hands on with shovebox

May 21, 2009

A few months ago, I mentioned that I was using Shovebox — one of the endless number of Mac apps to organize notes, photos and more.

At the time, I mentioned that it was not going to replace Yojimbo for me. Still true. But I found that it worked well as a means of storing information for the short-term. It became a place to drop information that I might want to use in the next few hours or days, but wouldn’t need for the longterm. (Though if I do decide I want to keep something longer, a note can be easily dragged into Yojimbo.)

Since that time, Shovebox has rolled out an iPhone version (iTunes link). Used in tandem with the Mac version, it offers a slick capture system for notes, photos, or bookmarks that offers a small footprint in your desktop and workflow. Here are a few examples of how seamlessly Shovebox captures information:

The unique appeal of Shovebox is the Quickjot feature. Triggered by a simple keystroke of your choosing (option-space in my case), Quickjot opens an entry box that reminds one of Quicksilver. It is visually appealing with large text on a dark background. As an idea comes to mind, it can be captured with a quick keystroke and shoved away for safekeeping.

I’m also happy with the relative ease of syncing. The data transfer is handled via WiFi. Assuming you always have Shovebox running on the Mac, syncing happens automatically when Shovebox is opened on your iPhone. Granted, my database is small, but I find that it syncs in only a few seconds.

There is a great deal more to Shovebox, including the ability to assign rules to notes to automatically sort them or perform AppleScript with them. It’s worth a look.

Start with the iPhone version (only $3.99) and the free trial of the Mac version. If your experience goes well, the iPhone app includes a note with a coupon code to purchase the Mac version at 40% off — which means that the iPhone version pays for itself.

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