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mHeadDo you have a job? Or maybe you are a student. Either way you are both sitting through some sort of lecture. It may be a meeting or a class and you need to take notes in an easy to input, easy to understand manner.

When I was in school (yeah you young whippersnappers I said when I was in school!) we took notes on paper with a pen. When I tried to use my laptop or Palm Vx I would get in trouble and be told to put my toys away. Nowadays these “˜toys’ are welcome in most situations.

Taking notes at a meeting with your laptop or handheld is super simple with Tomato. Yes you read that correctly, the application is called Tomato for no good reason. But Ketchup is for meetings”¦


You will need to sign up for an account to use Ketchup to take notes. To read someone else’s notes you do not need a login – they just have to share the URL with you in order to share notes online. And that eludes to Ketchup’s sharing feature which we will get to in a bit. Keep on reading. Use Ketchup is the URL to get you to the application.



After you sign up you will automatically be logged in and ready to take notes. Click on the get started button at the bottom of the Here’s how it works section.


Ah ha! We are in and ready to take notes. We will need to add a title to your project / meeting notes. Simply click the title field and fill it in. You can fill in the date and attendees as well. Click get organized when you are ready to enter your notes.


I entered January 14th 2010 at 6:12pm, and the name of the event is “test meeting” – I know how original! This could be a class name or specific project you are working on. Next we click on the “+” sign below the agenda to add an event.


I left the default called First Appt. Then you can click on the add note link as you see below to enter details or notes.


Go ahead, populate your notes and then get ready to share notes online with classmates or colleagues. Below you will see a checkbox to make the notes public. This is another way of saying that Ketchup will make the site live with the URL next to the checkbox.


When navigating to that URL – – this is what I see:


All my data but no way to edit it. Very nice indeed. Especially for those of you who have lent your notes to someone, only to discover that they dropped the class and now you are stuck without your notes for a test. Ha! Take that Sharon from my English Lit class!  I will find you some day and get my notes back!

Do you have another favorite free notetaking application where you can also share notes online? Online or off we would love to hear about it in the comments. If there are some interesting suggestions maybe it will warrant another post!

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  1. zalel
    January 17, 2010 at 5:30 am

    There was a wordo in this sentence: "And that eludes to Ketchup’s sharing feature which we will get to in a bit."

    The correct expression in this instance would have been "alludes to."

  2. Paul Campbell
    January 16, 2010 at 7:29 am

    @Aaron — We've thought about something like that too.

    I guess Etherpad was something like that:

    those guys have been bought though and are now working on Google Wave.

    • Aaron Booker
      January 16, 2010 at 5:57 pm

      Paul - this looks absolutley perfect. I'd prefer to use something hosted - but now that they've offered up their source code for FREE - Etherpad might be perfect for the upcoming years worth of meetings. I could just toss it in a VM - easy. (or on Amazon Web Services and turn it on as needed). I'm going to do some testing with a public pad - and see if everybody likes it.

      Thanks so much!

      Thanks a bunch,


  3. Aaron Booker
    January 16, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Two things - first my english geek comes out.

    Aludes, not "eludes"...

    Second thing. I've been searching for a shared notetaking tool for with a slightly different usage. I don't know about you - but I end up in many, many conference call type webinars with 20 or more people on them. One person generally talks and shows their slides, while everybody else is bored. (for an hour or more of the discussion)

    I'd love for all the folks sitting on their thumbs to be able to work in a shared notetaking situation so that lots more comments could be captured. Ideally they'd all be working in realtime so one could see each others comments. Know of anything like that?

    Thanks for MakeUseOf. Learned about it through lifehacker - this site rules!


    • Karl Gechlik |
      January 16, 2010 at 9:18 am

      It is eludes and not aludes google it.

      Second thanks for your comments and thanks for reading.

      • Aaron Booker
        January 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

        Of course you're correct - I typo'd. alludes - not eludes (and certainly not aludes - doh!

        I've been searching (google, bing, etc) for over a week now to find a good simultaneously shared/editable note taking docs for online meetings - the ketchup solution isn't quite it. Have you run into anything like that?

        Thanks for contributing to MakeUseOf - I'm sure it's a significant time committment...

  4. Paul Campbell
    January 15, 2010 at 4:30 pm


    Thanks for the writeup. Very cool!