EssentialPIM 10 has been released with new features across all modules. The next few posts will look at some of them, starting with Notes, where there are the most changes. We'll look here at four of the significant Notes enhancements.

1. Favorites and other new tracking options

You can bookmark your favorite notes and find them quickly through a new filter below the Notes icon in the navigation pane. This filter also lets you limit the display to notes you recently viewed or modified (Figure 1).

Filter in notes
Figure 1. New filters in the navigation panel for Notes

There are two ways to bookmark favorites once you select one or more notes.

  • Click on the Favorite Note icon in the main toolbar (Figure 2);
  • Bring up the Context Menu and select Favorite Note (Figure 3).
Modified toolbar
Figure 2. The modified toolbar in EPIM 10 (bottom) features the new Favorite Note icon and also consolidates the Expand/Collapse All icons that had been separate (top) into one toggle

Context menu
Figure 3. New options in the Context Menu for selecting icons and favorites. These support modifying multiple notes at a time

EPIM flags notes you've bookmarked with the standard favorite icon, making them stand out in the tree (Figure 4).

Favorite notes
Figure 4. The favorite icon lends a visual cue to bookmarked items in the Notes tree

The new filters for Recently Viewed and Recently Modified track notes in these categories for the past 30 days and display up to 25 items each. They apply globally, which means the tree tabs disappear. These filters supplement the breadcrumb trail and go back/go forward buttons (Figure 5).

Breadcrumbs in notes
Figure 5. EPIM 10 retains the breadcrumb trail for the active note (1) and the backward/forward arrows along with the drop-down for navigating history (2)

Shortcuts for these filters are available. Figure 6 shows the defaults, which you can modify through Tools > Options > Shortcuts.

Figure 6. Default shortcuts for the new filters in Notes

2. Previous versions

EPIM 10 introduces versioning not only for notes but for all items. In Notes, EPIM stores versions for each leaf. You can manage this history in Tools > Options > General > Previous Versions (Figure 7).

Previous versions settings
Figure 7. The versions manager, where you can decide how much history to keep for all items, and for how long

To access a prior version, select the item, bring up the Context Menu and select Properties > Previous Versions. Figure 8 shows the history of a note where I have two leaves, Post and Research. The options are to preview or restore a leaf to a prior version, or to manage settings. When you preview, all editing options are disabled.

Previous versions
Figure 8. The Previous Versions display for Notes

3. Zoom in/out

A tool to zoom in/out (Figure 9) has been added to the status bar for scaling the appearance of a note. You can also use these standard shortcuts to zoom in and out in increments of 20%:

    Ctrl+= (zoom in)
    Ctrl+- (zoom out)
    Ctrl+Shift+0 (reset to 100%)

Zooming in notes
Figure 9. The status bar with zoom controls in EPIM v10 (1) compared to the status bar in previous versions (2)

In addition, the behavior of the status bar changes from previous versions; it appears now when you open a note in its own window.

4. Color by page

We have been able for a while to set the background color for the Notes module through Tools > Options > Notes. EPIM 10 introduces color for individual pages, which you access through a new icon on the formatting toolbar (Figure 10).

Page color sets the background for the active leaf and is a visual aid for the screen; it does not affect printing. Also, the color you choose for stickies overrides page color.

Here is a use case for this feature.

I use EPIM's light theme and soften its brightness in Notes by setting background colors for both the Notes and Tree panes. When I write for this blog, a note typically has three leaves: Post, Research, and Notes. As I write more articles, I foresee using a page color for posts, another for research, and a third for notes. This will make a visual connection across projects, cuing me immediately about which leaf I'm viewing.

Of course, we can also color the leaf tabs, another visual that identifies the type of leaf.

Page color
Figure 10. The new Page Color icon in the formatting toolbar

A tip for the navigation pane

Beta testers for EssentialPIM 10 raised concerns about the length of the navigation pane when it is collapsed. Additional labels for the new filters in Notes and the Kanban Board for Tasks make the panel longer. The EPIM team is looking at alternatives. In the meantime, you can reduce it by editing the language file with a text editor and changing some labels assigned to the navigation panel. Figure 11 shows potential alternatives and how they reduce the panel's depth (default labels are on the left).

Calendar labels Tasks labels Notes labels
Figure 11. Alternative labels that can help reduce the depth of the navigation pane. On the left is the default, compared to the labels on the right edited in the language file

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