Best free diary, note taking applications and concept map makers

I guess you are familiar with Microsoft’s One Note and perhaps you are even satisfied, not needing any other program to keep personal notes, thoughts, ideas, etc. However if you prefer something different or you just like to experiment, even try those programs that let you visualize your thinking as a sort of a “map”, keep on reading…

Case Transformer will be a great companion for any diary or notebook you may like to use, since it will let you change text case easily. It transforms on the fly any text to UPPER CASE, lower case, Title Case, Sentence case, of even iNVERTED cASE!

wikidPad is a Wiki-like notebook for storing thoughts, ideas, todo lists, contacts, making it easy to cross-link your information. It features Incremental search * Search and Replace * Autosave * Export to HTML, and more. All your data is stored in plain text.

Efficient Diary features full-text search, editing similar to that of Microsoft Word, inserting of various items such as tables, pictures, emoticons, URLs or even attachments. You can set the background color, background picture of each diary entry separately. There is a Recycle Bin so you do not need to worry that you may delete a diary entry by mistake.

Diary has evolved along with the author’s habit of keeping a diary. The program allows you to keep text, up to ten images, and numerous files attached to a day of the calendar. Both text and images can be encrypted. Full text search function.

RedNotebook can become a personal journal. It includes calendar navigation, customizable templates, export functionality and word clouds. You can also format, tag and search your entries. The program features Spell Check * Bold, italic or underlined text * Inserting Images, files and links to websites, and more. Your entries are stored in plain text files, no database is needed.

KNote emphasizes privacy: notes are encrypted with bank-grade security. It also features searching a specific note using a built-in Google like search function. You can browse your notes by modification time, creation time, titles and tags. Notes on the same topic can be easily grouped together using tags. KNote preserves the format of URLs and of contents pasted from the browser, allowing quick attachment of files/folders to a note via drag/drop or copy/paste. You can also connect different notes together using a KNote Link Button.

Drag and Drop Notes lets you quick notes. The program can copy and store text from other applications – web browsers, text editors, communication programs. It will let you create notes by dragging and dropping selected information on the program’s window. You can also drag and drop programs and files to save their location.

MindRaider aims at connecting the tradition of outline editors with emerging technologies. It will help you keep private remarks like ideas, personal plans, gift tips, howtos, dreams, business vision. Instead of making dozens of isolated documents, you can create your personal remarks (notes, sketches) directly in MindRaider. Thus you will have all your thoughts organized into one complex MindMap, that will enable you to tag, navigate, search, combine, reuse and find your ideas quickly.

Personal Brain follows the usual concept of these applications, it starts with a single thought and grows as you use it. You can think of it as a living mind map with unlimited space for everything you want to remember. Each idea can grow and evolve with all related thoughts instead of being separated in folders or lists.

MemPad features standard editing functions including cut, copy, paste, undo, date/time insert, drag&drop. It supports Web links as well as network and local file or folder links (full path not required) and internal page links. Environmental variables can be used in file links to run programs. Index structure can be modified by buttons, context menu or hotkeys. MemPad always saves data without prompting. Optional auto save (every 4 minutes). Automatic backup (can be disabled by option); restore last backup, reload file. Search through all pages or within a node; continue searching forwards or backwards; Replace.

CintaNotes can be used to store your thoughts and ideas, article excerpts, blog postings, quotes, research data, curious facts, Wikipedia entries, etc. It features auto URL population for webpage captures; Quick capture hot key; Note retrieval by typing a word or phrase; exporting to Unicode Text and XML.

AllNotes can be used as notes keeper, notes organizer, a place to store source code snippets, store your ideas, home info, study notes, credit card numbers, login codes, secure private notes, passwords, bank account information, logins and passwords. Notes are organized in categories. All notes are stored into one or more files, they can be placed on usb-stick. Tabbed pages when using multiple subjects – Add secure notes with encryption and a password. – Each note is saved with a datestamp. – When the program is closed, all settings are saved, such as the cursor position.

FreeMind lets you create a diagram to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. Mind maps are used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing. The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified into groupings, branches, or areas, with the goal of representing semantic or other connections between portions of information. Mind maps may also aid recall of existing memories. Although in general I don’t like programs based on Java, I must admit that FreeMind is excellent.

ThinkGraph is a drawing application specialized in Concept Maps. A concept map is a diagram meant to represent Ideas (each idea being represented by a shape (i. e rectangle, ellipse, image, …). This diagram becomes a concept map when these ideas are linked. ThinkGraph generates an XML document that can be viewed or modified later by other applications. Unfortunately you can write only in latin-based languages (not Russian, Greek, etc).