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I have the need to store random contents (on my local hard drive/ laptop hard drive) for personal use so I can look these contents up later on when I need them. That would safe me lots of time and organize my productivity. What I mean by random content is one of the following:

  • Some sort of code Random fact
  • Css / html / Javascript
  • tips Or anything I might find interesting and want to keep for future reference

I want to look up these entries by tags, the software should give me the ability to associate every entry with one tag or more. I have been having difficult time find applications offer this functionality, it is like a local database with search ability and easy data-entry methods.

I can build one, but I don't have the time to invest in doing so. If you can refer me to any application/software that can do that it would be great. It does not matter if it is paid or free.

I am operating on Windows os (8.1), my content that I want to store contains but not limited to: Plain text, links, notes, code snippets, quotes, important dates. I might store files (ms word/pdfs) but I don't foresee the need for it now, I don't need to store images thou.
I would like to use a GUI application rather than a command based kind of application.

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what operating system do you use? Do you need a fancy GUI or do you prefer keyboard commands for everything? What kind of information do you want to store? Is it all "just plain text" (code), or also other information like proprietary files (PDF, Office, Images)? – MostlyHarmless Jun 11 '14 at 17:18
@Martin, I have updated my question – Rami.Shareef Jun 11 '14 at 17:30
I suggest you move this question to – Jan Doggen Jun 12 '14 at 8:27
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Evernote ( can do what you're looking for, and more. It's cloud based and platform independent. You can attach an unlimited number (as far as I know) of tags to an item. You can create a tag hierarchy if you want to, although hierarchical retrieval isn't Evernote's strength. It will hold all the data types you mention.

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Emacs org-mode

is a very powerful solution which lets you (among other things) ...

(see features overview on org-mode homepage)

features and advantages for your application

  • store text or code snippets
  • work directly with source code
  • do complex filtering and searching (regexp, etc.) in "agendas"
  • assign multiple tags to each of the text snippets
  • organize the snippets in a hiearchical manner (like an outliner) in addition to the tags
  • easy folding and un-folding of the hiearchical structure
  • define capture templates to quickly create and save new text snippets into your collection
  • organize the text snippets in multiple .org files (and filter or search in all of them)
  • working with hyperlinks to external sources, files, org-mode headings


  • working with calendar and timestamps
  • add other user defined properties to the items
  • add reminder dates, todo keywords or deadlines to an item, if you want to do something with it at a certain time
  • easily manipulate and edit the text contents
  • even incorporate tables and spreadsheets (plain text)
  • use markup
  • export to various formats (like ASCII, HTML, LaTeX, Office...)

Further advantages

  • all info is stored in plain text files
    • no proprietary file format
    • so in case of any problem you don't loose your data and
    • you can use version control, diff, etc. to save and sync your files
  • Emacs is a very popular text editor which has lots of other extensions and features
  • you can extend it to your needs with the built-in programming language ELISP

enter image description here

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Even though it's not GUI app (OP's req), I'm very glad you posted it. Looks promising. Thanks! – Dwelle Jun 12 '14 at 13:47
it took me quite a long time to get used to it, but it is very powerful and I use it in parallel with Freeplane - Freeplane more for brainstorming, detailed notes in long meetings) and Emacs org-mode for task management and for storing shorter notes from phone calls etc. Ideally both application should work closer together (import/export the data vice versa). – MostlyHarmless Jun 12 '14 at 14:03

I personally use FreePlane, which is an open-source mind mapping Java application.

Mostly, I like the idea you can store information hierarchically.

Among other things, you can:

  • store your information hierarchically in nodes
  • add notes to each node, which can be viewed in its own window (great for storing code snippets)
  • add hyperlinks to URLs, or any file stored on your HDD (you can browse to URL/ open file via one keystroke)
  • add inline images to each node
  • style your nodes as you wish
  • filter through nodes (+ normal searching, of course), but this is kinda limited

You can add tags (aka attributes), as you mentioned, and later filter through them. But that filtering isn't straightforward and definitely isn't as easy as just typing the tag in a search box. Although, I think you could make an extension/ plugin, or a script that would attack this problem.

Freeplane uses groovy language for extensions, but I think there's also support for javaScript, although the API documentation is pretty much non-existent.

Example of a mindmap where I store hotkeys for various apps:

enter image description here

share|improve this answer
I also use Freeplane and I like it very much. I agree that filtering is not always very easy. That's why I'd prefer a tool like Emacs org-mode for this task. – MostlyHarmless Jun 11 '14 at 22:26
freeplane is also present in Debian Wheezy repositories :) – Damian Melniczuk Jun 18 '14 at 4:57

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