Monday, July 23, 2007

Software review - Surfulater

Here's my review of the software I mentioned last week:

Over the last couple of weeks I've been working with a new programme (new to me) for saving and organizing internet research. Surfulater (http://www.surfulater.com), developed by Soft As it Gets Pty Ltd in Victoria, Australia, is a superior product. It downloads and sets up quickly, is easy to use and quite versatile, allowing you to capture not only web content, but anything you select and copy to the clipboard of any Windows programme.

While it integrates with your browser of choice (IE, Firefox, and IE based browsers) it is, in fact, a stand alone application. Using a tree-like structure, it organizes your info into Folders, sub-folders and articles. You can choose between a couple of display modes, which is nice.

Some of its features include the ability to tag and cross-reference items, keep multiple copies in separate folders using cut/copy and paste, and the option to email your collection to others.

You can also import your bookmark/favourite files (though if yours are really big, like mine, it might be overwhelmed - an issue the developer is working on) and other .html files. I imported my Book Catalogue for easy reference and extra back-up.

It serves as a Personal Information Manager, with templates for Contacts and To Do lists, with the ability to create new article templates promised for the future.

The Knowledge Base comes preloaded with a few items so you can play around with it during the Free Trial Period, which is a nice feature. Once you buy ($35.00), you can create as many KBs as you like, providing even more precise organizational options. Articles can be annotated and have files attached to them. And you can use the search feature to retrieve info quickly.

What do I like most about Surfulater? Hard to pin it down to just one thing. The Knowledge Base is super easy to use, the info is presented clearly and is easy on the eyes while the support I've received has been top notch. I had a couple of questions which were answered quickly and in a friendly manner. I've been using it with Firefox, which meant downloading a small add-on, but this really isn't an issue as it's available directly through the Surfulater website. Even better, the license specifically allows for you to have two copies of the programme, meaning you can keep a back up copy on a separate computer. Backing up is easy and there are plans to provide the option to synchronize the KBs on separate computers in the near future.

The Help file is pretty comprehensive, though an Index would make it even better.

Is there anything I didn't like? The only minor thing I noticed is that when I tried to change the font on some text I clipped and copied from the web, it wouldn't allow me to. But that's a minor thing and hardly important compared to the many features and advantages this web/information utility provides.

All in all, it does what it says it will do (unless you overwhelm the poor thing with literally thousands of bookmarks, as I did *g*), integrates seamlessly and loads quickly when it opens. You will, however, need room on your hard drive to store the info, so keep that in mind.

Have any questions about it? You can visit the Surfulater blog (http://blog.surfulater.com/) and FAQ (http://www.surfulater.com/faq.html) or, if you want to know more about my personal experience with it, email me at tess66@gmail.com. A discussion forum is also available through the Surfulater web site and you can read it without registering.

Teresa

Currently Reading: The Jane Austen Book Club

2 comments:

awomansblog said...

Thanks for the info, Tess. This could free up some of my space on my hard drive (right?)!

Anyway, I was just surfing the web and blogspots and found your link and thought I'd just say hi and thank you.

I will save your link and even link it to my blog if that is okay with you.

Kelly said...

That sounds like a really neat program.

Although creating as many KBs as you like could get dangerous - just ask my Mom. She created one 40 years ago and still hasn't recovered.