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As a habit, I typically use outlook to take notes. If I want to document something for myself, all I need to do is compose an email, send it to myself and then put an appropriate category onto it.

Outlook works great for this.

  1. I can search through and organize these 'notes' easily.
  2. I can embedded any sort of rich text with tables, images, or any other similar formatting.

However, my corporation is going to start deleting emails older than 18 months. Other than resending my emails to myself every 18 months (which I might end up doing).. How else could I keep track of this information?

Preferably a no-cost solution.


  • This is property financial information notes. I can't put them on the cloud.
  • I don't have access to onenote.
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is about software shopping recommendation – nixda Jul 1 '13 at 19:47
@nixda, Can’t all software-rec question be considered “shopping” questions? The OP is simply asking how they can accomplish the task with a few specific requirements (to weed out programs that are too basic). – Synetech Jul 1 '13 at 20:29
@Synetech Hm, I remember for example a question from my own where I made the same. Another high-rep user told me to rephrase my question because "asking for shopping rec" isn't a good idea. – nixda Jul 1 '13 at 20:34
@nixda, I got rid of all references to 'software'. Is it ok now? – user606723 Jul 1 '13 at 20:35
@user606723 For me, thats fine. :) – nixda Jul 1 '13 at 20:35

Evernote seems to fit your requirements. You can even send email to it, which may work with your current workflow.

On the other hand, you can probably continue to keep using Outlook the way you do, just create a local archive/data file (.pst) and keep your notes in there. Most of the time when a company enacts a data retention policy like that, its for the server stored email. A local archive probably won't be touched.

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As far as I understand evernote is a service, right? Can you use evernote completely offline? Either way I don't think I can use it. It happens to be blocked here. – user606723 Jul 1 '13 at 20:27

I’m not sure if it applies to your specific situation, but your title and description immediately brought to mind a program I recently learned of which might fit the bill: Personal Historian.

It is something of a cross between a journal and a calendar and can organize events by date and supports embedding images and such because it uses HTML. It also has categories which can be used to organize the events/notes.

I don’t see anything about emailing in the list of features, but you could easily request it.

It has a free version which might suffice if you don’t need built-in spell-checking, text-to-speech, PDF export, etc.

Screenshot of Personal Historian’s timeline and event list

Screenshot of Personal Historian’s note-detail editor

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Try CintaNotes:

CintaNotes Note Taking Software

  • Has a usable free version;
  • Can (and is designed to) work completely offline;
  • Has instant full-text search;
  • Can clip any text into a note on hotkey;
  • Supports rich text (simple);
  • Has powerful tagging system.

Disclaimer: I'm the author of the app, should you have any questions about it - I'll be glad to answer them!

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