Who doubts we live in the information age. If anything, it’s the Too Much Information Age™. Seriously. There’s just too much.
That fact requires diligence on our part to choose wisely, and tools which help us to manage all those snippets of information—photos, images, PDFs, links, serial numbers, maps, directions, and more—that cross our eyes every day.
Store The Whole Caboodle
My long Mac career means I’ve gone through plenty of apps that promised a better life but didn’t deliver. That’s especially true with apps that collect information.
Whether they’re called PIMs (personal information manager) or notes apps or outliners, if they store stuff that I find important, then I want to be able to retrieve it quickly.
Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of digital clutter in a digital box.
Caboodle is a Mac app that’s been around a few years and what it does is simple. It collects, stores, and retrieves all those pieces of information that float across your Mac’s screen every day. And it makes them easy to find later.
Caboodle? I’ve used the word in a phrase (the whole kit and caboodle) but didn’t know exactly what caboodle meant. It’s a good thing.
caboodle |kəˈbo͞odl | noun (in phrase the whole caboodle or the whole kit and caboodle)
the whole number or quantity of people or things in question.
Caboodle is the kind of app that gets useful to you very quickly. It stores information. Almost anything on a Mac can get stuffed into Caboodle. Numbers, addresses, recipes, photos, images, lists, PDFs, documents, paragraphs, notes, thoughts, whatever. Stuff it all into Caboodle.
So it’s a big, digital box with an endless bottom. Like any box we fill up with a little of everything, there’s no structure or organization, right? Caboodle is different. Every item can have a label so searching is instant, as is organization.
Take a look at the familiar interface.
The Toolbar at the top is self explanatory. For notes, there’s a built-in word processor of sorts (with formatting capability) with subject, keywords, and a custom label for each item. Even add custom fields.
Every item you drop into Caboodle can be tagged and bagged which makes the search and retrieve instant. You can also employ your own organizational standard to whatever information you keep by using the lefthand Sidebar hierarchy.
Entries can be encrypted and the password is stored on your Mac’s keychain, away from prying eyes. Caboodle also uses the Mac’s built-in Services functionality, so it can be used while you’re using other apps.
Any decent personal information manager must accomplish four goals for me. First, inexpensive and regularly updated. Second, it must store virtually everything (images, photos, snippets, notes, etc.). Third, retrieving information must be instant, via search or Sidebar organization. Finally, it must allow me to organize information my way, and not be too rigid. It’s got to be easy enough to use so it can be used.
Caboodle is nicely done. It’s available on the Mac App Store, so purchasing, installing and updating is a snap. The developer also has a try-before-you-buy option. What’s missing? I prefer the drag and drop approach of the pop-out shelf in Together or Yojimbo. And, there’s not a corresponding iPhone or iPad app, which is increasingly important in multi-device environments.