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Anyone tried/used ZOOT info manager


I've been on a long quest for a good program for storing bits of information, and organizing projects (to-dos, etc.) for some time.

Treepad ( is a top contender.  I even wrote my own knowledgebase program about 7 years ago.

Just ran across ZOOT which seems interesting.  ANYONE using or tried it?

BTW, My Criteria (in the event of the inevitable suggestions of a better alternative to Zoot or Treepad):

1. Easy to enter info.
2. Easy to search (including boolean searches)
3. Nice heirarchal structure (so I can have tasks, sub tasks, etc.)
4. Calender type feature for scheduling tasks that have a firm due date.

The real Entrepreneur
Sunday, January 25, 2004

On a similar note, does anyone know of a Unix-friendly program for similar purpose? I'm currently writing a Java knowledgebase because I've not found one. Must be desktop, no web apps.

Mike Swieton
Sunday, January 25, 2004


Previous discussion

Mike Swieton
Sunday, January 25, 2004


There are several (lots I think) KB's i the projects.

I think several of them are java based and many others are also unix-capable (if memory serves. I'm Windows-0nly so wasn't paying much attention to that).

Try a search on for:

They don't always do a good job of writing clear descriptions, so you have to fiddle with your search terms.

The real Entrepreneur
Sunday, January 25, 2004

I didn't get Zoot at all when I used it, but there is a pretty funny (from 2001) person who calls the author on doing some Stealth Marketing:

Problem: How do you on-line market your software to hoards of cynical developers?

Solution: Write up the commercial as a pattern and dump it on wiki. Under solution, say "sorry, I don't have a general solution, but you can buy this..."

Example: ZootSoftware


I love Treepad Free. Searchable, quick even though my database is approaching a megabyte of text, stable, and all around good.
Sunday, January 25, 2004

You might want to check out Ecco, an old Windows program -- similar to Zoot in some ways -- that is no longer sold but which has the advantage of now being available for free.  It has a tool similar to Zoot's of quickly "shooting" outside info into the Ecco database.

There is still an active Ecco community with, e.g., user group on Yahoo, which Zoot has also, I believe.  You can read more about Ecco (and some other outlinging and KB tools) and get the necessary web references at this site:

Herbert Sitz
Sunday, January 25, 2004

BTW, I mentioned Ecco because it's particularly strong at your hierarchical requirement (it's based around an excellent outliner) and it also has strong calendaring tools.

Herbert Sitz
Sunday, January 25, 2004

Does someone know where Ecco can be downloaded? The link in the page below is no longer valid:

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Stupid me :-) My firewall was silently banning my browser from connecting out in FTP. Sorry about that.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Is there a good one that can be shared easily between multiple computers?

I like the Wiki solution sort of, because you can access it from anywhere, but I'm not sold on its usability yet.  I like the treepad interface (at least from an initial glance), but it doesn't seem like you can easily access it.

I need to be able to access it equally from home and work.  I have some web/ftp space to use.  It would be nice if I wouldn't have to remember to upload it from home once a night, and download it at work in the morning, etc.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

If you've got money to burn:
Sunday, January 25, 2004

> Anyone tried/used ZOOT info manager
Wish they'd consider placing some screenshots of the program on their site or if they have, make them more prominent....

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Yes, I used it for a while. The idea is good, but the program has not been developed much lately (and if you see the reviews in its web site, none of them is really new). It might be that I wasn't good at using it all the time, but it just did not make much sense to me.

There is a large list of different organizers in the zoot discussion group:

Monday, January 26, 2004

It didn't make much sense to me either... Information resided in one place for a while, then I could sort it, maybe, or create rules for auto sorting things, and then recall them in odd ways later... Strange stuff.

I think the developer either has a convoluted way of thinking and his program reflects that, or he just sucks at UI and documentation.
Monday, January 26, 2004

On the subject of PIMs, has anyone tried Microsoft's One note yet? if so, what's it like?

Monday, January 26, 2004

I'm disappointed by the MS program.

I expected something better than free offers like KeyNote (which is open source and has an EXCELLENT GUI) or Chimp Notes (which is free).

MS Note One is for the "I want my programmes to look good and also feel good and I want lots of help with animated animals and to be able to write anywhere and correct my grammer cause I'm a fucking idiot" crowd.

Monday, January 26, 2004

ECOO PRO .... feedback


Ecco Pro (free) will allow you to share data across multiple computers.  It's a little tricky to configure (but not hard).

Iv'e been using Ecco Pro and it's pretty cool. But it's not good for storing knowledge because it has very very poor search features.  (At least,  I have a very difficult time searching). Also the UI is just a bit clunky.

Also peeve of mine:  I like to have a node/item and then be able to have attached to it a lot of information (maybe excerpts from a web page, or a letter or explanation of how to do something). Ecco doesn't do that well. 

Also, Ecco doesn't do intra-database links. That's pretty important for cross referencing . (E.g., maybe I have a project which has a cross dependency. I wantt o be able to say:

TASK: update Install program
  -> Should also make sure we update program ABC at the same time. See task: ABC.

One problem I have with to-do's is that i want to index them lots of ways:

a. By difficulty /time.  ("I have 10 minutes to work on something, what can I make progress on?"

b. Correlated work:  I.e., some things are MUCH more efficient to do at the same time. E.g., "while we're updating the print-preview feature, how about we add support for saving the setting for the printer selection".

Hmm... Ecco might be able to do that with VIEWS. But it's soo much work to set it up.

The real Entrepreneur
Monday, January 26, 2004


It seems to me that this is a non trivial problem. And no one's solved it all yet.  No software really solves the probelm well. Perhaps because those people haven't solved it "on paper".

I wonder how many people writing PIMs or KNowledge base software have read GETTING THINGS DONE by David Allen?

How many people write software without really understanding the problem they're trying to solve?

The real Entrepreneur
Monday, January 26, 2004

David Allen has a PDF on how to adapt Outlook, it's expensive ($30) but there's a small preview online on his website. Or you can just download the plugin. ($70)

Reading the small preview PDF on his website and going back and looking in Getting Things Done, I think I have a fairly good Idea of what he wants, even though the PDF cuts off just as he's getting to the good stuff.

I still use Treepad Free for my "lots of stuff" note taking, and as I said, I have a *lot* of stuff in my file, magazine articles I copied and pasted, notes, etc. I just looked, my Treepad file is 2.02 MB (2,125,095 bytes), all plaintext, and Treepad opens in a flash and search is instantaneous.

No I don't use it for To Do lists, but I am becoming more and more reliant on it to just remember stuff for me.

Like Zoot says you should do, I just put everything of interest in there, then open it, hit Shift + F11 for search and I can find it again.

I used to have multiple Treepad files for different projects, but I realized I don't need that anymore. I used to use the pay version (Keynote does a lot of the same things) but didn't need rich text or images or the ability to link to things.

I still haven't decided on Calendar software, and I still keep my To Do lists on paper.
Monday, January 26, 2004

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