Main Page | Calendar | Contacts | Diary | Notes | ThoughtMap |


The first Calendar's preference tab setting can be anything you like or nothing; this is the header that the will be used for appointments. If you enter a time or number, Pooter will try to guess what you want for second and subsequent entries. You can also enter something like "appointment", or just leave it blank. Set the slider position so that the two buttons, check box and text field are visible bottom left as well as both of the year control buttons at the top.

The module starts with a calendar of the current month displayed on the left with the current day emphasized with a heavier font. On the right is the full date and any entries already made for this day. If there are any entries, the day in the calendar display will be red rather than black. You can change to a different month or year by clicking the back/forward arrow buttons and a different day in the month by clicking a day in the calendar display. You can quickly return to the current day by clicking the Today button.

To make a new entry click to the correct day and click the New button. Write your appointment just above the horizontal line. You can also edit the appointment heading if you wish, see the preference section above, for further details about this. When subsequent entries are made for the same day, the appointment time (or header) can be edited in a small pop up window .

When done click the save button; if this is the first entry for that day you will see the day in the calendar display turn red. You can enter as many seperate appointments as you like for each day.

If you foul up, you can click the cancel button if you have not saved the entry; you can also just click to another date without saving.

Nb invisible markup code (bold text and horizontal line) are also used to order the data; unfortunately it is not possible to prevent unintentional deletion. Backspacing while editing the appointment header is most likely to lead to a problem; the Backspace key is disabled, but some versions of Java ignore this. In short, although in some circumstances the error is automatically corrected, if the bold faced appointment header is messed or the horizontal line is deleted, it's best to cancel and start again.

The delete button will remove all entries for the current day.

The edit button allows you to remove or edit a single entry; you need to save again to make the changes permanent.

All these operations are also available from the Actions menu.

You can search your existing entries to quickly find the date of an appointment. Enter a search phrase in the Find box; it's case insensitive and will return all matches, just keep pressing the search button to see them all.

What about birthdays and other entries you would like to appear every year? Click to any year for which there are no one off appointments on the day, push the recur button (on Windows systems this will be a check box, rather than a button) before the new button and enter the reminder. You will notice that no appointment heading appears and that the text is blue rather than black. Save the entry as usual and it will now appear on this day every year.

As you might guess, you can delete or edit recuring entries by pushing the recur button (or checking the box) before selecting the delete or edit buttons.

The browser button creates a 7 day calendar from the current date and displays it in a browser, provided you have configured this in the Preference Configure Pooter tab. The file will be overwritten next time you use this feature; there is probably no reason to save it, but in case you want to, it's calendar.html (*not* calendar.xml, which contains all your appointments) and it's stored in the current data directory.

If the Notes module is installed there is a simple way to copy information from a note; details of this are in the Notes manual.


Most of the modules preferences are to do with the applications used for communication. You should enter the commands that will start a word processor and email client or use the change buttons to locate them. For sms, you can enter a web site that offers sms services and also ensure that a browser is selected in the Configure Pooter tab. The cell phone number will be copied to the system clipboard.

An example of a Windows command is C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Winword.exe; another is C:\Program Files\Outlook Express\msimnword.exe. If you have a letter template you can add this to the word processor command eg in Gnu\Linux /usr/bin/soffice /home/david/LetterTemplate.odt.

If you have dedicated sms program, enter the command to start it, instead of a web address and deselect Use browser checkbox.

If the email program will not accept a email address as a switch; deselect the start with message checkbox to have the email address available on the system clipboard.

When setting the divider position, ensure that the three buttons and the text field are visible bottom left of screen.

The module presents a list of contacts in the all tab. You can divide your contacts into groups, enter a group name in the "New group or find" field and click to its left. If you change your mind, you can delete any group except the built in all group by selecting its tab and clicking to the immediate left of the text field. Any contacts you have moved to this group or created in it will remain in the default all group and will not be deleted.

You can display a contacts details by clicking on the name either in the all group or in any other group that the contact is a member. Provided you have configured the module to do so, you can now start external programs to message this contact by letter, sms and email. See the preference section above for help with this. You can also use the Communicate menu to start these programs. Also note that in many cases, adddress, mobile number and email address will be available on the system clipboard after you start your programs from Pooter.

You can also search your contact list against either the firstname, surname address, phone or mobile number or a case-sensitive fragment of any of these. Again use the "New group or find" field, this time clicking to the right of the field. Repeatedly click this button to display all matches.

Enter new contacts by clicking the new button (on the top tool bar) then entering details in the relevant fields; you must include a firstname and surname, but other fields can be left blank as necessary. If you have created groups of your own you can select the appropriate group from a pull down list; all contacts are listed in the all tab as well as appearing in a maximum of one other group. Click the save button to complete the entry.

You can click the cancel button rather than before saving, or simply clicking to another contact will have the same effect. The edit and delete buttons should need no explanation. All of these actions are also available from the Actions menu.

You can export your list of contacts to vcards.

If the Notes module is installed the displayed contact can be linked to in a note. Press , which will take you to the Notes module. A link is made at the cursor's position in a note by pressing the same button again.


The Diary preference tab allows you to configure a default location for your photo album. Set this either by typing the full path in the text field or by browsing to it with the change button. You can also adjust the divider location if necessary.

On the left of the screen you see a tree representation of your diary or journal entries. Any years you have entries for will be visible and the months of the latest year and the actual day entry of the latest month will be visible.

If you click on other older years and months, the tree will open to reveal all the entries you have made. If you wish, you can close parts of the tree by clicking on the box at the side of the months and years. By clicking on a day, you can display the entries you made on the right of the screen.

To make a new entry, click New; this causes the editing toolbar to appear. This gives access to cut, copy and paste operations and also allows you to insert an image.

Each diary entry may have a single image, which must be added to the page before any text is inserted, although it is possible to reposition the image with cut and paste operations. The image must be in JPEG, GIF or PNG format; Pooter will not work with Windows BMP images.

Press to bring up the file chooser and navigate the file system to the image of your choice. When you select an image a thumbnail view is displayed along with the dimensions of the image. The figure in the spinner box refers to the width of the image; you can scale the image to a smaller size by decreasing this figure. Sometimes with particularly detailed images, the operation appears to be unsuccessful and a broken image icon appears; worry not, after saving and viewing, the image will be displayed.

Note that if you move or delete the image from its on-disk location after creating your entry, it will no longer be visible in the entry; this is a feature of HTML, not a limitation in Pooter.

The editing toolbar allows you to choose font faces, sizes and colours; note that the faces (Bold, Italic and Underline) are toggles.

Save you entry when done with the save button.

If you foul up, use the cancel button and start again

Alternatively, if you don't like an entry you saved, you can edit it. Note that you are not limited to making entries on the same day; you can also edit the date both while editing and making new entries. You must enter the date in a format the module understands, which should be obvious. In fact it's very good at correcting spelling mistakes, so long as you get the first three letters of the month right. If you enter a date in a way it cannot accept, this will be made obvious, but a nonsense date such as 32 Jan will be allowed.

When making post-dated entries, it is best to expand the area of the tree that your entry will be inserted into, before saving. If you do not do this, the display may be temporarily inaccurate when you do expand the area in question, but this problem will go away once you restart Pooter. However, if you inadvertently overwrite an existing entry you forgot was there, it will be lost.

The alternative to editing a entry is to delete it and start again.

It is also possible to display your entries using an external browser.

Your entries, either single or groups, can be exported to pdf format files. For instance a journal of a holiday, containing a separate file for each day is not conveniently viewed outside Pooter, but all the files can be combined into a single pdf file and viewed with acroread or any other pdf reader. Be warned that if your entries have images, the pdf file will get very large very quickly.

The Export PDF button divides the right side of the display, creating a dialog panel at the bottom. Here you add files to a list using and remove them if you change your mind, using . Ensure that the vertical divider is set far enough to the left so that all the controls are displayed. You must enter a name for the pdf file (*don't* include the .pdf extension) in the text field on the left, even if you are only exporting a single file this is necessary, as there is no default name. Use to combine Pooter's html files into the single pdf file in the order you added them to the list; this file will be written to Pooter's current data directory. will abort this operation.


There are two configuration options; you may want to set the export directory to the Desktop folder, to have prominent urgent reminders. The best position for the divider location depends on how deeply you want to nest your notes (or how long their titles are), the default should be a reasonable starting point.

Use a mouse click to select "Notes" at the top of the tree, as it becomes highlighted, the New button becomes available. Click it and a descendant of the Notes root node is created, ready for editing. Enter a title in the box and press the Enter key. Move to the right of the divider and create your note. You can type, add text selected from other applications using or some applications allow you to drag and drop selected text. Save your note and again press . Assuming the first note you created was still highlighted, a second new note will become descendant of the first.

If this is not what you wanted, you can drag the new note from its position in the tree and drop it onto the root node, "Notes". Both your nodes will now be direct descendants of "Notes". It's also possible to change the title of a note. Select with a left click and enter editing mode by repeating this; this should not be a fast double click, but rather two distinct left clicks. The editing box appears after a short interval, edit the notes name and press Enter.

It's not just the title of the note that can be altered, as allows you to edit the body of the note. As when a new note is created, editing an existing one causes and additional toolbar to appear. This offers a number of style, size and colour options for your text. The button allows for copying to the clipboard even if the editing toolbar has not been activated by way of .

With frequent editing and drag n'drop, underlying markup information may get obliterated. Although pressing the Enter key appears to give a line break, this does not always give the expected result, which you see as soon as you press . The solution is to use instead.

draws a horizontal line and is another option which is useful for keeping things readable at a glance.

Newly entered text can be cancelled with and individual notes can be deleted with or exported with (copied to a file) in a format that can be opened with a browser . results in the whole notes tree being exported to a single file and automatically opened by the browser. As mentioned in the configuration section, individually exported notes can be saved on the desktop (or anywhere else), but the exported notes tree is always saved in the data directory

If your note includes the address of a web page you can create a hyperlink from it. Highlight it and press . Once the note is saved a click on the link will start your browser and open it, provided you have configured this in the Configure Pooter tab of Preferences.

If you have the Contacts module installed and have configured an email program, the Notes module can also work with it. Its hyperlink feature is smart enough to tell the difference between a web page and an email address.

You can also create quasi hyperlinks both to a contact and a thought map. Click the contact to display their details or load the thought map and press , which will take you to the Notes module. Either in a new note (click and press Enter first), but preferably while editing an existing one, again press the inter-module message button and the link is created.

The same button will have a quite different action if there is no message waiting from Contacts or ThoughtMap modules. In a note, highlight some text and press ; this time you will be taken to the Calendar module. If you now create a new appointment with , the text from the note will automatically be entered.

This message passing mechanism is very lightweight and does not interfere with the plugin architecture of Pooter. If one or more of the other modules are not installed, the actions above will simply not be available If you just have the Notes module installed the message button will not even appear on the toolbar.


There are three configuration options associated with this module. You can choose to automatically load an existing map when the module opens and not to "force" the drawing of the popup menus. It's recommended to try disabling the last option, but this may lead to problems with menu visibility; if you need to keep it enabled, you may want to disable tool tips in the Configure Pooter tab.

The final option controls widths of text display / entry widgets in the Node Inspector popup menu. Indirectly you could also use these to ensure all six contol buttons at the bottom of the menu get displayed - see the screenshot on the web page for a guide. The defaults are 255 and 20 and you probably shouldn't stray too far from those.

The Thought Map module is not difficult to use, but it's probably very different to other software you're familiar with. In addition to reading this manual, it's probably worth spending 15 minutes or so working through the tutorial in the docs directory (also here), together with the example thought maps in the examples directory. Examples include the BrainWave.xml file, which is also a useful explanatory resource.

The file operations menu will generally be visible when a map isn't displayed on screen, but it can also be loaded with the Clear screen button, which also removes any map from the screen (all toolbar buttons also have menu entries in this module). From this menu you start a new map, load an existing one and delete a map from disk. You can also perform the mass colour change operation by cycling through the colours using the colour button, select the file and confirm with the I'm sure box (also necessary when deleting) and load the file with the colour button rather than the usual file button.

The save button writes the on screen map to disk and the clear screen button clears the map from the screen, but does not remove a version of it saved on the hard disk.

Moving the mouse into a node highlights it and enables the edit node button. If the last node entered has an associated resource, the browser button will also become highlighted. If a square node has a dot in the middle, or an icon node has a small horizontal line at the bottom, this indicates that the node has one or more child nodes hidden from view. Left click to reveal these nodes and left click again to conceal them.

The highlighted node can be moved to another area by right clicking, moving the mouse to a new location and right clicking again. The node will be deleted if you move it to the extreme top left corner of the screen.

New nodes, other than the root node are created by left clicking at the desired location to bring up the new node menu. Here you enter text for the node, which must not duplicate an existing node, select its colour, size and mother node.

Interesting effects can be acheived with the text of nodes by using html markup code. It's possible to change font colour and size in this way and use bold or italic faces. Take a look at the SpecialEffects map in the examples directory, which demonstrates this technique, but note that you only see the html code when you click on the node's text area in the edit menu (see below), as if you were going to edit it.

The edit node button brings up a menu which allows you alter the details of the last node that was highlighted. If the map is crowded there is a more convenient alternative; holding down the [Ctrl] key and left clicking on the node has the same effect.

You can edit and format the text of the node, associate an icon with it, alter its icon, colour, size and mother node and add or alter its resource. You can also associate it with a friend node, which allows you to link branches in the map that do not have a mother / child relationship. The new button in this menu allows you to copy a whole branch into a new map. The delete button provides an alternative to moving the node to the top left corner "dustbin area" (see above). Not all of these options are available if the node is the root node.

To use icons, you should place the icon files you want (in png, jpeg or gif format) in the Pooter home/icons directory (along with config files and Pooter's data, if you are using the default data directory). The icons are sized automatiaclly on the map (not on the Select icon button). The display size depends on the node size that is selected and will be 16x16, 20x20 or 24x24; larger icons can be used, but detail may be lost and the map's file size will be increased.

The edit menu also allows you to add a resource, which can be a web page, another thought map, or any file on disk that the browser you selected in the Configure Pooter tab of the preferences window can open. The thought map and file buttons bring up file choosers. Note that it is possible, but pointless to select an on-disk file your browser cannot display; in this respect different browsers have different capabilities. On OS X you must type in the full path to a file instead of using a file chooser. The web button allows you to type in a link to a web page; you must retain the HTTP:// (or HTTPS://) protocol for this to work. This button can also be used to clear an unwanted entry.

Although the root node text can not be edited like the other nodes, it can be changed by renaming the file (using your systems file manager). You must retain the .xml extension.

Like , the browser button Also refers to the last highlighted node and is only enabled if it has a resource. You can either click this button (being careful not to enter another node first), or more conveniently, double click on the highlighted node. If the resource is another thought map, the present maps state will be saved to disk and replaced by the resource. The back button will become highlighted and clicking this will take you back to the previous map. Any other resource, be it web page or file on disk, will be opened by your browser.

Exporting to html is the solution to sharing your work with someone who does not have the Pooter Thought Map. This creates a .html file in your ThoughtMap directory (a sub-directory of the data directory - see the status bar!). This web-style page has a snapshot of the loaded thought map and a list of all visible nodes with resources. A _files directory is also created; this is where the screenshot (a .png file) is stored. So will be exported to Test.html, in the same directory, where also a new directory Test_files will now contain Test.png.

The list actually has browsable links to the resources. If the resource is a local file, rather than a web page, it is copied into the _files directory and the node's link is modified to point to this. If the resource is another thought map, a link is made to an exported version of this; you need to carry out another export, to make this link work.

In summary, all the information on your map is accesible for anyone with a browser; just give them the exported html file and the associated _files directory.

If the Notes module is installed the displayed thought map can be linked to in a note. Press , which will take you to the Notes module. A link is made at the cursor's position in a note by pressing the same button again. It's important to remember that this link will not operate correctly if there is a blank space in the thought map's name (see above).