Sep 302013

Is there an office worker anywhere who is not drowning in an ocean of information?

Information overload, and the struggle to make sense of the tsunami of data, is one of the biggest drains on productivity.

To help individuals and small businesses manage the information flow and use it profitably, software companies have been spitting out a slew of applications for the Mac and Windows as well as for mobile platforms like iOS and Android.

Here are five information organization tools for the Mac that should help to make your work life more manageable:

Evernote – The most popular information organization service is available for Mac, Windows and as a web app. Evernote also offers apps for the two major mobile platforms – iOS and Android. The app syncs across devices, which means if you’re on the road you have access to the same desktop information on your mobile phone or tablet. The big plus of Evernote is that it offers an ad-supported free option that lets users upload 60MB of data a month. Premium version is $5/month ($45 a year) and allows up to 1GB of uploads. I’ve used the free version for a few years and have no complaints.

SohoNotes – A note taking app that lets you organize, sync and share text notes, PDFs, images, voice recordings, videos and web archives. Costs $40. Syncs with the company’s NoteLife app ($5) app for iPhone and iPod touch. Free trial version available.

Yojimbo – An information organizer from Bare Bones (developer of TextWrangler) with a drag and drop feature. Costs $30. Has a companion $10 app for iPad that lets you sync over WiFi. The new Mac to Mac cloud sync feature requires a $3 monthly subscription. Free trial version available.

DevonThink – Available in three versions (Personal, Pro and Pro Office) Manages files, notes and bookmarks. Strong collaboration features. Pricing ranges from $50 to $150 depending on the version. Free trial version available.

Simplenote – From the creators of the popular WordPress blog software comes a simple app called Simplenote. It lets users keep and share lists and notes. And it’s FREE. Has a companion free iPhone app for syncing.

My suggestion is to test drive at least two or three apps for a week or two and then settle on whichever you are most comfortable with.

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