C-Command Software Forum

Looking for an alternative to SOHO Notes and came here, via Yojimbo

I have been a loyal Soho Notes fan for years. But lately I have been having
issues with search speed.

Right now I have just about 680 notes in my database. That doesn’t seem so much. But it’s important bits and scraps of data accumulated over the years, ever since Sticky Brain 3.0, including software license numbers, etc.

I notice Soho takes a really really long time for search to work. For example, I did a test looking up the word “Intuit” because I have a few notes relating to that company - a seminar I did for them, a schedule, etc.

But in Soho, it took almost 70 seconds to locate the 8 notes that had “Intuit” in it. It can be very frustrating at times like when I’m on the phone and I say, “hold on, I’ll look that up for you.”

So I decided to try Yojimbo. I did a mass export of all my Soho Notes and then imported them into “Collections” that matched what I had in Soho.

From the Library collection in Yojimbo, which seems to have an alias to all my items, I did a search for “Intuit” and… the results came up instantaneously - as I was typing! That certainly is a big difference! So I became very interested and have been testing Yojimbo for a few days.

There were two things that bothered me about Yojimbo though:

(1) All my exported files from Soho got imported into Yojimbo ok, but the dates changed to the current date instead of the original dates!

(2) It turns out there are no sub-folders in Yojimbo and it appears that BareBones is philosophically opposed to developing them.

The sub-folder issue sort of bothered me. BareBones is encouraging tag use they say, and they claim sub-folders adds to clutter.

I don’t quite understand how NOT allowing a hierarchical organization reduces clutter. It would seem, instead, to add to clutter.

Say I have 20 people in my family and for each person I have a bunch of items. My natural instinct would be to have one folder/collection at the top level called Family and then have a sub-folder /collection for each family member.

The alternatives are to have 20 collections at the top level (Family - John, Family - Cathy, etc.), or 1 huge collection called Family containing everybody’s items in it and search each time you want to browse the items for one person, which is a lot more typing.

That sounds more cluttered to me rather than less. And always requires a search. Even if you add Smart Collections, you wouldn’t want them all at the top level because that would be, well, cluttered.

I love tag searching, but I don’t see why it has to be one or the other. Being forced to search ALL the time seems to be a little user-unfriendly, particularly for people who might have difficultly constantly entering search terms, such as people with disabilities or the elderly.

So while I liked the speed of Yojimbo, it seemed rather like a “their way or the highway” approach to the UI.

While discussing this at the Yojimbo Talk a user of both Yojimbo and EagleFiler told me about EagleFiler.

I downloaded EagleFilter for testing and both my problems with Yojimbo don’t exist in EagleFilter:

(1) I imported my Soho Notes export and all the original dates on all my notes were preserved.

(2) Instead of having to create top-level “Collections” for each sub-folder, everything imported at once and I had the same folder hierarchy I had in Soho.

I spot-checked my Soho formatted notes (like a Japanese web snippet of train routes) and they all imported just fine.

Then I repeated the “search test” that took 70 seconds in Soho Notes and was instantaneous in Yojimbo. It was instantaneous in EagleFiler too!

My only remaining skepticism was “who created EagleFiler?” Is it a fly-by-night organization that nobody ever heard of? I had never heard of EagleFilter before.

So I came to these support forums to see if there was activity and was extremely pleasantly surprised to see that EagleFiler is a Michael Tsai (of SpamSieve) creation!

While I don’t use SpamSieve anymore (I filter my email through Gmail now, which is easier for me) Michael Tsai has always been one of the most responsive, friendliest developers I have ever worked with. I have never regretted purchasing anything from him before.

So wow. What more can I say?

I hate to give up Soho Notes after all these years. But the speed is really, really getting me down.

Yojimbo’s import loses my original dates and doesn’t let me organize my data the way I want to.

EagleFIler has the speed and organization I need for all these bits and scraps of info.

I love the grab from Mail.app and Safari features too.

Why didn’t I hear about this software before? It needs more advertising!

I also think on your explanation page you should play up the miscellaneous scraps of notes and data that you need to remember and search for. At first when I was reading over the description, the emphasis seemed to be just on file organization, which I was already doing in the Finder. So it was sounding a bit redundant and I didn’t associate EagleFiler’s functionality with what I had been doing with Soho Notes or Yojimbo.

But EagleFiler really does all of the above. To me, the “repository of miscellaneous, important data” is the most useful feature.

So I believe I will go ahead and purchase. I’m sure I’ll have followup questions, but just thought I would say hello and describe the route that brought me here.


Thanks for the suggestion. Part of the reason for the existing description is to emphasize that EagleFiler lets you work with regular files, accessible to the Finder and other applications, whereas some programs are more focused on short text notes in a database. However, EagleFiler is absolutely intended to manage miscellaneous little scraps of info, too. I’ll try to adjust the description so it doesn’t imply otherwise.