Caboodle: The Lean, Clean Snippet Machine

Every day, we’re flooded with information. Some of it good, some of it bad, and some of it that we want to save for a rainy day.

Maybe you saw a cool tool on TV and you want to remember it later when you have some extra cash. Or possibly it’s a list of articles to help you build that Mac home theatre system you’ve been working on.

No matter what it is, wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to put everything for quick reference at a later date? For that, one option is Caboodle.

The Basics

It helps to think of Caboodle like a big filing cabinet for things on your computer. It could be a place to store ideas, concepts, designs, or whatever you want, but it all gets organized so that you can find it easily later.

Put everything it its place

Put everything it its place

Let’s use an example to make this clear. Say I was watching TV and I saw an advertisement for a fantastic new power-tool for my garage that I wanted to use. The thing is, I don’t know when I’m going to need it, or when I’ll have the money – but I do have the website address.

I open up Caboodle, give it a title, then throw in a few keywords that will help me remember it later. In this case, I’ll use something like “Tools, plasma, fabrication,” etc. Then I put in a link and maybe take a picture from the company’s website, and I’m good to go.

Going Deeper

Caboodle wouldn’t be worth the purchase price ($19.95) if it just had the basics, which is why the app goes a little bit deeper. After a few weeks of taking notes, you’re going to have a lot of things to reference. It sure would be nice if you could sort those things out in a logical fashion.

Hey look, you can sort and organize listings

Hey look, you can sort and organize listings

One option is to create categories, and then subcategories for each segment. Caboodle uses Gifts, but let’s go back to the tool example that I just mentioned. Let’s say I want to create a larger “Garage” category to cover everything I do in the space.

I then create a subcategory for tools, and maybe even another pair of subcategories for power tools and hand tools.

Now if I want to find something, I just look in the appropriate box category, or search for it via the Search field at the top of the program. Even better, I can design tables in a listing, which allows me to create a mini spreadsheet inside Caboodle. Not bad, right?

File Attachment

The icing on the cake here is the ability to add a file to the system. Going back to my example, let’s say that the tool I want is very specific, and I want to make sure I get the right one later on. Fortunately, the website has a PDF with the specs, so I download it onto my desktop. Prior to Caboodle, I’d shove that in some folder somewhere, never to be found again.

Store image files, PDFS, Word Docs and more in Caboodle

Store image files, PDFS, Word Docs and more in Caboodle

Now, I store that PDF file in Caboodle with the rest of the listing. Drag and drop whatever file you want into the program and it’s stored there for easy retrieval later on. You can store PDFs, web pages, Word Documents, and lots more in the app, making it very versatile for whatever you need.

The Competition

We would be a bit remiss here if we didn’t mention the competition. There’s already a popular everything bucket out there, and it’s free. Evernote seems to be everywhere – the iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, OS X, Windows, and even more – making it easy to sync your notes on multiple devices. Right now, Evernote seems to be the reigning champion in this space.

And yet, there’s Caboodle, which offers a few more features. You can’t upload PDFs or Word docs into Evernote without paying for a premium account, which runs $5 a month, versus Caboodle’s one-time fee of $19.95.

Plus, there are no ads to view, like there are in Evernote’s free version. That file upload feature makes Caboodle a pretty valuable tool, so beat that in mind before you hop on the Evernote train.

Conclusion

The big question here is whether or not Caboodle is worth $20 or so when there are free alternatives out on the market. That’s a tough call to make, because it comes down to personal preference and what you need this system to do.

For me, I would want something that took Evernote a bit further, and I think that’s exactly where Caboodle sits. By adding the ability to add attachments, I no longer have to hunt through my file structure to find that note I made to myself a year ago. And when it comes time to finally buy that tool, I’ll have all my research handy and ready to go.

The only downside I see to the app is the price. But once I got over that hurdle (and let’s be realistic, this isn’t $150 app we’re talking about), I realized that it was well worth the purchase.

After all, isn’t being organized worth a small cost?


Summary

Put all of your snippets in one place, then keep them organized so that they're easy to find.

7
  • Peter

    It’s currently only USD 12.95 in the “BundlesforMac” bundle @ http://bundles.shakeonit.com/
    (together with Data Backup 3, Elmedia Player Pro, and Label Printer Pro 7). But then again – it’s a purchase outside the AppStore – annoying for updates.

    One downside to Caboodle: no mobile app whatsoever. Not too smart these days.

  • insane dreamer

    Not sure what advantages this offers over Yojimbo or ShoveBox, or DevonThink (though that one is overpriced)

  • Elizabeth Harden

    You neglected to mention DEVONthink [http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/devonthink/index.html] as a Caboodle “competitor” though DEVONthink is much more robust, has more features, and has a companion mobile app. Caboodle is cheaper, though.

  • Sean

    So basically it’s Yojimbo?!

  • iRock

    Actually you don’t need to pay a buck if you wanna add PDF’s to Evernote…

  • tom

    I currently use Together. Very nice, but I’m also starting to miss a mobile version. What can you recommend in this department?

  • http://www.dejal.com/ David Sinclair

    Hi, I’m the author of Caboodle. Thanks for the review! Yes, there are a number of other fine apps out there, though most more expensive than Caboodle. Something for everyone’s needs.

    As for a mobile edition, I do plan to write an edition of Caboodle for iPad (and maybe iPhone), probably towards the end of this year or maybe early next year.

    • Tim

      The end of this year or early next year is 1 year away!

  • Stephen Silk

    You can add any type of file you like to the free version of Evernote. The only difference is that the content of PDFs won’t be indexed for searching in the free version.

    • Tim

      Umm, no you cannot! Try dragging and html file into it. You can’t. Only in the paid version. This is true for several other formats as well.

  • PeterBreis

    Unfortunately I used Caboodle to store my very large list of software purchases with their registration details.

    Due to the bugs in Apple’s OSX data frameworks, the whole thing fell apart just when I had just about everything in it.

    I’ve learnt since to keep such things in basic open source formats that do not fail, and can be easily rescued.

    I am left wondering what use I can put Caboodle to, now I can’t trust it.

theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow
theatre-aglow