I am attorney using Journler (for document keeping) and Scrivener (for writing). Both allow you to organize, store and find documents of various types. Journler is better suited for a paperless filing system for all kinds of notes, documents, www sites and many projects. Scrivener is better for writing and keeping one project’s drafts and research materials together in a single â€œprojectâ€œ or folder.
Scrivener’s advantages are well documented here and in www reviews. It is quick and easy to learn and implement in my work flow. It’s amazing how much easier drafting agreements can be when prior drafts, emails and other materials are right at hand in the binder. In fact, Scrivener, with its index notes and split views of multiple documents, may the best writing tool I have ever used.
I have tens of thousands of documents and emails that I keep and use. Before Journler, I kept projects, notes, forms, research materials, pdf’s, www bookmarks, etc scattered in various folders. Different word processors, mail programs, etc were required to read them. Spotlight was insufficient to find them, and I used SpotLaser as a Spotlight front end to search. Although my file naming practices and client folders were consistent, it was a filing system slowly breaking down.
I needed help. I needed a simple filing system that offered more than the Finder.
I tried Journler’s competitors such as Devonthink, SOHO Notes, Eaglefiler, Yojimbo, Mori, etc. Each has different capabilities and features, but I found that Journler’s combination of nested folders, smart folders, ranked search, auto-tagging (with smart folders), and finder friendly database most useful for me. Currently I am copying documents into Journler and am not relying upon aliases to external files which might be broken. My Journler database has about 3000 files, is about 500mb - and is growing.
Capability for handling large numbers of documents and speed should always be two important priorities for Journler. Journler is quickly evolving beyond its journaling origins. According to user comments on the www, Devonthink and Eaglefiler may be able to efficiently handle significantly larger numbers of documents (gigabytes of data) than Journler. I don’t know yet how large a database Journler can handle. And Devonthink and Eaglefiler may be faster in importing and indexing documents. I find that importing more than 30 documents at a time bogs Journler down with the spinning beachball, or it crashes.
Why pick Journler then? I did not find Devonthink’s auto-indexing AI and tagging useful. I could not tell where my documents went. I will file my documents - I did not want Devonthink to guess where they belonged. Eaglefiler is in the early phases of development and does not allow you to create smart folders. SOHO Notes did not appear to have the support of its users (a bad sign when they took the user forums down), and it left program parts scattered throughout my system. Yojimbo has no nested folders. And Mori just never grabbed my attention.
A thoughtful review of Journler and these other programs is at:
musingsfrommars.org/2007/03/ … -os-x.html
However, all have been updated since this review.
Importantly for me, Journler is simple and quick to learn. It has an active and supporting user community and development. To utilize Journler’s auto-tagging (which I found to make the most sense of all of the programs), all of my folders are organized as smart folders and nested smart folders. I have Notes, Client and Forms smart folders with nested category or project smart folders within them. Drag and drop a file or files to the desired smart folder (or nested smart folder) and tagging automatically happens. Like some of the other programs, I like the integrated pdf, www, and document readers and Safari-like tabs.
I don’t do much Wiki linking or resource linking within Journler, although the capability is there. I rely upon the smart folders and ranked search to find materials that may relate to each other.
And I look forward to working with Lex more. I hope that it might work with search phrases - and not just single words. Like Google. Thousands of documents create thousands of word links - when a phrase might make the search process faster and simpler.
One feature I would add to Journler now is a preference option for email dates. Instead of the current date, I would like imported emails to use the date that they were sent or received.
I hope this is useful to those of you considering and using Journler and Scrivener together. Journler is a wonderful program and complements Scrivener well.