Taking Note of BasKet
I started using BasKet version 0.5 a while back with the intention of reviewing it. I found it useful, but didn't really get excited about it. That all changed once I installed version 0.6. The entire interface has been reworked, making it more useable while adding valuable features. If you're not familiar with it, BasKet is multi-purpose note-taking software with a flexible interface and great organization.
If you already use another note-taking app I have some good news, BasKet lets you bring your existing notes with you. Data can be imported from KNotes, KJots, Tuxcards, Sticky Notes, or Tomboy. If you decide that BasKet isn't the program for you, it's also easy to switch back because none of the original data is modified and new notes can be exported as HTML.
And speaking of exporting as HTML, this capability also makes BasKet a quick and easy WYSIWYG HTML editor. The formatting that you see in the note is preserved in the HTML. While this doesn't mean that you should use BasKet as your web page editor for anything in depth, it could be used for quick and dirty pages that just need to get done.
Central to BasKet's design is the idea of a basket. You can think of each basket as a grouping of notes on a similar topics. You can create as many as you want and can even embed one basket within another.
When you launch BasKet you are greeted with a two paned design. To the left is a tree that contains the heirarchical view of each of your baskets. To the right is the note-taking area. Above the note taking area is a toolbar for searching through each of the baskets. The right of the toolbar contains a button that lets you toogle between searching within the opened basket and searching through all baskets. This is a new capability in version 0.6 and one I was very pleased to see. If this organization doesn't suit you, the settings let you switch search box to the bottom and the tree from the left to the right.
The heirarchical tree is a useful new addition for keeping your baskets organized and it scales much better than the tabs in the previous version, but the team didn't stop there. Organization within each basket is also much improved. When a new basket is created there are four options for how to set it up. You can have one, two, or three columns; or you can dispense with columns altogether and use a free-form basket instead. The free-form feature can be very useful for notes that are less structured. It's very easy to drag a particular note around within the page and position it whereever is appropriate.
While BasKet is very useful for lists and text, you can also include images, links, or application launchers. Each note can also be tagged to indicate importance and/or status. And if the built-in tags don't meet your needs, you can always create new ones.
Security is a big topic that I haven't mentioned yet. By its very nature a note-taking app will likely contain a large amount of information that you want kept private. By default the baskets are unencrypted and without access protection, but both of those gaps can be filled. Password protection can be added to any basket and the data can be encrypted.
Another new feature is Kontact integration. I use BasKet as a stand-alone program, but if you like your email, RSS, calendar, contacts, notes, and more all in the same place then embedding it in Kontact might be right up your alley.
This is only a brief look at some of the major capabilities that BasKet has to offer. There are many other features and tweaks to make your note-taking experience better. Overall BasKet is a very well conceived application with a great future ahead of it. If you are looking for an easy and powerful way to takes notes, I highly recommend it.
For more examples and screenshots of BasKet in action, check out their homepage.