SpamSieve developer Michael Tsai has released a personal information manager that takes the fight right up to established apps like Yojimbo and SOHO Notes.
While EagleFiler is a powerful, fully-featured information manager, it offers more flexible tagging and annotation options than other apps. Also, although it uses a Core Data SQL database to track your files, it stores them in an “open format” library or Finder folder, just like iPhoto or iTunes. This will not only please open format advocates, but allows other apps to access the data easily and makes backups much more efficient.
The interface has the much admired three-pane Mail-like look (just like Yojimbo and SOHO Notes):
It provides numerous ways for importing or capturing the information you want to store. A system-wide capture key (F1 by default) allows you snag info (EagleFiler handles emails from all the major email clients, web pages, PDFs, word processing files, iChat logs, audio files and more – see the full list ) without interrupting your workflow, although files can also be dragged to the Dock icon, interface or dedicated “Drop Pad”.
Integration with Growl is a nice touch, providing notification of successful capture without the need to switch apps and check.
Mail can’t (yet) be imported directly from IMAP accounts, but has to be moved to a local folder first. Michael says that he hopes to overcome this limitation in later releases.
To make up for that, MailTags users will be delighted to hear that EagleFiler will import its tags along with the emails. Nifty!
It also provides flexible ways of organising your data. Hierarchical folders and labels allow “folder-lovers” every opportunity to indulge; it even supports multiple libraries for the ultimate in data separation.
“Archivers” will value the ability to find things in one huge folder through the app’s Search function which supports Boolean or phrase searches.
Tag support is something that Yojimbo and SOHO Notes don’t provide. In EagleFiler you can tag each items with as many tags as you want.
A tag pane allows you to add, customise and add color to your tags.
You can also set a character or symbol for each tag, which shows up in the app’s main viewer.
Tags are also displayed in the folder list on the left, so that it is easy quickly to find all the items with a particular tag.
Further options for labelling, naming and tagging are provided by an Inspector window.
You can enter tags in a field obscured in the screenshot by the drop-down menu for the labels (which are Finder labels and can be edited in Finder’s Preferences pane).
People who feel constricted by Yojimbo’s lack of support for hierarchical folders or restricted meta-data options will love the flexibility EagleFiler offers without the need to switch to SOHO Notes’ OpenBase database engine.
EagleFiler’s preferences are minimal and mainly control the look of the interface.
You can also customise the capture key here.
EagleFiler also pitches itself as an archiver for Mail.app and other email clients.
Most e-mail programs are designed for communicating with your mail server and letting you read and write messagesâ€”not for storing all your old mail. By cleaning out your mail programâ€™s database, you can remove some clutter from its mailbox list and speed it up. But cleaning it out doesnâ€™t have to mean lots of time wasted trying to predict which messages you might need in the future. Disk space is plentifulâ€”just archive all your old mail into EagleFiler. Later, youâ€™ll be able to find what you need with a quick search. Meanwhile, the archived messages will no longer be slowing down Spotlight searches of your files and current messages.
I was very impressed. It is more flexible than Yojimbo. Its open format makes it more attractive than SOHO Notes. EagleFiler doesn’t have the full range of extra features — syncing, blogging support, full-screen option, alarms, etc — that SOHO Notes provides. That’s a pleasing lack of feature bloat for me. YMMV.
EagleFiler is shareware (USD 40) and a 30 day free demo is available from Michael’s web site .
Tags: archiving, Michael Tsai, open format, personal information manager, PIM, Productivity, SOHO Notes, tagging, yojimbo