If you’re someone who regularly has to bring together information from a variety of sources and then organise it into something coherent, then a personal notes organiser is a must. CintaNotes is a simple, free tool that works perfectly for those wanting to quickly pull text from any source into a central location before organising it with the help of tags.

Once installed, launch the program and CintaNotes’ main window appears, which can be minimised. Now when you come across any interesting snippet of information – whether it’s from the web, in an email or via a document you’re reading, just select the text in the usual way, press [Ctrl] + [F12] and it’ll be deposited in the CintaNotes tray as an untagged piece of text, complete with title and link to the original website or document (double-click the note to view and edit these, along with the text itself).

As your collection builds, you can organise your notes by assigning tags to them – just right-click the entry and choose Tag to do so. Type a tag or tags (separate them with spaces) and click OK, and the note will be assigned to that tag – further tags can be added, and as you type any previous tags will appear as an auto-complete entry – press the right cursor key to accept that tag and save your keys.

Your notes are saved automatically, but can be exported and imported too. There are limited customisation options, such as the colour scheme of your notes and what fonts are used to display notes (along with how many preview lines are displayed).

A portable version is also available, enabling you to run the program from a USB flash drive on any compatible PC.

Version 3.8 changes include (see full changelog for more)

Features:

Autosave currently edited note Completely transparent to the user: in case of crash or power failure, edited note will be reopened after startup.
Editor: Added “Paste as plain text” command to context menu with Ctrl+Alt+V shortcut
Added option to auto minimize on losing focus to the Options menu

Use Options/Window/Minimize on losing focus submenu to configure timeout.

Enhancements:

Notes list: more prominent display of selected tags in note previews
Retain tag filter when hiding tag sidebar
Double the length limit for names of note links
“Window/Close to tray” option is now active by default
“Window/Minimize to tray” option is now not active by default
Added “–close” (“-c”) command line option to close all app instances from batch files

Fixes:

Updates subscription ending notification couldn’t be hidden
Editor: fixed extremely slow opening of some notes
Editor: entering uppercase accented letters was not possible in some locales

Added “editor.shortcuts.rightalt.enabled” option to regulate this.

Remembered password shouldn’t be requested upon clipping
Recycle bin: zlib decompress error upon opening
Rules: rule windows underneath main window when main window is “always on top”
Don’t focus main window after closing editor if main window wasn’t active when this editor was created
Editor: Pasting from Outlook inserted “&nbsp”‘s
Print and HTML export: line breaks in wrong places

Verdict

Lacks some of the more sophisticated options of other organisers, but as a no-frills note-taking tool works perfectly.