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together

I sincerely believe that one of the reasons for the slow descent of information managers, or anything buckets, has been the absence of modernization. Opening an application of this sort is often a strike from the past. A visit to old design trends and a user experience that didn’t catch up with the evolution. We ended up with powerful applications with plenty of features, without a reasonable way to manage them.

Among them all, Together stood up on their previous versions, overcoming as one of the better thought-out information managers for the average user. Yet it held its share of issues. The new version is a wave of change that came out of nowhere to improve our data library organizations. This refreshing update covers several disabilities and lights up the path to the use of iCloud sync, a long expected getaway card from the Evernote servers.

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When I reviewed Together a couple of months ago, several commenters noted its similarity to Yojimbo, and suggested that we take a look. Of course I’d heard of Yojimbo before: it’s one of those near-legendary apps that the Great and the Good of the Mac world seem to swear by. It turns up fairly often on one of my favourite blogs, The Setup.

But for some reason, I’ve never given Yojimbo much more than a cursory glance. I’ve downloaded it once or twice and run it for a while each time, but it’s never stuck for me. I was aware of some complaints about the speed of development of Yojimbo – it seemed to have been standing still for quite some time.

But then version 2.0 arrived (quite suddenly, and without much fanfare). The changes implemented in the new version seem to have done the trick for many people – some who had started wondering about other, similar products (Together, DevonThink, VoodooPad, etc.) returned to the fold. And I decided it was time for me to have a proper look too…

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The quest for the perfect information store is unending. Many of us long for a single place where we can put everything so that it’s easy to find and work with. Of course you could use various folders in a complex directory structure – I did that for years, nesting folders for months within folders for years within folders for particular areas of interest.

Needless to say, this soon became unworkable! So then I broke down my intricate folders and dumped everything into a single big ‘Archive’ folder, trying to rely on Spotlight to find what I needed. That worked better, but I sometimes found it difficult to track down what I was after.

My system’s gone through a few more transformations since then, and I have tried several different apps along the way. Together is one of the best I’ve used, and it has some features that might make it the ideal solution for many people.

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