Review: YOJIMBO 1.0

Organize your electronic life the easy way (February 24th, 2006)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Bare Bones

Price: $39.00 US Single User

The Good

  • Easy to use and great interface. Very well done help file. Download only, no wasted packaging. Compatible with Intel and PowerPC Macs (Universal Binary).

The Bad

  • It doesn’t work with all file formats.

Yojimbo is an easy to use filing cabinet for your electronic information. It lets you save text, graphics, URLs, passwords, serial numbers, PDFs, and entire web pages. It is very Mac like and will keep you organized. No longer will you be screaming, "What was that password?" or "I wish I had a place to keep my Mac articles."

The Yojimbo window is divided into four areas. The menu bar at the top, the collections at the left, a pane to the right of the collections area that lists items by name and date modified, and the comment pane below the name and date modified pane.

How To Use Yojimbo

Yojimbo comes with 6 collections. You put your information in these folders. They include Library that is a folder that lists everything. This is for the Oscar Madison types, who can reach into a large stack of files and pick out exactly what s/he is seeking. You can organize it using flags and Finder-like colored labels and icons. You can use a spotlight search if you have problems finding your stuff. On the other hand, the Felix Unger types can add all of the folders they like below their library folder, including Smart Folders. You start out with Recent Items, Archives, Bookmarks, and Notes. From here you can get as organized as you like. If you don't like something, at the bottom of the collection column there is a trash can that lets you trash single items or a whole folder. Adding collections is very easy, plus items can reside in multiple collections. The colored labels are pastel for a reason, as the whole label is colored, so be careful of any custom colors you select or you'll obscure your text.

Yojimbo screen
The Yojimbo Interface

Although, you can store almost anything in your Yojimbo collections, it wouldn't take a midi file, QuickTime Movie, spread sheet or database section. For those who have Yojimbo on more than one machine, such as at home and at the office, you can use your .Mac account to sync your information. I plan to put some sensitive information into my Yojimbo and then password protect and encrypt it so others can't view it. According to Bare Bones, "Yojimbo uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (US FIPS PUB 197) algorithm, with a 256-bit key (AES-256)."

Next to the collection column is the flag column and the encrypted column. If you have flagged or encrypted any item, it is noted here. Next is the name column and the date modified column. If you click on a name, the comment section below the name and date modified column, gives you an opportunity to better identify that item. For example, in my Bookmarks collection my first item is an item called "Bare Bones Software: PRODUCTS: YOJIMBO: Tour," which is the name of the web page. Below the name is the URL. There is also a comments text box. This is very handy, because I can indicate that this is the tutorial for Yojimbo. I could also add some important information that I found on the web page. I may want to add additional URLs to similar web pages. If you drag a photo into your notes collection, in the comments section you would find a copy of that image. You can add additional information above or below the photo. You can identify the people in the photo and tell when and where it was.

Handy Features

If you copy something to the clipboard, and then press the F8 key, Yojimbo does a Quick Input. A Quick Input moves that information into Yojimbo's library collection without affecting the program you are working in. That could be very useful if you are doing research on the web. You could highlight and copy part of the text on the page and then enter it into Yojimbo with one keystroke. If the Felix Unger in you says it needs to go into the note collection, hold down the Command key and type the number 1. BAM!! There it is. Highlight the URL of a web site on your browser, hold down the Command key, and type a 2. The URL goes into your bookmark collection. Command 3 puts information into your password collection. Command 4 and 5 work with serial numbers and web archives.

If you want to share an item in Yojimbo with someone else, just export the item. For example, if you want to share your favorite tofu recipe with a friend, you could export it as a text file, RTF file or a PDF. If you export a file, Yojimbo keeps the original file. For us spelling impaired, there is also a Check Spelling feature. Overall. This program is for the Odd Couple in all of us. The Oscar Madison who throws everything in a draw or the Felix Unger who has to have everything in its place. It is very easy to use. In most cases, it will be the receptacle for all of your dragging and dropping. If you want to do research or just keep a bunch of tips and tricks for your blog, this is a great program to do it in. If you can drag, drop, cut and paste, then you will feel very comfortable with Yojimbo. This program makes it easy to get and keep your stuff organized.

Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor

by Rick Curran


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