Voodoo Pad is one of those applications that promises to get me organised. Of course, I long ago resigned myself to never actually getting organised – in fact, downloading and trying organisers like this one is my substitute for actually getting organised. My Powerbook’s hard drive is a graveyard for PIMs, contact trackers, unstructured databases, brainstorming tools, outliners and freeform doodlers – going all the way back, while I’m being honest, to Hypercard in about 1985. Each carried with it the tantalising promise of actually getting organised. None delivered.
The latest crop look like they might be going in the right direction, though (but I’ve said that before). ‘Unstructured’ seems to be the keyword these days. Simson Garfinkel’s groovy NeXT-derived SBook (if it did Bluetooth I’d dump Apple’s Address Book), Casady & Greene‘s evergreen iData Pro, the classic data shoebox for the Mac (used to be called InfoGenie for you old Macheads – and the admirable C&G just went bust, by the way), Creo’s Six Degrees (now available in an IMAP version that’ll turn your Mail.app mailboxes into a fast filing system) and now Voodoopad (all resident on my hard drive right now): they all promise to get out of my way and not try to impose any kind of nasty structure on my information.
The whole category plays to the very human desire (a real Freudian fantasy) to get a grip, be in control, impose structure on the increasingly dense and fugitive world of information and, as such, they really rely on the final impossibility of actually getting organised (it’s the entropy, stupid). So, since satisfaction is, by definition, impossible, the category has unlimited potential, and Voodoopad’s elegance and trendy Wiki structure will win it lots of Geek fans but I’m pretty sure it’s just another stop on my endlessly delayed journey towards actually getting organised. Thanks to Azeem for showing me Voodoopad (he reckons he’s actually getting organised).