Review: Bare Bones Software Yojimbo 3.0.1
Since our last full review of Yojimbo , then at version 2.0, Bare Bones Software’s “digital junk drawer” has been steadily adding features. Yojimbo is a tool for storing and organizing text, PDFs, images, passwords, serial numbers, and similar scraps of information that are easily lost in the sea of files on one’s hard drive. Information can be added to the Yojimbo library manually, by dragging files or text to a Drop Dock, typing or pasting into a Quick Input panel, and now through scanning, too. Items can be tagged with keywords and grouped into folders or Tag Collections that automatically include all library items containing the tags you specify. MobileMe subscribers with multiple computers can place a copy of Yojimbo on each computer and keep the libraries synchronized.
Yojimbo 2.1 added support for Snow Leopard’s text system features giving users access to system-wide text expansion and data detectors. For example, select and control-click on a date in Yojimbo and the contextual menu includes options to display the selected date in iCal or create a new iCal event on that date. Version 2.1 also added text-to-speech and a transformations submenu for changing text case, the latter being helpful when editing caps-lock afflicted source material.
Which brings us to Yojimbo 3.0.1, the currently shipping version. Yojimbo can now scan directly from any TWAIN-compliant USB device connected to your Mac. When creating a new image item in the Yojimbo library, the program will check for the presence of a scanner and, should it find one, present a Scan button. The feature worked just fine on my (let’s call it “vintage”) Epson Perfection 1250 flatbed scanner. My much newer and faster Fujitsu ScanSnap isn’t supported, but that’s not Yojimbo’s failing; Fujitsu has chosen to ignore the TWAIN standard.
Handy as direct scanning is, there are literally no controls. Click on Scan and you get a new Library item of the entire scanner’s bed. I don’t expect extensive resolution and color controls, but a simple crop tool and grayscale option would be welcome.
Yojimbo 3 is also required if you wish to use Bare Bones’ new companion product, Yojimbo for iPad. Yojimbo 3 can be paired with a single iPad. Like Sidekick, Yojimbo for iPad is read-only. Unlike Sidekick, your Library’s structure is retained and the data is kept current so long as the Mac and iPad are on the same network—no iTunes sync required.
Macworld’s buying advice
Yojimbo remains one of the best data organizers for the Mac. Bare Bones has seen fit to offer version 3 for free to owners of Yojimbo 2.x. If you don’t yet have a place to store your digital odds and ends, and don’t require two-way synchronization with a mobile device, Yojimbo is a very strong option.
- Flexible acquisition and organization tools
- Scanner support
- Easy to use
- Very limited search criteria for Smart Tag Collections
- No synchronization with mobile devices