Having various interests and hobbies, more often than not I come across all sorts of interesting snippets of information. Then there are the times I have a good idea while working on something or other or while in transit to and away from the computer. In all these instances I usually rely on memory to keep that little tidbit safe until can get back to it, and, more often than not I end up forgetting it, only to have it remembered later in another situation in which I usually cannot get it down on paper, and the cycle continues. Because I am so often doing this, I have come to have a fondness for little programs that can keep and organize snippets of information. This doesn't mean I make regular use of such a program, I usually rely on memory, however, I do look out for these programs, and Caboodle is a fine example.What it does
Caboodle is a small program that is designed to help you get down little bit of information, and to easily order them at a later date.
It is similar to Idea Knot, Sticky brain and other such programs that let you get pieces of information into it, but takes a rather different approach that is more centered on keeping the information in a somewhat coherent manner, rather than focusing on getting information into the application itself.
This approach will work out better for those who are not great fans of the services menu and universal shortcuts, however, those who are already used to those will find this program lacking in this aspect. Still, Caboodle has its own little advantages.First was the entry
Every piece of information that is kept in Caboodle is an entry. An entry is a bit hard to explain
in that it is like a rich text file that can also act as a folder, containing other rich text files, which can also be folders.
Basically, when you create an entry, you can create other entries that can be either separate, or children of that entry. Also, any existing entry can be made the child of another by simply dragging it inside the parent.
Entries can contain anything, from text, simple or styled, images, lists, and tables. And can be of any size. Beside the main content, you can also add any number of 'fields' to an entry as well as an 'icon'. These fields can have any label you want and can be used to easily order entries.
Furthermore, when you create a new entry as the child of an existing one, it automatically inherits the properties of the parent, meaning it will have the same icon and fields.
Overall the system is quite nice and flexible enough to accommodate almost anything.Order in chaos
Because Caboodle does not support capturing of information from outside the application, you have to create an entry in order to add the information, and this makes it less inherently prone to the chaos that ensues with similar applications when the information is not organized within a reasonable time frame.
In essence, because you have to create the entry from within the program, it only takes you an extra fraction of a second more to actually create it in the right place. Furthermore, because the new entry inherits the properties of its parent, you have less work cut out for you, and it is much less likely that you would forget to add some relevant information.
However, when it comes to retroactive ordering, there are limitations to the program. For one thing, changing a parent has no effect on the existing children, only the new ones that will be created from this point on will mirror the changes. And there is no mass edit entries, leaving you to manually change each one.
Major restructuring of your 'database' is also arduous, as, if you decide that one group of entries would be better elsewhere, you can move them, but they will remain exactly the same.
Fortunately, information is quite easy to locate using the build in search box, for which there is no keyboard equivalent, which is criminal. When searching, the entries list will update to display only the relevant entries, and selecting any of them will display the content with the keyword highlighted. This search will also look in the fields you can define for each entry. Once again, the fact that you cannot change the color of the text highlight is quite annoying as the default grey is often hard to notice.The Good
Much more visually orientated than other programs, and less prone to total chaos because of the way it handles information input.The Bad
No mass editing functions that would make changing multiple entries easier. Having to manually change each one can be a pain. Also, the lack of duplicate 'aliases' of entries is a minus.The Truth
The greatest strength and weakness of this program is how it does not allow direct input of information from outside the program itself. While this shortcoming will turn some off using this program, for others, this method adds just the extra incentive needed to keep things relatively organized from the get go.
Here are some screenshots, click to enlarge: