Review: Boswell

by on June 23, 2003

Every once in awhile, a product comes along that strikes our fancy because it’s new and different. Boswell, a program by Copernican Technologies, takes an old concept, databases, and improves upon them, allowing the user to put random text entries in, instead of forcing people to stick with one form.

You are urged to place all your text records into this program by the documentation. Store emails, quotes, plans, bills, and any other kind of text-only records in it. You can then search among them to find anything you need to.

Filing

Boswell does have a decently-sized learning curve. Entries are stored in ‘notebooks’, and there can be multiple notebooks. Think of notebooks as folders to keep your data, or maybe iTunes playlists. There is a special notebook called the ‘journal’. The user would enter their data here. In order to save it to the other notebooks, you must archive your data. Think of the journal as a temporary holding place.

Boswell Screenshot
A screenshot of some data in Boswell
Click image for larger view.

Finding Stuff

Boswell has wonderful search capabilities, that rival the options found on major search engines. Another feature which makes finding your data easier is that each entry has a header similar to emails, which show up in the list. After about a month of using this program, it seems that data entered into it doesn’t seem to get lost like the many files on my hard drive.

Gripes

I do have a few things that I’d like to point out about Boswell. Although the version I’m using is for OS X, it also runs on OS 9, as it is carbonized. This makes some things look funny on OS X, and having the full Cocoa design (flexible toolbars, nicer font smoothing, cleaner interface) would benefit it greatly (I picture it could look a lot like Apple’s Mail.app). A few other inconsistencies, such as having two Preference menu items (one under Edit, and one under the application menu (this one doesn’t work). Besides that, some may not use it enough to justify the $99 price tag.

Our Recommendation

Boswell is perfect for people who have a lot of data to manage and keep. The program itself isn’t bloatware, which makes it a nice addition to any Mac office suite that you assemble yourself (and that does not come from Redmond). Although new, this program is one to watch. If you need to store lots of random text items, this program is worth every penny. Any other questions (and a copy of the documentation can be found on the web site.

The Facts

3/5Product: Boswell
Company: Copernican Technologies
Platform: Mac
Price: $99

This post has been filed in Mac Apps, Miscellany and Reviews