FAQ

Q. I'd like to encrypt a whole file of MyNotex and not just a note. Is this possible?

Of course, a file of MyNotex can be encrypted like any other file, but to be opened with MyNotex it must be previously decrypted. In other words, it's not possible to open in MyNotex an encrypt file. Anyway, this result can be achieved with GullLocker (https://sites.google.com/site/gulllocker), a free multiplatform software made by the author of MyNotex. Basically this software allows to keep a list of very strongly encrypted files, also of MyNotex, and open them wihtout typing their password. See the manual of GullLocker in the website of this software for more information.

To use GullLocker with MyNotex, it's necessary to set MyNotex as the default software to open a MyNotex file (.mnt), that is a SQLite file. To do that, right click on a MyNotex file, select "Properties", "Open with" and choose MyNotex as the default software to open it.

Q. Since MyNotex is made with Free Pascal and Lazarus, and those programming language and IDE can compile also for Windows and OS X, why MyNotex isn't available also for those platforms? What if I compile the source code of MyNotex for them?

MyNotex is indeed made with Free Pascal and Lazarus, but the component which manages the text of the notes has received many improvements only for the GNU/Linux platform. So to compile the source code of MyNotex on other platforms, the same improvements should be ported to the source code of that component for those operative systems, which is not easy. The current source code cannot be compiled as it is on them, or if it's done, it doesn't work properly.

Furthermore, on GNU/Linux the component that manages the text of the notes has no default rich format (that is, a format able to manage bold, italics, etc), and so the html format has been implemented from scratch for it, to give the users the possibility to type a formatted text. On the contrary, on Windows and OS X (I think) this component works with rtf format as the default one, and so a version of MyNotex for those platforms should really implement this internal format instead of html. This should need a deep review of the source code of MyNotex.

Since all this should take a lot of time, I'm not planning to release any version of MyNotex for Windows or OS X. Anyway, everybody out there able to code in Free Pascal could do that, according with the terms of the GPL v. 3 licence.

Q. If MyNotex is a note-taking software, why does it have the possibility to manage activities?

MyNotex is indeed a note-taking software, but some users may need to define a list of activities (a to-do list) that are related with the notes they take. In this case it's very useful and productive to have in the same form the free text of a note and a structured to-do list, since it's possible to write or update both of them at the same time very quickly.

For instance, think to a student that uses MyNotex to take notes during the lessons. He or she may need to write a to-do list with some themes that should be thoroughly studied, or with the homework or reports that are requested by the professor along with their deadline. All this can be written just while taking notes about the lesson, without having to switch to another software or to another form of MyNotex.

Anyway, the primary use of activity organization in MyNotex is to support simple project management, both for personal and for team use. A note, maybe taken during a meeting, or composed during a brainstorm or after a personal reflection, may contain the elements of a project: environment analysis, visions, objectives, etc. In this case, the activity grid allows to define the list of the tasks that must be done to achieve the defined objectives and to bring the project to its completion. Let's do an example.

  1. The leader of a team may write in a note what emerges in a creative meeting. Then he or she may realize that the outcome of that meeting is worthy to become a project (a series of tasks), since it expresses important visions or needs that must be put into effect.
  2. So during the meeting the leader defines with the team the list of activities that seems to be useful to achieve the goal of the project, assigning each of them to one or more team members; in alternative, the leader may define later a draft of the list of the activities, and then submit it to the team members so that it may be properly modified and improved, until it's basically agreed upon.
  3. Then the leader, using the Diary functionality of MyNotex, sends an email to each member of the team with an iCal file containing all the activities of the project that he or she should accomplish; before doing that, the leader may control that the members of the team do not have many other activities of other projects to accomplish in the same days (it's immediate, if those other projects are contained in the same file of MyNotex).
  4. Each member of the staff import the iCal file in the task list of Evolution, Thunderbird or the like, and then synchronizes it with the task list of his or her mobile phone, in order to have a continue control of what he or she is supposed to do.
  5. During the execution of the activities, the leader supervises what's going on, and in case updates the deadlines or other elements of the project, sharing immediately with the team the new planning and the new task list with new iCal files.

So the aim of activity manager in MyNotex is basically to help users to transform ideas in operative processes, so that what is just thought may become actually operating, both at personal and at team level. The advantage of this software is that both a free note and a structured list manager may be used at the same time in the same form.

Q. Why I get an error in importing Gnote or Tomboy files?

Usually this problem is due to the date format (dd-mm-yyyy, mm-dd-yyy, etc.) of Gnote and Tomboy files in languages for which MyNotex is not available. When using MyNotex in English on non English platforms, it cannot import the dates of Gnote and Tomboy files if different from the English format (mm-dd-yyyy). So you may try to open each GNote or Tomboy file, change manually the dates in English format (mm-dd-yyyy) and try to import them.

Q.Why the attachments are not encrypted?

If an attachment were encrypted, when the user needs to open it, it would be necessary to decrypt it in a temporary directory and then run the proper application to open it. The unencrypted file in the temporary directory could not be deleted until the user had not finish to work on it. In this way an unencrypted copy of each opened attachment should remain in the temporary directory, which is dangerous for the privacy. So, since many files that are usually attached to a note, like texts or spreadsheets, can be encrypted with the application in which they are produced (Writer, Calc, etc.), it's much better to attach them already encrypted within their application, and decrypt them with the same application when they are to be shown.

Q. Why cannot I edit a MyNotex files in a cloud?

Nowadays almost all note-taking software give the users the possibility to synchronize their data with cloud services, so that those data could be viewed and edited through a web interface with computers, tablets and smart phones. Someone may guess why MyNotex does not offer the same functionality. Basically, the reasons are three.

  1. There are already a lot of wonderful software out there, like GDrive, which can offer this functionality, so there's no need to create another product like that. Moreover, MyNotex could be dramatically less complete and perfect than these software, so there's really no reason to make it like them.
  2. At the same time, to give the users the possibility to edit their data on the web, it is necessary to keep the software quite simple. What can be done in a web environment with a language like php is far less that what can be created in a desktop environment with C, Free Pascal or the like. Try to compare, for instance, a web version of a word processor with its desktop version to see the big difference between them. Now, MyNotex aims to be a desktop software and to take advantage of this kind of framework, looking for speed and more complex functionalities (like activities management).
  3. Of course, a file of MyNotex can be upload in a cloud service, and the software offers some kind of synchronization (see below). Anyway its desktop profile makes it more interesting for those user who really care for their privacy and prefer to manage personally their data. MyNotex can be used entirely locally, without the need of a cloud server or an internet connection, so could be useful expecially for those who want to keep unshared their personal files.

Q. How could I synchronize two files of MyNotex?

On line discussions about MyNotex put in evidence that the synchronization functionalities of this software are often misunderstood. It is true that MyNotex cannot work on cloud, meaning that you can't modify a subject or a note online with a service like Goodle Drive or the like. It is not true that MyNotex files can be synchronized just as any other file with a cloud service like Dropbox: actually, the software can do much more than that. It is possible to syncronize not just two files, but each subject and note (that is, all the records) within them, with the related attachments.

From the manual, page 12: "To synchronize two files of MyNotex means that all the new, the changed and the deleted subjects, notes and attachments in each one of them is mirrored in the other; at the end of the process, the two files and attachments directories are identical. When the two files contain changes in the same element (note or subject), the last version (the more recent) is kept".

How to do that? This is the guide written by Jean-Philippe Fleury in the MyNotex forum (https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/mynotex/QZy5k38kkbg).

Intermediate storage location

First, to synchronize your notes in different computers, you need to have an intermediate storage location, for example a cloud service, so each of your computers will connect to this third location.

Let's say you are using Ubuntu One in each one of your computers. You have a new folder "/home/user-computer-x/Ubuntu One". By putting a file on this folder, Ubuntu One will make sure that it will be copied on your online account. You can verify it by login on one.ubuntu.com and going to the menu "Files". Therefore, if you put for example "sample-file" in your folder "/home/user-computer-1/Ubuntu One", you'll be able to access this file online, and the next time you'll run Ubuntu One on your computer 2, you'll see this file appear in "/home/user-computer-2/Ubuntu One".

Configuring MyNotex

Now, you must configure MyNotex as the following:
  • On each of your computer, launch MyNotex without any file opened. If MyNotex automatically opens a file, just go to the menu "File – Close". Then, go to "Tools – Select sync folder" and choose the Ubuntu One folder ("/home/user-computer-x/Ubuntu One"). Now the Ubuntu One folder is recognized by MyNotex as the synchronization folder.
  • On one of your computer, go to the MyNotex menu "File – Open..." and choose the MyNotex file containing your notes. Say this file is "/home/user-computer-1/Documents/my-notes.mnt" (it can be anything, it's just an example). Then, go to "File – Copy...", choose the Ubuntu One folder and enter the same filename (in this example, "my-notes.mnt"). At the end of this step, you'll have a file in the synchronization folder with the same filename as the MyNotex file you usually use:
                /home/user-computer-1/Documents/my-notes.mnt
                /home/user-computer-1/Ubuntu One/my-notes.mnt
  • Close MyNotex and open it again. You should have a link "Tools – Synchronization" enabled.

Usage

Say you're on your computer 1, and you opened MyNotex to work with your notes "/home/user-computer-1/Documents/my-notes.mnt". You make modifications. Then, you go to the menu "Tools – Synchronization". Your modifications will be automatically applied to the file in the Ubuntu One folder ("/home/user-computer-1/Ubuntu One/my-notes.mnt"). Ubuntu One will copy the new file on your account online.

Now, say you leave your computer 1 to work with your computer 2. Theoretically, when you log in on your computer 2, Ubuntu One should automatically run and make sure your Ubuntu One folder "/home/user-computer-2/Ubuntu One" is up-to-date.

Now, with MyNotex, you open your notes "/home/user-computer-2/Documents/my-notes.mnt". To get modifications previously made on your computer 1, go to the MyNotex menu "Tools – Synchronization". Both files "/home/user-computer-2/Documents/my-notes.mnt" and "/home/user-computer-2/Ubuntu One/my-notes.mnt" will now be the same.

When you'll leave your computer 2 to work with your computer 1, make sure Ubuntu One is running on your computer 1 to update the folder "/home/user-computer-1/Ubuntu One", then you'll open your file "/home/user-computer-1/Documents/my-notes.mnt" with MyNotex and go to "Tools – Synchronization". Both files "/home/user-computer-1/Documents/my-notes.mnt" and "/home/user-computer-1/Ubuntu One/my-notes.mnt" will now be the same.