The Mac360 focus for April will be productivity; a look at those Mac applications that make your Mac life better organized, more efficient, enjoyable.
The competition is heating up with more Mac organizers, planners, and information tools than ever. But once in awhile a Mac app comes along that grabs you, and says, “Hey, look at me.” I found one.
Organizational tools are the topic and there’s no shortage of new Mac applications which want to organize your digital life. Heavyweights Daylite and Entourage promise to be the end-all, be-all for organization, but are complex and expensive.
BareBones’ Yojimbo offers a new approach to gathering, storing, and retrieving information with drag and drop simplicity.
There are project and task managers which help you organize an undisciplined and uncontrolled to-do list, or follow the highly acclaimed Getting Things Done method.
Yesterday, a teacher posted a request for some kind of database organizer the help out with a problem.
“I am a teacher and I currently have a Word document for each student where I record notes about their writing, conversations with parents, etc. What a pain to scroll through a folder of 30+ kids for each period. I want to scroll like a rolodex or something. I don’t want big and fancy. I want cheap and easy.”
Microsoft Word is certainly overkill for that kind of problem. So is FileMaker Pro. See the problem? See a solution?
I ran through my quick list of “notebook organizers” and came up with four decent, recently updated applications that range from free to $70, from flexible features, to plenty of options.
A sharp-eyed Mac360 reader responded with information about a new Mac application from Hog Bay Software called Mori.
Hog Bay’s original and popular notebook organizer was called “Notebook”. There’s probably some kind of trademark or copyright issue with Circus Ponies’ popular Notebook, so something had to be done (my guess).
From the ashes arose an entirely new Mac application for organizing all the stuff that crosses our screens each day. Mori is a digital notebook organizer not quite like anything I’ve seen.
It’s just right. Not too much, not too little; simple to get into and use, but there’s a catch, Mori grows on you and expands a flexible style to fit your method of organizing without confining you to many pre-determined rules and features.
The layout will look remarkably familiar. It’s like mixing TextEdit with iTunes and iPhoto to organize. Organize what? That’s the part that’s fun.
Mori organizes what you want in an utterly simple and straightforward way. The left column is like iTunes and iPhotos playlists and albums. Create your own categories and subcategories.
For each, there’s an option for more sub categories (or not, you choose), and for each of those there’s a major category where you can put text, links to web sites, notes, documents, pictures.
Smart Folders? Of course? Customize category headings? Certainly. Spotlight searchable? Duh.
If you’re into the Project and Task life, then Mori steps in and lets you create a Project, add multple tasks, and keep track of notes for each task. Ratings are built in, as are custom fields in the database.
Whoops! Database? There’s a database to manage? Nope.
Mac OS X Tiger has a nifty feature called Core Data which allows applications to create and store content, quickly, efficiently. It just works.
Mori makes it work wonderfully. For a teacher tired of scrolling through gazillions of Microsoft Word documents, Mori would be perfect. Why?
Because it’s one of those rare Mac applications that does more than the sum of the parts. Projects and tasks are one thing. Notes are something else. Keeping track of all those pieces of information that fly through our Mac screens is the challenge.
Another challenge is not having to change how we do what we do just to become “organized” enough so we can use an organizer. Shouldn’t the organizer help you? More does.
Mori appears to be a Japanese word that means “helping, serving, nursemaid, baby-sitting.” If that’s the intent, you’ll appreciate what Mori does and how you get to shape it to serve your needs.
Mori also means “forest” and “lance, harpoon” so, go figure. Regardless, Mori is one of those increasingly rare applications that gets it right away. BareBones Yojimbo has some sweet spots for organizing information, but doesn’t do nested categories. Mori does.
The proof is in the taste of the pudding, so take a taste of Mori. The download includes a free use period. Let me know what you think, and let other readers know what you’re using to organize you on your Mac.