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Together updates to 2.1


Together 2.1 is a major upgrade for this ever-evolving information management application. Steve Harris, author of Together (and Feeder), has listened very carefully to user feedback and is turning up the heat with features that I've personally been waiting anxiously for. I'm a fickle suitor of many apps in this genre, constantly switching amongst the likes of Yojimbo, DEVONthink, Evernote, EagleFiler, SOHO Notes and some of my own concoctions. I've always liked Together's interface ... it just lacked certain functionality in some key areas of my workflow. Version 2.1 makes great strides to fill those gaps.

My current workflow -- one that's lasted long enough for me to call it my system -- is heavily based on Spotlight comment tagging for gathering project-related information. This is rapidly becoming a universally-accepted method and is supported by many applications which can read and write their internal tags to and from Spotlight comments. Together has added both read and write functionality for such tags with a user-definable prefix, as well as the option to import keywords as tags. This means that the system I use in applications like Leap, (with Mailtags), FileSpot and directly in Finder (with Spotlight) work hand-in-hand with Together now. You can even define default tags for groups and folders to assign to imported items, and Together can now automatically import files saved by external programs into its Library folders. The new support for external linking to internal items and a complete AppleScript dictionary kick off the highlights of the extensive release notes.

A few other highlights include:

  • Smart groups can now be based on other groups (including other smart groups)
  • Recording of the date items are imported
  • The option to create visually accurate Web PDFs instead of web archives
  • A system-wide import hotkey
  • A more useful Shelf that can tag and sort quick notes
  • Quick Look in the Shelf
  • Performance improvements in multiple areas
  • Text highlighting in notes and documents
  • Extensive preview options
  • Text in imported emails is now selectable

One deciding factor for me in choosing a system is the database vs. file system debate. It's a debate that spurs quasi-theological discussion, but ultimately it's a personal choice and somewhat dependent on your particular needs. I like file system storage as found in Together and EagleFiler because of its automatic integration with the rest of my applications. Files edited in an external application from Together are treated just like regular Finder files (because they are) and will show up in Recent Files menus and your Spotlight index. Yes, Yojimbo and DEVONthink have Spotlight plugins, but they have to go the extra step to write out their metadata. Together is also quite adept at dealing with filetypes it doesn't necessarily understand, letting the system handle default applications and Quick Look handle the previews. And lastly, all of my files are easily accessible outside of Together and not locked into a proprietary database.

Together 2.1 is a free upgrade for current users. A new license will run you $39 and there's a demo available. And if you're thinking of switching from Yojimbo, there's an importer just for you on the downloads page.

Update: If you're in the market, be sure to check out what's new with Evernote, too!

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