Organize an enormous number of notes

Tinderbox is a professional-grade information-management tool for creating, organizing, using, and sharing notes--especially large or complex sets of data, whether you're composing a novel, drafting a presentation, or performing academic research. Tinderbox has a very visual interface that provides a lot of flexibility, giving you multiple options for viewing notes (in map, outline, timeline, chart, treemap, or explorer windows), which you can drag and drop into hierarchical "containers" along with various contextual properties and links. A powerful, open-ended system of "agents"--basically, persistent searches--scans your notes continuously, identifying patterns or attributes and then executing macro-like … Read more

Axes adder

Excel's built-in plotting capability can only create one left-right axis per plot. Office Expander's Multy_Y is an add-in for Microsoft Excel that creates multiple Y axes on the left side of plots using existing Excel charts. Each Excel chart appears as a new Y axis on the selected Multy_Y plot, whereas the plot itself is depicted on a separate Excel chart. It can generate automatically formatted plots from XY-scatter plots. You can plot time factors on the X axis of Multy_Y's plots, too. The fully customizable plots created with Multy_Y will display in any Excel edition, not … Read more

Mint posts, then pulls controversial immigration chart

Intuit-owned online financial tool posted an item entitled "The Economic Impact of Immigration" to its MintLife blog earlier this week that quickly caught attention for all the wrong reasons.

The story, which featured an "infographic" and has since been taken down by the company, detailed the monetary impact that undocumented immigrants currently have on the U.S. economy, citing such numbers as 43 percent of all food stamps and 41 percent of unemployment benefits going to these individuals.

Besides being controversial, the numbers behind the imagery turned out to be questionably sourced. The Atlantic, … Read more


Astronomers discovered the asteroid 90377 Sedna in 2003, and astrologers discovered it not long after, incorporating its motions into their complex formulas for reading signs in the heavens. MysticBoard specializes in mystic and astrological utilities; its Sedna Astrology describes the newly discovered body's placement in users' birth charts. Based on the precepts of classical Western Astrology, it tracks the subtle influence that's always been exerted by Sedna's orbit but that astrologers have been unable to account for in their calculations.

Like MB's other wares, Sedna Astrology is free to download and use but includes a registration … Read more

Mayan mysticism

MysticBoard specializes in astrological and mystic-themed freeware and Web-based gadgets that let you generate astrological readings and other results by filling a few simple fields and clicking a few simple buttons. Its Mayan Astrology Birth Chart is an example of some its more "esoteric" wares; it generates a Mayan Birth Chart based on the astrological principles of the ancient Maya. Mayan birth charts are similar to those in Western mysticism but are based on glyphs, the symbols that make up the Mayan alphabet. Different glyphs placed in specific orientations have different significance to the believer.

Mayan Astrology Birth … Read more

Apple iPad vs. Amazon Kindle chart

The comparison between the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad are inevitable, especially with Apple announcing its new iBooks store. We've speculated on their differences and if one is really better than the other (let us know what you think), but here's a simple feature-by-feature comparison chart just to make things easier.

Amazon Kindle Apple iPad Display E-ink display. Kindle is 6 inches diagonally; Kindle DX is 9.7 inches diagonally. Not a touch screen. 9.7-inch LED (IPS) backlit display. Supports multitouch. Hardware Kindle is 10.2 ounces, Kindle DX is 18.9 ounces. Both are 0.… Read more

Feature-filled chart maker

OrgChart Professional is a feature-packed program that allows users to create impressive organizational charts. Because of the number of features it contains, it's not the most intuitive program we've used, but a bit of time spent with the Help file will allow users to master the program's many functions.

The interface is a bit cluttered and can be overwhelming at first, with lots of menus and buttons everywhere. Although it's possible to create an organizational chart just by fooling around with the program, beginners should really start with the Help file, a 282-page PDF that contains … Read more

Find your biggest files

Beginners and advanced users alike will appreciate the simplicity of Primitive File Size Chart, a utility that analyzes how much space files and folders are taking up on your computer.

The tool scans a specific disk or folder and lists the largest files and folders within. (By default, the program lists the 50 largest in each category, but you can increase or decrease this number.) The clean user interface displays the path, name, and size of each file and the name and size of each folder in sortable columns. The utility offers no Help file, although it arguably needs none. … Read more

Helpful schedule tracker

Timeline Maker Professional creates clear, impressive scheduling charts in minutes.

The program's interface is professional and welcoming, starting with some helpful tutorials and moving on to an intuitive layout at every turn. The program feels like operating a calendar system, like the one found on Microsoft Outlook, but its results look very different. After entering in event information like start and stop times, you see a clear timeline of your event. Each step is shown in a highly readable text bubble along a timeline. It is easy to see when each step was happening thanks to the color-coded system. … Read more

Handy date organizer

Gantt Chart is a simple tool for organizing a personal schedule. Its easy operation and familiar look will help anyone juggling a lot of events and appointments.

The program's interface was instantly comforting. Using a similar setup and color scheme to Microsoft Outlook, we intuitively navigated through even the program's non-Outlook elements. The program's default layout gave us a large bar-chart-style planner outlining our events and their times. Daily appointments were a breeze to schedule, thanks to the wizard-like menu detailing everything from time, place, and percentage of the task complete. We were also happy that the … Read more