[REVIEW] WizNote - note taking application

Discussion in 'Android Applications' started by kiwiguy, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. kiwiguy
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    kiwiguy Member

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    [REVIEW] Wiz Note - great notes capture app


    Summary
    : A fantastic, feature-rich Notes app. I have saved more notes using this app in 2 weeks than I did in the previous year with Catch (my previous notes program). If you can get past the Chinese language challenge on the web-site (which you do not have to use once you have your id created) and are not too worried about storing your notes on Ali Cloud's servers (a Chinese company that also provides storage for Amazon so should be reputable; there is an option to encrypt your notes if you want to be sure), then this is a very powerful and easy to use application for capturing all sorts of information.

    Besides having all of the typical Notes functions (Text notes, Photo Notes, Voice Notes, etc) - it has 2 features that I have not found in any other programs:

    • Email Forwarding: You can forward or send emails to your WizNote account and they will be saved as Notes.
    • Save Webpages: You can easily Save all or parts of a webpage to your Wiz Notes just by clicking a Wiz Note Web Clipper button that you can add to your browser (multiple browser support including IE, Google Chrome and Firefox).
    I now use this program nearly every day and find it so useful that I decided to write the following Review and simple Users Guide.

    Find Wiz Note in Google Play here

    ---------------------------------------

    Background

    I have tried many “notes” programs on Android over the past 2 years. These includes most of the most popular ones such as Catch, EverNote, Gnotes, Remember the Milk, OneNote Mobile, etc
    The trouble is that I found that I just was not using them very much. This was mainly because many of the things that I wanted to store (interesting restaurants, recipes, articles to read later, etc) I usually found while browsing on my PC – and none of the programs that I had tried had a an easy way to capture the contents of a web page. (You can capture the URL but not the actual contents – which is not useful when all you want is a directions from a map!)

    About a month ago I tried Wiz Note – and was very impressed. It has all the functionality of Catch and EverNote (can save text notes, photos, voice notes, etc), but it also has two outstanding features:
    • Email Forwarding: You can forward or send emails to your Wiz Note account and they will be saved as Notes.
    • Save Webpages: You can easily Save all or parts of a webpage to your Wiz Notes via a button on your browser.
    I now use this program nearly every day and find it so useful that I decided to write a Review and simple Users Guide – as the author is Chinese and the User’s Guide has not been translated into English yet – so you have to learn this tool by trial and error.

    The basic application is free. You can also subscribe to become a VIP member (~ USD $1/month or USD $10/year) which increases the amount of information you can upload each month to the Wiz Note site from 134 MB to 1 GB .

    Installing


    Note: All of the individual applications have everything in English. It is only the Help text that has not yet been translated.

    Wiz Note consists of 4 different “components”:

    A. Android App
    – permits you to view/add/edit content on your phone
    B. Wiz Note web site – where your content is backed up to the cloud. You can also view and edit your notes directly from your account on the WizNote site.
    C. Windows Client application – once installed on your PC or laptop, it is the main tool for adding and editing content as has the most powerful editing tools.
    D. Wiz Note Web Clipper Extension – adds a Wiz Note button to your browser to clip webpages, articles or highlighted sections of a web page to your Wiz Notes.

    Wiz Note keeps the material in each of these parts synchronized (WizNote can either do this automatically or you can do it manually) so your notes are immediately available on your PC, your phone and from any web browser.

    A. Android App

    Function: Pretty standard Notes application that allows you to view and create different types of notes on your phone including plain text notes, paint notes, photo notes and voice notes.

    Install: Download the app from Google Play (link) and install.

    Getting Started: When you first start the app it will ask you to create an id and password. The id can be any valid email address. Once you have an id, then the main Wiz Note page is displayed. This page is almost identical to Catch. You can create a new Text, Photo, Paint or Voice Note directly on your phone. Notes can be stored in named folders (Travel, IDs, etc) and have tags associated with them so can be easily found. There is also a Search function for quickly finding any word. It is mainly used for retrieving information on the fly – so has limited organization capability. For example, you cannot easily move information between folders on the phone.


    [TABLE]
    [TR]
    [TD] View attachment 57701
    [/TD]
    [TD]
    .
    [/TD]
    [TD] View attachment 57700
    [/TD]
    [TD]
    .
    [/TD]
    [TD] View attachment 57728
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD]Fig 1: Main Screen
    [/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD]Fig 2: Folders screen
    [/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD]Fig 3: Individual Note on the Phone
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [TR]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD][/TD]
    [TD](a recipe saved from a webpage)
    [/TD]
    [/TR]
    [/TABLE]



    Another nice feature is that as well as having the typical 1x1 widget for quickly adding a new note, it also has a useful 4x2 widget with a scrolling summary of your latest notes – which makes retrieval very fast.

    View attachment 57698

    Fig 4: 4x2 WizNote Widget

    B. Wiz Note Web Site (http://www.wiz.cn)

    Function: Provides cloud based storage and backup for your notes. You can also access and edit your notes from any browser.

    Install: None

    Getting Started: Unfortunately almost the entire the site is in Chinese, but Google translate does a pretty good job of translating everything and you really only need to access this site one time to perform the following 3 activities. Once you have the Windows client installed, then you can use that for everything.
    1. Log into your account to view your notes
    2. Download the Windows Client application to your PC or laptop
    3. Create a MyWiz email account so that you can forward/ send email to your notes (optional)
    How to do each is explained below.

    1. Log into your Account.

    If you already have your MyWiz account created from you phone then you just need to go to Login - Wiz Account - Wiz and sign in. Once signed in, your main MyWiz page will be displayed with all of your notes:

    View attachment 57742

    Fig 5
    : Main MyWiz web page


    This site can be accessed from any browser so that you can easily add notes from whereever you are. It looks nearly identical to the Windows Client version with an editor for editing your notes directly online. However, because I installed the Windows client on my PC, I find that I very rarely use the online version.

    You can also sign up for an account directly at the Wiz.cn site by going to service.wiz.cn/wizkm/a/signup and entering an email and a password.

    2.
    Download the Windows Client application

    Go to www.wiz.cn/download and download the appropriate version of the application for your windows OS.

    [Further down the page are a bunch of plug-ins that you can download. There are plug-ins that permit you to import notes from a range of other applications including EverNote and OneNote]

    3. Create a MyWiz email account (Optional)

    You only need to do this if you want to forward/send the contents of emails to your notes.

    Log into your web account at Login - Wiz Account - Wiz. Click on the small down arrow on the top right of the page next to your user name (see where red arrow points in Fig 5) and select the top Option (Account Settings). Your Personal Settings screen should be displayed (See Fig 6 in the following post)

    In the bottom box, enter what you want your MyWiz email box name to be and then click on the bright blue button. If a green box appears then you have created your email box correctly.

    That is it. Now anything that is mailed or forwarded to yourid@mywiz.cn will automatically be saved as a note and be accessable a few minutes later.


    C. Windows Client application

    Function: Windows program for adding, editing and organizing notes into folders or adding tags.

    Install:
    Once you have downloaded the Windows Client exe file, double click to install it. When you run this app, it will display a Wiz Note window where you can add Notes directly, add screen shots, create and move folders and notes, etc. (See Fig 8 below)

    Getting Started: See next thread for details on using this app.

    D. Chrome Browser Web Clipper plugin

    Go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/search/wiznote

    Download the extension. This will place a [W] button on your Extension bar. When you click on this button you have the option of saving the article, the selected text or the entire web page to your Wiz Notes. There is also web capture support for IE, Firefox, and other mainstream browsers.

    Opera, Firefox: both of these browsers have similar plug-ins that you can install to add a Wiz Notes Web Capture button directly to the browser.

    Internet Explorer: To save web pages using IE, select the page or the section of the page and then right mouse click and select "Save to the Wiz" option.

    ----------------------------------------------

    Now you have all the pieces you are ready to start to use it.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  2. kiwiguy
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    kiwiguy Member

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    This section explains how to:
    • Send emails to your WizNotes
    • Use the WizNotes Floating Toolbar
    • Use the Windows Client
    Sending Emails to your WizNotes

    Once you have a MyWiz email account created as explained above, then you can save any email that you want to have stored as a note by forwarding it to yourid@mywiz.cn. It will appear about 5 minutes later in the Folder "My Emails".


    View attachment 57740

    Fig 6
    : Your Personal Settings Window for Creating a WizNote email account

    Where this may be really useful is if you receive newsletters or Google Reader articles or other feeds that you want to keep as notes, you can provide them with your MyWiz email id and have these articles sent directly to your WizNotes.

    WizNotes Floating Toolbar

    When you install the Windows client, it also installs a separate small floating toolbar that is displayed on the top of your screen. It is usually hidden until you mouse over it.

    View attachment 57736

    Fig 7: WizNotes Floating Toolbar

    This tool bar has 5 buttons that permit you to quickly perform the following functions without having to bring up the WizNotes application:
    • Create a New Note
    • View an Existing Note
    • Create a new StickyNote (see below)
    • Save a Screenshot as a Note
    • Open WizNote

    Using the WizNote Application


    1. Creating Notes

    WizNote allows you to create new notes in many different ways:
    • Adding using the "Add note" Widget on your phone
    • Adding using the Windows client
    • Adding using the Web MyWiz screen
    • Forwarding an email toyourid@mywiz.cn
    • Clipping web pages using the View attachment 57739 extension button on your browser.
    • Using the floating toolbar on the top of your windows screen to save screenshots or webpages
    • Import existing information from a large variety of formats including EverNote, Onenote, Word, Excel, etc.

    2. Using the Windows Client


    When you install the WizNote client application, it automatically knows your OS's default language and displays everything in English. It consists of a number of panes. The left pane is a list of all of your folders that contain your Notes. Under them is the list of tags that you have defined.

    When you click on a specific note it is displayed on the right:

    View attachment 57738

    Fig 8: WizNote Windows Client


    You can then edit it or add new notes. There is a full range of editing tools including changing fonts, colors, etc. You add/edit tags to notes by clicking on the Tag icon. You can easily move notes to a different folder by drag and drop. Once you have finished, click on the Sync button to save all of your changes to the Cloud which then pushes it out to your phone.

    Other Features

    a. Create Shortcuts directly to a Specific Note

    You can right-click on a note and select Advanced -> Send to Desktop to create a shortcut on the desktop for that note. Double-clicking on the shortcut will directly open that note. (This is useful if you have a note that you edit often).

    b. Reference Other Notes in a Note

    You can create a links to other notes as part of a note. This is easily done by editing the note to contain the link(s) and then using the mouse to left mouse click on the note(s) that you want to reference and performing a drag and drop on the target note. This will create a link address in that note. When reading that note, clicking on the link will cause the corresponding notes to be displayed.

    This might be useful if you have a bunch of related notes. You can use one Master Note like a Table of Contents.

    c. Saving Attachments to Notes

    You can attach documents and files to a note by clicking on the "Paperclip" attachment icon in the tool bar.

    d. QuickNotes

    You can create something called a QuickNote. These are displayed both in your Wiznotes list of notes, but can also be displayed on your PC desktop like a paper "sticky note". and can be used to remind you to do things. They also appear on your Phone, but only within the WizNote application - not as separate "stickys". You can change the color and transparency of these stickies. In addition they can be formatted as a To-Do list.

    e. Pre-formatted Note Templates

    When you click on "New Note" you can select to use one of a number of pre-formatted note templates such as Meeting Minutes; Contacts; Journal Entries etc. Some of these have predefined fields for entering information while other simply provide colored backgrounds or layouts (eg envelope) to make the note more visually interesting. Additional templates can be downloaded from the Wiz web site.

    f. Share Notes Functionality

    I have not explored this much but there is the ability to grant other users access to your Notes so that you can share them with friends or colleagues.


    Bugs:
    1. On the whole this app works very well, but I have noticed that after moving a note to a specific folder and then performing a Sync that the note is back in its original location. This usually happens on new notes. Once I wait a day and move these notes, then everything works correctly.
    2. Notes are occasionally duplicated after a sync, but have not figured out what causes this to happen. More importantly, I have never lost a note. Even when you delete a note, it is kept in a Deleted folder for a period of time.
    ---------------------------------------------

    My other application reviews:

    Flashcard applications:
    http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-applications/5536-review-flashcard-apps-droid.html

    FreeNote Handwriting Recognition app: http://www.droidforums.net/forum/ap...-changing-hand-writing-app-keeping-notes.html
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
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