Yojimbo came out last month. It’s a scrapbooking program for storing random bits of information — notes, passwords and serial numbers (encryptable), bookmarks or even fully archived web pages — that can be searched, organized into themed collections and so on. I’ve been using it for my writing notes — future blog posts, stories and so forth — and I like it well enough that, with the 30-day demo running out, I bought a licence for it.

I’m always jotting notes to myself; keeping them orderly has been a challenge. My first move was to use temporary text files, but that got real unwieldy, real fast. Then I tried using OmniOutliner, but that was just too, well, structured for quick and dirty note-taking. I’m just trying to jot a sentence or a URL down somewhere; I don’t want to have to think about file management or document structure.

Yojimbo fits like a glove that way. It keeps everything in one spot without imposing structure — using an outline format through OmniOutliner or a journal format through MacJournal has been productive in the past, but not everything I jot down can fit into one of those formats. Search picks up the slack instead, as it should when Spotlight is available. (This program is Tiger-only.)

Two features I really like. First, it’s really easy to add things. That’s essential; it should be beyond easy to add material to a scrapbooking program. Yojimbo maps the F7 key to a Drop Dock to which items can be dragged, and the F8 key to a Quick Input Panel for a speedy addition — it autocompletes based on what you’ve highlighted in whatever program you’ve been working on.

Second, it syncs the data via .Mac. I don’t have a laptop I can do this with yet, but it’s only a matter of time before I do, and when I’m in a library or otherwise out in the field this will be a godsend. This is exactly the sort of data that should be omnipresent, exactly the sort of thing that should be synced.

A minor quibble. I use Yojimbo for my blogging notes, so I paste URLs into notes quite frequently. But it defaults to pasting URLs as an active link; for blogging, I need to be able to use the URL to write an entry in HTML. To paste just the URL, I need to perform a four-fingered chord: command-shift-option-V. I’d like to be able to change that in the preferences.