanced review of ConnectedText that especially first-time users will find very useful.

I used to be undecided, but now I'm not so sure.

You might be aware if you have been following my posts on note taking software that I have been searching for the ideal (ideal for me) solution for capturing and developing ideas and organising notes.

During this time I have spent a lot of time using various programs and a lot of money on acquiring the programs I thought were satisfactory.

Now I have decided to standardise on just one program. ConnectedText.

Overview

I have now been using ConnectedText on and off since 2012. I have been using it more extensively since the advent of version 6 which introduced some significant improvements. During this time I have looked at many alternative note taking programs, the best of which were MyInfo and Ultra Recall.

My overall impression is much more favourable than in my previous review, now that I have been using it for a while and have learned…

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[Video] Easier Writing in Gingko App, the Most FLUID Writing Environment Imaginable

An excellent video case study on how to use Gingko app for academic writing.

The BLOSSOMING-Fledgling Researcher

Greetings!

It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to post. My thesis deadline is fast looming, and so this will likely be my last post until I finish my thesis and finish presenting in Spring of 2014.

I’m going on hiatus with a bang, though: Below is a very quickly-made video of how I’m using Gingko App (you’ve GOT to see it) to do the Single Method of Academic Writing, which Dr. Single outlines in her book “Demystifying Dissertation Writing.” Her method is a game changer. You want to know about the method. :) Gingko App makes it SUPER FLUID. But, even if you don’t use her method, Gingko App is still just an amazingly fluid writing environment.

ASIDE: One thing I left out of the video is how easy it is to create the quotes in Citavi by just highlighting the quote in the PDF preview displayed…

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An Offline, Desktop App for WorkFlowy

My favourite task manager just got better.

WorkFlowy

Screenshot 2013-12-18 10.45.12

Offline. That magical word. We’ve been promising it for years, and now, finally, you can use WorkFlowy in a plane, train or automobile. In the subway, under the ocean, in the desert. With a frog, in a bog, on a log. And so forth.

We’ve been using the desktop app internally for several months. I personally use it almost exclusively now, and am really happy with it.  There’s one caveat, though. We built the desktop application on top of Google’s Chrome browser. You don’t need to use Chrome to use the app, but you do need to have Chrome installed. Hopefully that isn’t too much of an annoyance for you. If it is, we’re looking into launching a desktop app that doesn’t require Chrome, but we can’t say exactly when we’ll get to that.

Oh, and one more thing. Offline is free. We’ve been saying offline would require a WorkFlowy Pro…

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Review of ConnectedText

Here is a fair and thorough review of ConnectedText. Personally I’m not as bothered by the look of the edit mode. In fact I’ve changed its background colour to make it easier on the eye and also selected “syntax highlighting” and “folding” in Options, which enhances the writing experience. Having said that, a “distraction-free” writing mode (a la FocusWriter) would be nice.

I used to be undecided, but now I'm not so sure.

This note taking program stores its notes in a database, therefore there is no need to save the file, changes are saved in the database automatically when you exit the edit mode.  A separate database is set up for each collection of notes (called a project).  There was no significant slowing of the response times when using a project with over one thousand notes.  This program can open multiple databases simultaneously.

There is a big difference between Connected Text and any of the other programs reviewed here, Connected Text is a wiki program.  To edit a wiki page you have to put the program into ‘edit mode’.  The text you type is in a markup language, when you put the program back into view mode the markup language is interpreted and the results displayed.

This is rather awkward and takes a bit of getting used to but it is much…

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