A Personal Information Manager (PIM) is the desktop equivalent of a knowledge management or enterprise content management (ECM) system. A PIM that has many rich and relevant items can help you with writing a report, or preparing a presentation. PIMs --as do their enterprise counterparts-- have major problems: how easy is it to add content, and once it's in there, how easy is it to retrieve that content. Bare Bones Software's Yojimbo 2.0 concentrates on exactly those two areas.From the day Bare Bones released the application, I found Yojimbo a charm to use, and I tested many PIMs for the Mac, ranging from Together to EagleFiler. Each of these applications has its own appeal, but I still find Yojimbo an elegant solution for saving content that I think I might need to search for in the future.
The appeal of Yojimbo 1.0 was in its fast launch time and its elegant and efficient interface. Its most important shortcoming in my opinion was that I could not use it to archive e-mail. If I wanted that, I had to use EagleFiler, Together, or a 500-pound gorilla like DEVONthink Pro.
The sad news is that Yojimbo 2.0 still has no easy way to import a large batch of e-mail messages. It seems the Yojimbo developers believe you would only add a message at a time. Except for this disappointment and for the inability to import QuickTime and other movie formats, Yojimbo 2.0 has a very nice set of new features.
The first is the Quick Input Panel. This panel now lets you immediately set flags, properties, labels, and comments (also known as metadata) before adding the item to the database. When capturing a URL, Yojimbo 2.0’s Quick Input Panel (QIP) will grab the name of the page you’re on, except when a previous page you invoked QIP for was not saved. In that case, you’ll first need to copy the URL to the clipboard. Yojimbo 2.0 will then politely ask you if you want to overwrite the previous URL first.
Yojimbo relies heavily on PDF to enter content into its database. The Print to Yojimbo (or rather “Save PDF to Yojimbo” item on the PDF pop-up menu in the Print dialogue) therefore has been enhanced by adding the same metadata to the item as in QIP prior to actually saving the content to the database.
A great new feature is Tag Explorer. It enables you to visualise data using previously applied tags. The Tag Explorer allows you to see relationships between items, much the same way as DEVONthink Pro’s Classification feature. The difference with the latter is that the former creates classifications automatically, based on an Artifical Intelligence driven algorithm that examines the content for related words.
In Tag Explorer, clicking on a single tag will promote it to the Tag Filter bar. Once a tag has been promoted, Yojimbo filters the Items list to display only the items using the selected tag, and the Tag Explorer adjusts to show you only the tags which can be found on items displayed in the list. Tags can be grouped in Tag Collections and can be renamed.
Another major improvement is that you can now decide for yourself which Collections you want to show in the Drop Dock. This keeps the Dock clean and better manageable.
I would have liked Bare Bones to also focus on some other areas of importance for this upgrade, such as the e-mail import and video import capabilities. The current upgrade does put Yojimbo back to the top of my list, but the new features don’t have the “Wow!” effect that I’d liked them to have.