In response to my Whence Real Integration article, Dan Goldman sent me a link to a product called Notetaker from Aquaminds. I downloaded it and played with it for a while. Notetaker seems like a good tool for keeping track of notes (more on that in a minute), but it doesn't really do what I was talking about, at least not that I could easily figure out. I can type an appointment in a notebook and store vCard info, but I want single entry. When I create an appointment, I want to have it in my calendar and be able to associate it with another store of information. Change it either place, its changed in both places. Same with email. I don't think the problem is with Notetaker, so much as the fact that appointments and email messages don't have URLs. Until those things are addressable in a common namespace, you can't gather easily accomplish what I want.
Notetaker creates and organizes files called "notebooks." A notebook organizes and displays information as outlines on a page. These outlines can contain URLs, vCard data, plain text, pictures, and other media files. The notebooks are indexed for searching. The application can create multiple notebooks so you can have a different one for different projects, areas of your life, whatever.
I usually keep notes in Emacs or Word. They're not necessarily designed for that but they mostly do the trick. Something like Notetaker might be a good tool. I have one reservation: yet another proprietary file format that I'm giving a part of my life over to. I've resigned myself to having things in Word, but I'm not sure I want another. As far as I can tell, it doesn't support OPML. That would add some interest and turn the tables. Now I'd have a tool that produced a format I can use for other things.