Organize Your Life with CherryTree

Searching and Linking

Now, how can you create a link from one node to another? In the Edit menu, click Insert/Edit Link. You'll be prompted to provide a name, and then in the following dialog box, click To Node and then the relevant node. It's also possible to link to specific parts of a node, known as anchors. To try this, click Edit | Insert Anchor in the menu and then enter a name. This places an anchor symbol inside the node, where the cursor currently is, but it doesn't add any text. When you now go to Edit | Insert/Edit Link and chose To Node, you'll see that you can optionally choose an anchor inside the node you select (if one exists).

After you've been using CherryTree for a while and have built up lots of information, you may find it hard to pinpoint specific bits of info (although a well thought-out structure helps here). Under the Search menu you'll find two especially useful menu items: Find in Node Content and Find in All Nodes Content. As the names suggest, the first performs a search only on the currently selected node, while the latter searches through all nodes. You can perform especially complicated searches using regular expressions, and search forward and backward. Note that you can perform find and replace operations via the Search menu also – again, either in a single node or across all nodes.

Saving, Importing, and Exporting

When saving your nodes via File | Save, you're given a few choices: SQLite or XML format, with optional password protection. Note that CherryTree extracts password-protected documents into a temporary directory when you're editing them, so if the app crashes, it may leave that temporary directory open for viewing. Ultimately, this means CherryTree is fine for storing non-supercritical passwords (e.g., web forum logins) on single-user machines, but for really serious passwords (like online banking) a dedicated password manager is arguably a better choice.

If you take a look at the Import menu (Figure 4), you'll see that CherryTree can suck in data from an impressive range of sources, including many other note-taking apps and services, such as NoteCase, Gnote, and Zim. The variety of export formats is smaller, but you can save your work as PDF or HTML. It's also possible to dump all nodes into separate plain text files or output everything to a single file. You can even select a bunch of nodes and create a separate CherryTree document from them via Export | Export to CherryTree Document.

Figure 4: CherryTree can import data from a vast range of sources, including popular note-taking apps.

So that's CherryTree. I've explored all of its main features, and you can see just how useful it is compared with plain text files or web-based note-taking apps. You can find out more in the "Saving, Importing, and Exporting" box and in the app's manual (Figure 5). If you end up using CherryTree to organize your whole life, drop us a line and let us know!

Figure 5: The app's own manual (CherrytreeManual.ctb, from the website) is a CherryTree document that demonstrates the power of the program.

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