How IMS works

IMS which stands for Information Management System is a personal database software which is made to

support the user daily by holding information saved by him. What the user then can do is finding the information again without knowing it. By just searching for context or small parts of the information it will show up. This seems very simple - and yes - it is very simple. Additionally information can be categorized as important, a todo task or as a indexcard which is used for information the user needs frequently.

IMS is mainly developed on and for Mac OSX. Although it works on every system which is running Java. The advantage is the portability of the software. It can be used from a usb stick or the cloud.

The software is as mentioned very simple and abstract which gives the user a lot of space for creativity. Unlike other data management applications the user can decide how, in what format, with what system he wants to store his data.

We are talking about data here because IMS can hold any type of data. Starting from text snippets over files and directories to whole movies or other databases. It is comparable with a notebook with the ability to also hold digital information.

What IMS looks like


Starting up the app for the first time will look like this. In the lower part of the window you can see an editor and in the upper part a display. The sizes can be changed by dragging the divider up or down.

With the focus on the editor pressing space once will show all entries in the database.

The database comes with a initial entry which should not be deleted - otherwise the database will break. It gives information about the usage and functions like a help page. As you can see there aren't any buttons in this App. Everything is shortcut based. In IMS a tuple is called a note. It could also be called a dataset, a row, a page. However there are several actions for those.

actionMac (1.4)Wind / Unix (1.3)
save note⌘ + SCTRL + S
clear editor⌘ + DCTRL + D
mark as todo⌘ + TCTRL + T
mark as important⌘ + UCTRL + Y
mark as index card⌘ + ICTRL + I
increase fontsize⌘ + 9CTRL + +
decrease fontsize⌘ + 0CTRL + -
print displayed notes⌘ + PCTRL + P

When it comes to categorizing, todo, important, index card it is important to understand that those are just tags which are given to a note which then change the behavior of the note.

As you can see in the screenshot above the notes ordered by relevance. Index cards are on top because they are needed often. A Todo task hast to be present otherwise it will get lost. Important information should be highlighted and is more interesting than a general note. And this is how a hierarchy is created and can be developed by the user.

Another thing to mention is what we searched for here. The keyword here is "See" because all four note we use for demonstration contain it but it is not used in other notes.

If the word "See" was present in another note like "You see what I mean?" We would have to use a second keyword to exclude this note. The editor could look like this: "See is". This is called a search based on exclusion.

More on saving data

Now you know how to save text. But there is more. Weblinks can be added in by simply typing them starting with "http" like https://zeppel.eu/. In the notes the links are opened automatically in the browser if clicked. But more interesting is how to save files in the database.

Dragging files into the database works not only with files but also with whole directories. The files are copied into the app - so probably don't drag a 10 GB file into your database... The files are displayed as link in the saved note. Clicking it will open it in the preferred app and right clicking it will show it in a folder.

Other versions

First of all to mention is that IMS works with Java 8 on every platform. Every IMS version can be used on every platform with the right Java version.

At the moment there are two versions. The 1.4 and the 1.3. The 1.4 is the version you saw in this blog post. The 1.3 is more stable and looks slightly different and has a additional feature. It enables a connection to your Google Calendar and still has buttons. Version 1.3 is the standard version for Windows and Unix. Both versions are compatible witch each other (except from the Google Calendar feature).

Windows or Linux user who want to use version 1.4 need to make shure they run Java 8. Then version 1.4 can be started which can be found in the IMS.app under Java.

The Google Calendar Feature (1.3)

By pressing [ctrl + r] while editing a note you can connect you note to a Google Calendar event.

This feature is not supported in later versions.

If you think it should be supported - write us a message.