justinjmoss wrote: ebrad wrote:
You don't need sub-folders. ShoveBox is not meant to be a replacement for the file-system or a more complex app like DEVONthink. It is meant to be a temporary container for files, ideas, and stuff that you'll sort/organize/get-to later. It's not an archive, it's an inbox. Thus, you really don't need subfolders.
I hope this critical remark of mine is taken as well-intentioned. I love some aspects of ShoveBox's interface and don't care for some others. But since the developer agrees that this is the purpose of ShoveBox, I think it's useful to consider what it means in practice.
Since it's easy to get information into a more complex app - some of which have inboxes - I don't see what the point of having a temporary inbox is when you can just as easily send an item straight to your other information manager with, say, a drag-and-drop move, or a push of a bookmarklet link, or just dropping it on the desktop for later processing. Together, for example, has no inbox, but it's easy to make a smart folder for untagged (i.e., unprocessed) items and call it the Inbox. And Together, of course, comes with a plethora of bookmarklets, the Shelf, and the ability to just drop stuff on the Dock icon.
It really does depend on your workflow. I use Shovebox, both for the mac and the ipod, as a GTD-like bucket for stuff. I've found that it works really well for that. It also works pretty well for either saving a document to the ipod for reviewing later or keeping a series of text documents synced between the ipod and mac.
I've used database apps like Together and DEVONthink and I prefer to store my flies in the file system for the most part. I use Circus Ponies Notebook to outline and take notes on most things, but it is terrible as an file organizer/collector. I also make heavy use of The Hit List and OpenMeta tagging for files. I like working close to the file system and using programs which link to the files I have on hand, which give me different perspectives on my data. But, I also like self-contained spaces for writing and note-taking. So, the use of a light intermediate app to capture stuff fits nicely into my workflow at the moment.
You have a point that if you are already using an app like Together or the newer versions of DEVONthink which have robust capturing capabilities, then ShoveBox probably doesn't make a lot of sense to add to your workflow.
As a second comment, if it's a temporary inbox and not an archive, then why does stuff stay in the database when you drag it out of the organizer to the desktop (or elsewhere)?
This is a question more for Dan than myself. I could see that as being a switch in the preferences of the app, but I don’t know the thought process behind that behavior.
Though I love its simplicity, I think it is a bit too simple, and thus the practical effect of the "ShoveBox as a temporary inbox" view seems to me like an extra and superfluous minor step in the workflow. I think that adding a little bit more complexity for ShoveBox would help it greatly, although I'm not sure quite how. Smart folders would help, and multi-machine syncing would be great as well. If those things and other features were added, then ShoveBox would seem to me to be well-positioned to compete with Evernote, as it would appeal to people who like Evernote for its ubiquitous capture but dislike its complex interface.
As always, just my two cents' worth.
It does have smart folders to an extent. Like Mail.app you can define rules and move things do different folders based on certain criteria. There is actually some really cool stuff you can do with the AppleScript in conjunction with the rules.
Dan has clearly thought through ShoveBox’s place on the computer and has a pretty good justification for why it is purposely simple.
His points about the end of the desktop metaphor are quite useful in seeing the place of this app. If you have one app that does everything in this new philosophy of the workspace like Together, then you probably don’t need shovebox. But, when you organize closer to the filesystem, I find that a polished inbox to capture stuff quickly and easily is quite beneficial to my workflow.
This is an interesting discussion. The interface for computers is changing rapidly and I think more discussion about what concepts work for people in this changing paradigm is helpful to us all.