Mac software has become increasingly complex. We ask much of our Macs, and software developers deliver—more features.
I’m a happy guy when I find Mac software that does what it does so well that I cannot imagine not using it because the basic features are nearly perfect.
Most of us have the same set of problems. We have a lot of information that we need to store, store securely, yet make that information appear on demand, like magic.
In a way, that’s what Steel does. Steel is a Mac utility which stores information. Serial numbers, credit card numbers, login IDs, passwords, anything valuable.
How is Steel different than the dozen or so very good utilities that do the same thing? First, Steel is elegantly simple. Every feature I need, except one, is right there. Steel doesn’t have one feature I don’t need.
I’ve used Steel for a couple of years and it’s one of the best software value purchases I’ve made. Steel is drop dead simple to use. Set up a category to store information (or use one of the many included).
Each Category can have up to seven Columns, or fields, of information. That’s perfect for any kind of data that needs stored.
Credit card information is different than web site login and password information.
You create the Category and the Columns for each. Entering data into each Category, or Column, is simple. Click the “plus” sign and start typing. Each Category also has a notes field for even more information.
Save your information using Steel’s Blowfish encryption which supports strong passwords up to 56 characters. Trust me, that’s strong.
Using Steel is easy, too, even if you have hundreds of pieces of information stored, as I do. I have hundreds of serial numbers from software dating back about 10 years. There’s back account information, credit cards, email accounts, web site login information, and much more.
Usually, any piece of information is a click or two away. Click on the Category icon and all the records in that Category show up. Instantly. If you’re not sure which Category to look in, Steel offers Search, just like Spotlight. Enter a keyword or two and, instantly again, Steel delivers anything that matches.
I use the Notes feature because it comes with hidden features such as URL linking. Click the Notes button to see the pop out pane which displays the Notes. Duh.
Any URL’s contained elsewhere in the data record are highlighted in the Notes summary, and they’re clickable. No need to cut and paste.
When you start Steel, you create a Document which holds your information. A password is required to open the Document again. But you can create multiple Documents. One for business, one for school, one for home or home office.
Managing Steel between Macs is a breeze, too. I just sync the Steel document file between my Macs and it copies over (but changes to a Document must be from one or the other… since data is encrypted, you can’t fully sync changes on two Macs).
Steel opens quickly and it’s easy to search. Think of the user interface as a mini spreadsheet (with rows of data) to the right, and the categories in the left column. That’s it.
I don’t know how much data Steel can hold. I have about 600 records, any single record within a click or two away. If you’re already using another utility to store valued information, Steel imports tab and comma delimited data, and exports text data.
Here’s the kicker. Steel is $9.00. Not $90, not $25, not $39. $9. It’s updated regularly, runs fine on Leopard, and can’t be much easier to use. There’s not many bells and whistles. Steel isn’t Yojimbo. It just works, then gets out of my way.
Try it and tell me what you think. Do you use a different Mac utility to store login IDs, passwords, serial numbers? Tell us about it. Share your experience in the Comments section below.