Personal Wikiesque Note Taking Mind Mappish Killer KDE App: BasKet

I’ve found one of my favourite applications ever. It’s called BasKet Note Pads. Here’s my problem, I’m always typing up little notes to myself and saving them as text files, all over my desktop, all over my hard drive. Sometimes I try to organize them, sometimes I send myself reminder e-mails, or I create calendar entries, or use a wiki. The wiki is good for certain things, especially in a collaborative environment, but for personal work it’s not quite right. And if my scattering of electronic notes is doing anything, it’s certainly not helping how I treat physical notes. The free KDE application, BasKet, is perfect for those jobs and more.

BasKet opens up as a blank page, you click anywhere on the page and start typing. There, you’ve got a little text note embedded in the page. You can drag it around associate it with others, tag it, schedule it, whatever. You can also drag links, images, etc. onto your page. Plus, there is no need to save, things are just there. Simple and intuitive it took no time to learn how to use and it’s been enormously helpful.

November is Nanowrimo month, so as I’m furiously pounding out that novel, I’ve had BasKet open beside my word processor, where I’m putting notes and outlines to keep the story growing. I refer back to them when I need to remember what I was doing with the plot or what I named a certain place, etc.

It’s also useful for work, where I try to keep track of my thoughts on a bunch of different projects. I often have a thought that I need to jot down to come back to, but it gets buried with the mass of text files littering my desktop. Great to have a BasKet to dump them into.

Although BasKet lets you drag your notes around and group them conceptually, it would be wrong to call it a mind-mapping tool. It’s extreme editability gives it somewhat of a wiki feel, but it’s not so concerned with making links between pages because it isn’t really organized as pages. This is where the name comes in, it’s just a big basket of your stuff. But a potentially organized one.

I was thinking this morning how nice it would be if I had an option to just make BasKet integrated to my desktop. After all, most of the things on my desktop are just temporary files that I drop there for frequent use or because I need them immediately and don’t want to remember where to find them. Perhaps that’s a bad habit, but a BasKet desktop could be so much better than any other desktop. It would make the desktop useful (right now, most desktops are little more than a few program shortcuts and an overglorified file folder). I Checked the BasKet project page this morning to see if there was anything like that planned, it does look like there are some notes suggesting some possibility in that direction.

Aside from simply praising this app, what’s the point of this post? Perhaps I’ve been sheltered but I’ve never seen a program that works as nicely or accomplishes what BasKet does in another operating system or desktop environment. BasKet ought to be a killer app for KDE (Linux or otherwise). I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

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