(Update: I’ve been given 25 invites from WebNotes to give our readers to their private beta. The first 25 comments here will get invites. It’s worth it, give it a try! Even if you can’t get an invite, sign up on their site. The turnaround, in my experience, is pretty fast.)
Most, if not all, of the research I do is on the Web. When I write papers, do presentations, or study for finals, I spend a lot of time on the Web looking for information.
It used to be that I would find a page with something interesting on it, and either save the whole page and spend forever trying to find the interesting part again or have to copy and paste the interesting part elsewhere.
Not anymore. WebNotes, a new startup and new favorite of mine, has made research an easy, fun, and efficient process.
With WebNotes, the process couldn’t be simpler. You sign up, save a bookmarklet, and go Web surfing. When you get to a page with information you want to save, you click the bookmarklet, and up come your options. You can highlight text, or write sticky notes on the page- anywhere on the Web.
If you’re a Firefox user, there’s also a Firefox extension for WebNotes that offers many of the same features, and adds an attractive sidebar into Firefox where you can see all your annotations as you browse.
Webnotes saves the URL of the site as well as all your highlights and sticky notes, which makes it easy to go back and look at the original site- you won’t need to, though. Just highlight everything relevant, and all you’ll need to do is look in your WebNotes!
Anything you highlight or write is automatically extracted and saved in your “My Notes” section of WebNotes, where you can organize them however you see fit. I like to use folders for various research projects, to keep them organized.
You can search through every part of your annotations, which is great for when you’re looking for a quote or a snippet of information. WebNotes is full of AJAX, which means you don’t have to refresh the page every time you get a new note- they just show up. It sounds like a small thing, but it’s a big time- and sanity-saver.
You can also share your annotations and notes through email or a provided link, which is key for group projects. Annotations can also be made into attractive printable documents should you so desire.
Research shouldn’t have to require constantly switching between Word and the Web, just to make sure you don’t forget the one sentence you need out of a huge article. WebNotes saves you time, makes group research easier, and lets you store everything you need to know in one central place.
Whittle down the Web to the stuff you care about, and WebNotes’ll hang on to it for you.