An App I Wrote 11 Years Ago and Still Use

In 2005 I was a completely different person, with a completely different skillset but still had a need I have now…. A Notepad that allowed me to auto organize notes according to what I was working on.

That’s right, no saving notes, no adding tabs, no tags to specify. Just type and it is saved according to what I am doing.

So, 11 years ago, I wrote UniversalNotes. An app that can sit on your screen and, when you add notes, they are saved according to what windows you have open. In Visual Studio? Type in a note, then tab to your browser. Note is GONE! But when you go back to Visual Studio, there is is.

I also can view the list of all notes, specify what windows to ignore, etc.

So, check it out. See if it is useful to you. If it is, let me know. I might update it someday.

Here are the readme notes that come with the app:


This program allows the user to keep notes about whatever they are working on at that moment. The data is stored according to the current window's title bar. So, for example, if you are in notepad, working on a document named 'foo.txt', then UniversalNotes wil store any text you write in it with the signature 'Notepad - foo.txt'. The next time you are running UniversalNotes and open foo.txt in Notepad, UniversalNotes will noteice and load up your notes from before. Confused? Stick with me...

UniversalNotes refers to a window title as a 'Signature'. In the above example, the signature for when notepad is editing foo.txt is 'Notepad-foo.txt'. Any data entered into UniversalNotes at that time will be stored with the key 'notepad-foo.txt'. When that window title comes up again, the data entered will as well. Magic!

When UniversalNotes starts up, tehre is no signature. The text you are reading right now is the 'NoSignature' data. It appears whenever UniversalNotes starts. You can also get back to the Startup Text by selecting the menuitem 'Tools|View Startup Data'.

When UniversalNotes starts for the first time, it will do the following:
-- Creates a settings file with the default settings (uNotesSettings.xml) in the same directory as the executable
-- Creates a readme file (UniversalNotesReadme.txt) in the same directory as the executable
-- Creats a new data file (uNotes.unx) in the same directory as the executable
-- Places the contents of the readme file (this file) in the 'No Signature' page so it will display on startup.

TUTORIAL (Read All the Steps before doing them if you are in UniversalNotes, or this text may disappear)
1) Open notepad 
2) return to this window, and type 'This is my data about notepad with no document opened'
3) open windows explorer
4) Return to this window and type 'this is my data about windows explorer for the currently selected drive and folder'
5) Select the notepad window and see that this window displays the notepad note
6) Select the explorer window and this pane shows that data.

There is a menuitem in the system tray menu titled 'Quick Note'. This dialog will allow the user to enter some text, which will be appended to the current signature's data.

There is a data viewer built into UniversalNotes which allows you to edit stored contents without having the window Signature open. Select 'Tools | Data Viewer'. You will see a list of all stored data. Double click on an entry to edit it's notes.

There are a number of settings which can be changed by selecting Tools|Settings
-- Filename is display only and cannot be changed here
-- Polling Delay is how often UniversalNotes checks what the current window is in Milliseconds (between 100 ans 60000)
-- Remember Window Position. If true, window coords are saved on closing the app and loaded on open
-- Always on top causes the UniversalNotes window to remain on top even when not focused
-- X only minimizes window. If checked, then clicking the top right corner of the window will NOT exit, only minimize to the system tray.
-- Minimize To Tray. If checked, minimizing window removes the entry from the start bar, but adds the system tray icon.
-- Double click the 'Sample Font' area to change the default font for the application

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