How do you manage information from many sources, which is stored in a chaotic variety of formats?
You receive valuable information (and dross) from e-mail, websites, documents, and your own brain. You'd like to be able to organize the information in useful ways.
- Storing information in scattered files is unwieldy
- You have unique categorization criteria
- You don't want to be locked into a categorization scheme
- A particular piece of information can fall into more than one category
- You need to be able to link information back to its source
I don't have a generic solution. Here's a concrete solution: Zoot. I found out about it from an article by James Fallows in The Atlantic Monthly. It's a great tool for writers, consultants, and anyone else who is trying to maintain a coherent view of their knowledge. It's well worth $79.
At first glance, Zoot looked badly afflicted with featuritis. After using it, however, I decided that its myriad features and options were part of an organic order. What looked like baroque extravagances became comfortable niches.
I invite you to download the trial version, try it for a few days, and share your impressions.
reminded me that one of Zoot's more powerful features is its capability to store references to the same information in multiple categories (folders). Most e-mail systems support only a single layer of categorization: you can classify a document under "Hiking" or "Colorado", but not both.
Zoot allows multiple categories, and if you want to, you can nest the "Colorado" folder under the "Hiking" folder.
Very cool software. My major gripes are related to my rampant multiple platform use: I'd like to have Zoot running on Mac OS 9.0.4 on my PowerBook
in addition to my Windows laptop. For that matter, I'd like to be able to synchronize Outlook and Entourage, if not through each other, then through two Zoot installs.
But I digress. I don't see anything Zoot-like on Mac OS (or indeed, the various Unix variants/Linux distributions/X Windows desktop environments) yet. I'm tempted to use RealBasic
3 and tackle it. Anyone have pointers to things they've found useful for Zooty purposes on OS's besides Windows?