Often my reviews here at WebWorkerDaily are peeks at beta or early release versions of an application or service. While I think it is useful to provide these sneak peeks, it is often in the first couple months of a product’s life when a lot of usability enhancements get put in to place.
So I decided to revisit a few of the applications I was impressed with in review, but hadn’t personally adopted, to see how they fare after a bit more cooking time. The first of these is Springpad, the online notebook organizer I last looked at back in November.
The things that most impressed me about Springpad originally are still there: that it’s a “whole life” organizer, the ready-made Springpads, and the Personal Organizer area, which aggregates and consolidates content from all of my individual Springpads to master lists.
But over time Springpad has added a couple of very nice usability tweaks. Most noticeable is a design refresh that moves the navigation to a slide away “drawer” that tucks itself out of the way when not in use.
In addition to the bit of freed-up space, hiding the navigation out of the way allows you to really focus on the tasks at hand. If you prefer to keep it visible, you can pin it open as well.
They have also added a very handy bookmarklet, the Springpad Clipper, that lets you grab highlighted content from any web page and easily transfer it in to the Springpad page of your choosing. This makes it great for capturing notes and photos as you are doing research, or even just to flag things to look at later. I also like that it works in any browser and isn’t just Firefox-specific.
The quality of the ready-made Springpads has also improved, with the newer ones getting more interactive and detailed. The task-oriented Springpads are a good way to get up and running quickly, but if you prefer you can still create your own from scratch.
So, overall, while it lacks the ubiquity of a tool like Evernote for general information capturing, Springpad has matured quite a bit in a few short months and continues to be a fine option for an online organizer.
What do you think? Could Springpad be the whole life organizer for you?