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Yojimbo vs Evernote vs Bento, with side of Yep and Leap

:: Friday, June 20th, 2008 @ 1:31:27 am

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I have been a die-hard user of Yojimbo since they first released it. I cram all sorts of information into it: account logins, passwords (encrypted), pdf manuals, computer tips, etc. Also, Yojimbo syncs using .Mac so I can access my information using the native Mac OS client on both of my machines.

But today, Tony pointed me to Evernote, which is still in beta, but looks like a promising replacement because it synchronizes not only across machines, but also to a web interface (with optimized iPhone interface as well). It also features OCR for images, and promises to also support geotagging from supported devices (like the future iPhone). I still don’t have an invite for the beta, but I hope to get one soon.

I also found Webjimbo, which is a web app that syncs with Yojimbo. It looks pretty good, but I haven’t tried it yet. If Evernote doesn’t give me a beta invite soon, I will download Webjimbo and give it a try. (Thank you! I have been invited. – June 20)

Finally, there is Bento, which I downloaded when it first came out and abandoned because it seemed … more clunky than Yojimbo. Yojimbo is blazing fast and lets me find stuff almost instantly.

So does anyone out there have opinions on the best organizer for digital content? You know, aside from a bunch of stickies on the screen. ;) I’m most interested in Evernote vs. Yojimbo/Webjimbo.

On a side note, I have started using Yep to find PDF files that don’t life inside Yojimbo. The makers of Yep also offer an application called Leap, which looks really cool. The only problem is that I can’t think of a reason to use Leap. It lets you browse and search files based on type and filename… but I can find files using Spotlight in less time because I don’t have to launch a separate application. Still, if Leap can learn to incorporate more standard Finder-type browsing, it could be a great Finder replacement.

UPDATE I’ve been using Evernote for a day now, and I really like it! There are some weird beta bugs, but so far, none of them have been sever enough to really impact usability. I snapped a picture of one of Tony’s books with my iPhone and emailed it into my account, and the server-based OCR service tagged three of the four big words on the cover. Not bad…

| NYC | link | trackback | Jun 20, 2008 01:31:27
  • http://alexking.org Alex

    Word of warning about Evernote:

    http://twitter.com/hildjj/statuses/780946945

  • Tony

    “Evernote is the sole owner of the information collected in its web sites and software products.”

    True, that language is pretty alarming, but I just took a look at the full Privacy Policy page (http://evernote.com/about/privacy/), and in the full context of the policy it seems like that sentence is in reference to third parties gaining access to the “information,” and not that Evernote is asserting a claim of ownership over the data (though the language would suggest that it does have that effect anyway). Also the policy itself is not clear as to whether this assertion of ownership is in reference to your data that you keep in the software, or contact information about you that you provide in order to be a user of the service. The latter makes more sense if you read the circumstances in which it might share the data, but again, without them clearly stating that the personal information that you store using the software is not a part of that “information,” there is a lot of wiggle room for them to make the claim that the personal data you put into their software, locally in the client or on their website, belongs to them – which is patently ludicrous because who in their right mind is going to entrust private data to them in that scenario?

    I’m going to write to them to get some clarification – if they are, in fact, making the claim that they own all the data you submit, both contact information and the substantive information you keep within the software, then obviously this isn’t something that you want to keep sensitive information in (and lawyers obviously shouldn’t use this to store any client information).

    Incidentally, I just did a quick scan for recent legal decisions involving internet privacy, and it seems that it’s anyone’s guess which way things will go. Being a complete neophyte to this area of law (which is in it’s infancy), my general sense of things is that we entrust our communications and data to service providers at our own risk, and it’s up to us decide whether or not we believe a particular service provider will attempt to fight off a subpoena or warrant.

    Pretty serious stuff to think about as more of us put info out there in the cloud. I was planning on moving towards web-based solutions for most of my work, but this has me reconsidering.

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Uh.. check out this email I got from the CEO of Metanotes:

    hi Eric ! I’m the CEO of METANOTES.com and I believe we have two note-taking sites you would dig: http://www.metanotes.com for online whiteboarding http://the-time-log.com for quick notetaking Please check the sites out and let me know what you think ? I’d love to hear your opinions as we start spec’ing out the beta. We think Evernote is silly (albeit robust) – their interface looks so awful that we feel the need to challenge them directly !!! THANK YOU !! - Srini CEO Metanotes Inc

    I guess some folks have a warped sense of what “looks silly.”

  • http://www.astechnologysolutions.com WiFiNetGuy

    Hi. I’ve also been using Yojimbo for quite some time. But I’ve started using Evernote about 3 months ago. I like it a lot. I’ve actually moved all my Yojimbo “stuff” over to Evernote and just use that exclusively. As for Leap/Yep I use both of those, too. You’re right, you can use Spotlight to find stuff quickly, I find that if I launch Leap early and leave it running, it’s much better than Finder. Yep + PDFs = Great IMHO.

  • Tony

    I got a response from someone at Evernote about this sentence in their Privacy Policy. They informed me that it’s just boilerplate language that is typically used by most websites (which appears to be the case, now that I’ve done a quick google search). They also indicated that they’ll be asking their legal department to replace that language with a clearer statement of what Evernote will and won’t do with the information stored on their hard drives.

    At the end of the day, if you use Evernote, I don’t think you’re at any greater risk of invasion of privacy than if you keep all of your emails in Gmail or store back-ups on Apple servers. Evernote is in the business of providing software and services to allow customers to store and access their personal information and data, and they’d go out of business pretty fast if word got out that the data wasn’t secure or they were using the data for their own purposes or sharing it with others. Whether or not Evernote can and will fight a subpoena in a law-enforcement action with the same vigor as Google and Apple might… well, I doubt Evernote’s legal department is as big as the Big G’s and Steve’s.

    At the end of the day, if you transmit through or store any kind of data on a server that you don’t own personally and keep on your own property, you’re putting yourself at some risk that that data can be seized and used. The law hasn’t caught up to technology in this regard – there are ton of cases that talk about privacy rights in relationship to physical space, but the jurisprudence on privacy in the age of the interweb is still developing.

    I’ll probably still use Evernote though. Cross-platform, the ability to email notes into it, and easy sync has won me over.

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Thanks for the privacy thoughts, Tony. I’ve been enjoying using Evernote, and upgraded to their premium account today.

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