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  #1  
Old 07-02-2008, 06:54 PM
tfjern tfjern is online now
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To Beat a Dead Horse...

Some time back there was a thread about UR's Document Template (which I still don't understand how and when to use). After reading three quotes, you will find a simple question at the end, so please bear with me.

StephenUK wrote:

Yes, the program [UR] has amazing depth and grows on you the more you use it. But maybe that Documents template is a tad difficult to comprehend? These are not easy concepts for a beginner and definatey demand a strong cup of coffee. It would be interesting to poll the average IQ of those using UR... For all my law, economics and business qualifications, I still find it takes a bit of getting used to!

Janrif wrote:

StephenUK, going backwards, I agree URp deserves a wider audience. However, I don't know how wide an audience it already has. Having said that, I also agree that the document template is a bit confusing.

IMO, part of it has to do w the User Guide which is complete but not really helpful for a non-technically oriented person (like me, for instance). Altho all the information is there, what it lacks is simple things like:In order to do this task, go to main menu, click x, select y, push <ENTER> key. (See image) etc.

Then Zargron wrote:

I agree. I've got a pretty strong technical background, so the User Guide was actually a draw card for me embracing UR. I enjoyed having to slow down from my normal rate of reading to carefully digest each new term and concept least I miss out anything important. It takes a lot of time to put together user documentation. For more sales - yes Kinook should perhaps put together a really basic user guide. Deliberately leaving the heavy stuff out. For keeping us lot happy - spend the time on development. What do you do hey...?

----------

OK. I have a simple, basic question that I couldn't find answered adequately in UR's spectacularly unhelpful help file (please spare us comments on how well-organized it is. We can see that.).

When draging and dropping material (files, webpages, etc.) into Data Explorer, what difference does it make whether it is dumped into a Folder, a Text, a Document, Notes, whatever? When should you use one, when should you use another, because they all seem to work the same regardless of the data? Now try to explain this briefly in simple English. Then go and look at how it is explained in UR's "help" file.

If you say, "To me the help file's Document Template explanation is clear as day," then I guess StephenUK's mention of IQ is relevant. Yes, there are a few users out there (e.g., Zargron) who enjoy the intellectual challenge of figuring out the intricacies and subtleties of the program (in my case I usuallly figure out things accidentally, or after reading the forums, and never after reading the "help" file), but as it now stands UR will never enter mainstream popularity like EverNote or OneNote or similar products, though it is unquestionably superior, even as a simple PIM.

I (and others) have asked Kinook several times about this, so maybe this time will be a charm (or the squeaky-wheel principle will take effect). Please revamp the help file and offer online videos that explain in simple English how the program actually works. The four out-of-date ones currently online are worse than useless. They are irritating. Just make sure the (cognitive style) field-dependent UR programmers aren't involved.
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2008, 02:30 AM
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Re: To Beat a Dead Horse...

Quote:
Originally posted by tfjern
When draging and dropping material (files, webpages, etc.) into Data Explorer, what difference does it make whether it is dumped into a Folder, a Text, a Document, Notes, whatever? When should you use one, when should you use another, because they all seem to work the same regardless of the data? Now try to explain this briefly in simple English. Then go and look at how it is explained in UR's "help" file.
First, what do you mean by "dumping into" a Folder, a Text, ...? Document, say pdf file, cannot be a Folder (because it's based on Text core template). Read about Core Templates:

http://www.kinook.com/UltraRecall/Ma...etemplates.htm

Document Template, as explained in help, has URL as a primary attribute so that UR knows the external source. Item details pane will show the contents of that (external or stored) file/document if UR can do it.

On the other hand, Folder, a Text, ... are all based on Rich Text core template, so that in Item Details pane you can actually type something.
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2008, 03:49 AM
tfjern tfjern is online now
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Nice try, but ...

Your explanation is slightly more lucid than the help file you refer to, which reads:

The Document Core Template defines Info Items that reference any type of document. Any Info Item based on a Template in the Document Template Group has an URL Attribute which can be populated with the location of the referenced document.

[Many of the terms are hyperlinked, and everything looks nice and neat, but one quickly tires after looking up some of the arcane terminology.]

This is not acceptable. To attract more customers, or keep those who have already bought the program from wondering off to greener pastures, Kinook has to reduce somewhat the program's geeky image (fostered by a quick but painful trip through the help file). I know: it's on the roadmap, but almost two years have passed and we still have this unhelpful help file.
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Old 07-03-2008, 05:13 AM
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Re: Nice try, but ...

Quote:
Originally posted by tfjern
Your explanation is slightly more lucid than the help file you refer to, which reads:

The Document Core Template defines Info Items that reference any type of document. Any Info Item based on a Template in the Document Template Group has an URL Attribute which can be populated with the location of the referenced document.

[Many of the terms are hyperlinked, and everything looks nice and neat, but one quickly tires after looking up some of the arcane terminology.]
This terminology might seem arcane to you, because you've probably never came across it before. UR is a front-end to sql database, and if you've never dealt with databases before, I completely understand your frustration if you are coming from the PIM that doesn't offer attributes, templates, etc ...

These users are probably overwhelmed by too many new terms that they might come to the conclusion that UR is geeky and help file actually not helpful. UR helpfile is actually very comprehensive (and heavily hyperlinked which helps a lot), users just need to take time to digest new information slowly.

More examples, online videos, etc. will certainly help, but it will still take much more time than other PIMs, simply because you are learning completely new subject. If I were you, I wouldn't have too high expectations about these new videos etc., you might be disappointed. They won't miraculously make you understand everything in a day or week or even a month. It will still require a lot of work from your side to grasp everything. Whether you are ready to devote that much time to recover full power of UR (and any database related software) is another question.

Last edited by quant; 07-03-2008 at 06:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-03-2008, 05:29 AM
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and you touched also on the IQ issue ...

You can simply dump any info into UR just like into any other PIMs, or you can design your database, with templates that have assigned relevant attributes, create forms, create smart searches based on items relationship, etc ... there is a lot of thinking process involved, so yes, higher IQ certainly helps ...
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  #6  
Old 07-03-2008, 08:46 AM
ashwken ashwken is offline
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tfjern,

Coming to UR with an intermidiate level of database experience (dbase) was certinaly helpful, but there was still a learining curve - a translation of UR terminology to terminology that I was familiar with (Folder = Table, Item = Record, Attribute = Field). And a translation of concepts that are still being revealed.

One of the most confusing terms was that of the Document Item until I realized that the Document Item = a data file. Every data file brought into UR (via any of various methods) becomes a Document Item, which is based on the default Document Template.

Another confusing area is that of the Detail Pane Viewer Area, which takes one of three modes:

RTF Editor - as seen in the Templates Appointment, Contact, Folder, Project, Task, Text

Browser - Document Template, includes viewers for MIME and Image (Tools | Options | Documents), and a viewer for documents (other data files, see Tools | Options | Browser).

Search - Search Template, the entire Detail Pane is given over to the Search Dialog

I really don't think of these default Templates as Core Templates, but I understand the need to call them something for purposes of discussion in the help file, mainly I think of the Templates in terms of what they render in the Viewer Area.

Then when creating custom Templates it becomes a question of what type of data you want to render in the Detail Pane for the Item, a choice of basing the new Template on Text or Document.
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  #7  
Old 07-03-2008, 08:52 AM
tfjern tfjern is online now
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Bingo!

Yes, UR does requires a lot of patience in order to get it to work right (a steep learning curve, as they say). But much of this (pouring over the "help" file and rummaging through the forums, trying to figure things out) is an annoyance that could be avoided via a user-friendly help file and step-by-step KISS (a picture is worth a thousand words) videos, which will go a long way toward helping UR become more popular, which is something we all want, apparently.

So in the meantime let's keep bugging Kinook about this until they cry uncle and come up with some user-friendly online videos.

Last edited by tfjern; 07-03-2008 at 10:30 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2008, 12:49 AM
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As a brand new user (less than a week now), I would have to agree with tfjern: UR is not very easy to learn, mostly because its complexity is not met with documentation. At least not adequately for new users, all of whom may not be DB conversant.

UR is definately not something one can just open and start using productively right off the bat! IQ levels aside - please. That doesn't even belong here! Anyone who tries to equate something as arbitrary as IQ level with the ability to use Ultra Recall and/or comprehend the Help documentation, they are trying to talk through something other than their mouth - IMO, of course. Pure nonsense!

The fact is that UR is not a simple notes application with somewhat expanded search capabilities like Evernote and OneNote. It seems (at least in my current opinion, which is based on very limited user experience so far) to be a very flexible database program with one heck of a lot of data entry, storage, and display paths added onto it. Granted that is a very limited description of a very complex application; remember, I have next to no experience using it so far, plus a one line description cannot possibly do UR any justice! But that is how I see it tonight, anyway. (Tomorrow or next week I'll have to revise that description, no doubt!!)

I did have database experience about a lifetime ago - mostly with dBase III+. I do have Access on two computers now but I have never stuck with it long enough to "get" it. Once it starts hitting me with the various VB dialogs and terms I usually glaze over and start daydreaming about something else altogether.

Right now I am using a whole bunch of different applications to hold the information I gather or that otherwise accumulates - somehow. (Not sure where it all comes from at times!)

I have both Evernote 2.2 and OneNote 2007 and actually have a good bit of duplication in them. Evernote was my primary but since the developers have headed in a different direction with their latest beta, which will shortly be released, and in its new incarnation it will not do what I need any longer. I have been trying to use OneNote in its place but I just can't seem to like it that much. OneNote 2007 is definitely unique among all of Microsoft's Office programs, but as my total data store in it grows quickly in size I can see that it will probably not work for me. With my data spread over all the different notebooks, sections, and pages the hierarchy (or lack of same) is becoming too unwieldy).

Ultra Recall might be the answer for me, and then again it might not. Too early for me to say. Especially as it apparently will take me some time just to find out what all I can do with it.

And, yes - IMO, the documentation could definitely be clearer!

Thanks!

Jim
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2008, 06:13 AM
tfjern tfjern is online now
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See! Told you so!

I have a sinking feeling that UR's programmers are such a bunch of a specific type of braniacs that they couldn't explain something in simple English if their lives depended on it.

Check out this example:

http://www.kinook.com/Forum/showthre...?threadid=3686
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Old 07-08-2008, 06:23 AM
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tfjern, you are funny ;-)

There are different users out there, and the answer you expected "yes/no" could some people find not adequate, to say the least. Well, can't please everyone ...
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  #11  
Old 07-08-2008, 06:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by J-Mac
Ultra Recall might be the answer for me, and then again it might not. Too early for me to say. Especially as it apparently will take me some time just to find out what all I can do with it.
Did you go through the online demos?
http://www.kinook.com/UltraRecall/demos.html
GTD one is nice, it shows some advanced concepts.

To touch upon the database desing, see the sample file with excellent step-by-step documentation (thanks to ashwken) on how to achieve it in UR
http://www.kinook.com/Forum/showthre...&threadid=3673
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  #12  
Old 07-08-2008, 07:34 AM
tfjern tfjern is online now
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Enough, already!

If you'll notice, Senior Member Quaint, Kinook eventually gave me a simple no to my simple question. Yes, it took some proding, and a hint of sarcasm, but there it was. Perhaps soon we'll see a downloadable pdf entitled, "UR for Dummies." But fear not: the old help file will be retained for those who enjoy wandering around in labyrinthian mazes.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:11 PM
ashwken ashwken is offline
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Just my 2-cents

I think that Kinook's responses are always going to be from a perspective of UR's operation and function - a narrow focus that at times has me scratching my head to understand. Maybe it's because they are programmers, or it's just their writing style. Even though I find their responses insightful I still turn to other users for an application perspective.

Yes, the help file could use more practical examples - something that is addressed on the page for Title Expressions (Getting Started | Basic Concepts | Template | Custom Item Titles) - but the Help file does do a good job of explaining the function and operation of the program, the application of this is up to the user and here I turn to this forum for interpretaion (and help). In fact, the availability of this forum was a major consideration in my buying decesion.

As J-Mac mentioned his experience is in MS-Access which has more 3rd-party books (and Consltants) available than you can shake a stick at, and my own experenice comes from Alpha Software which has a user-base large enough to support 3rd-party books and consultant services.

Is there room, or the need, for more in-depth documentation - probably, but frankly I would prefer Kinook to focus their energies on implementing items on the Road Map. Specific documentation for user application of the program may have to come from the user community, something that I have always supported.
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by quant
Did you go through the online demos?
http://www.kinook.com/UltraRecall/demos.html
GTD one is nice, it shows some advanced concepts.

To touch upon the database desing, see the sample file with excellent step-by-step documentation (thanks to ashwken) on how to achieve it in UR
http://www.kinook.com/Forum/showthre...&threadid=3673
I watched a couple but not all - had some work to do also! I'm sure I will get to them all - especially if I become stumped a couple of times on something specific.

Thanks for the help!

Jim
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Old 07-08-2008, 01:14 PM
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@tfjern & ashwken:

I haven't been around long enough nor read enough posts to say anything at all about Kinook's answers to questions here. I will most likely find out soon enough.

What I have noticed so far is really the complexity of UR and the Help file being a little confusing to new users.

What I am really hoping is that the knowledgeable users are helpful and willing to share their vast knowledge about UR. And thus far that looks to be the case - I have read through enough threads to learn a lot of good info in a very short time here.

Thank you.

Jim
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