If you regularly spend some proportion of your daily life surfing the web then you face this problem almost everyday: You come across some pages, sites that in some way is of your interest, sites that you need to keep track of or just that you think you may need it in the future. Often, you will not be interested in the whole web site but rather just a single page or a section of a single page. At this stage you have two options.First option is to bookmark the page, which results in a huge bookmark junk pretty quickly. And even if you try to organize your bookmarks from time to time it’s just no help. Think of me with hundreds of bookmarks (No kidding! Actually I’m scared to spell the word “thousand”). I’ve recently read that people actually revisit 2% of their bookmarks. Usually, you won’t even remember why you bookmarked that page in the first place. Furthermore, it’s not carved in stone that your carefully bookmarked page will be there when you visit next time (the standard life span of an ordinary web page is less than you’d think of). Last but certainly not least, you cannot really search your bookmarks except by their title which may not be good enough.
A second option is saving the complete web page or select some portion of the page and save it to a text file. Option two was my choice for many years and I was unhappy to say the least. I’ve saved web files, text files everywhere. I organize them once a month but to no avail. Images do not get along with text files, the formatting is gone. Did I hear Microsoft Word? It’s just not for this type of thing. Forget it.
So I googled once again. My keywords were “best”, “PIM”. In case you don’t know, PIM is the acronym for Personal Information Manager. I’ve already tried many of those but it took me 5-10 minutes to uninstall all of them. Downloaded 5 or so programs that I’ve never tried before and there it was. The software I was looking for: Surfulater.
It’s possible to categorize Surfulater as a PIM but the main feature and strength of this awesome program is managing those web sites that I was talking about at the beginning. It’s so easy to capture those pages or clippings. Basically, you select the portion of the web page that you’d like to keep, right click, choose one of Surfulater’s saving options, which are built into the context menu once you install the program, and there you go (of course, you’re not limited to just those selections).
Those options include: Add new article, Add article plus page, Attach page to article, Bookmark this page, which are self explanatory and covers all bases. A good news for Firefox users is that with Surfulater you’re not limited with IE (Internet Explorer). Once you capture, the title and the link of the page is automatically inserted. A fantastic feature of Surfulater is that you can actually edit the pages you’ve saved. You can even annotate or cross-reference them. Needless to say, now you can search whatever you want in any way you want (an even more advanced search option will probably be included in future versions).
Surfulater is not just saving those clippings or pages. You may as well use it as personal notebook like Microsoft OneNote. You can import your bookmarks from IE or Firefox and organize them.
The main reason why I liked this program is that it’s so easy to get organized. It’s evident that the software has come a long way and evolved into something this good.
I’ve been using Surfulater for some 15 days and I’ve contacted them a few times for assistance and always had prompt replies. You will rarely need to contact them tough as the software comes with an extensive help file. The help file even includes what you can actually expect to come in future versions. One feature that I’ll be looking for is synchronization across PC’s.
With a price tag of $35, I don’t think that Surfulater is too expensive and I do think that it will worth every penny and then some more. Check out the difference with other similar products (like MyBase) and my general points will even be clearer.
In this age we live in, tremendous amount of information is pouring over us. On the other hand the only thing we cannot reverse, stop or buy is time. Surfulater will save you lots and lots of time. Catch my point?