KIT and Yojimbo

I wouldn’t normally compare one of my apps to one of its competitors on this blog, but I am frequently asked what differentiates Keep It Together from Yojimbo.

Superficially the two apps appear to be very similar: both allow you to store and preview documents, web archives and bookmarks, create notes, etc; both KIT’s groups and Yojimbo’s collections work more like iTunes playlists than regular folders, where a file can exist in more than one group at a time and there is no hierarchy.

However, Yojimbo has special formats for things like passwords and serial numbers while KIT will work with any kind of file including images, movies and even formats it can’t preview. KIT keeps all the originals as files on disk (or uses aliases to link to existing files), Yojimbo keeps everything in a database. Some people prefer one approach to the other, so that’s cool.

In a nutshell, KIT is more about files, whereas Yojimbo is more about data. At times, the feature sets of the two collide, but that could apply to any number of applications in this genre. I’m actually very happy about Yojimbo because when I released KIT back in 2004 it offered a fresh approach that not everyone seemed to understand. That changed after the release of Yojimbo and interest in KIT renewed, so it’s certainly done me some favours there.

In the future you can expect to see KIT further differentiate itself for Yojimbo. I have some very exciting plans for the app, some of which will be seen sooner rather than later.

12 Responses to “KIT and Yojimbo”

  1. Alan Schmitt Says:

    I find this post very interesting as I recently switched from Yojimbo to KIT (seizing the MacZot offer). What I really like it KIT is the storage format that makes things simpler to backup, and I don’t have to rely on .Mac or nice substitutes (like MySync) to synchronize data. What made me switch was a (negative) answer from support when I asked for AppleScript support to get data out of Yojimbo (I was told that this feature wasn’t likely to be added for some time).

    I don’t really miss the serial number or password features: I now keep all my serials in a KITnote and all my passwords in an encrypted VoodooPad, which is quite nice. There are a couple rough edges to KIT, and a couple small features I’m missing (I’m getting a list ready to send in a few days), but for the moment I really like the experience (with a KIT database of about 400 items).

  2. Steve Harris Says:

    Alan, I’m glad you like it and your feedback is welcome. 🙂

  3. TommyW Says:

    That clarifies a question I had.

    I recently got KIT (the MacZot offer again) and I thought it would be good for my kid entering College. I find that I will probably be the one who uses it however :0)

    The storage format, ie the original files, means that KIT has an ability to fill in Finder shortcomings. I am thinking of using it for general information I store which don’t necessarily fit into existing work folders or for which Finder subdivisions would be overkill. I need to be able to dump stuff and not worry, I’ll find them later. KIT seems good for that.

    If you added Mori’s outlining ability… ooh….

    The only other issue I have is the notes feature. I can add notes to OOP and Mori via Quicksilver actions. Which is quick and handy… do you have any Applescripts or is KIT Applescript-able?

  4. Steve Harris Says:

    Thanks, Tommy. KIT isn’t scriptable and doesn’t really work with Quicksilver right now, but will.

  5. TommyW Says:

    Well, that’s really good to hear. QS has become important to me (and a few others…)

    I am finding KIT more and more useful. I have set up workflows in my PDF print options and other apps (such as Flysketch) who permit it.

    On the PDF front… any chance searches could include an option to search text within files, is that possible?

    One way you can differentiate from Yojimbo…is by having regular updates… I own a few of their products and they just don’t update all that often…

  6. Steve Harris Says:

    Thanks, Tommy. KIT should already search within PDF files, in fact any file Spotlight can search – you just choose Contents or All Contents from the menu in the search field.

  7. TommyW Says:

    Thanks, I had it set at Titles…

  8. Terry Findlay Says:

    If KIT had subfolders (groups) I would buy it in a minute. I like it’s file orientation over Yojimbo’s data emphasis because it allows any file type to be included.

  9. Halt es zusammen – nimm K.I.T « Die Kritiker Says:

    […] UpDate Eben erst gesehen: Im K.I.T Blog werden die konstruktiven Unterschiede zwischen K.I.T und Yojimbo schön und verständlich dargestellt: However, Yojimbo has special formats for things like passwords and serial numbers while KIT will work with any kind of file including images, movies and even formats it can’t preview. KIT keeps all the originals as files on disk (or uses aliases to link to existing files), Yojimbo keeps everything in a database. […]

  10. A Wannabe KIT User Says:

    I know I’m adding to an old thread… but wanted to add yet another Yojimbo reaction / KIT feature request. I started med school this fall and have a slew of documents to manage in a variety of formats. So I tested several different doc management/notebook apps back in August. In the end I really liked Yojimbo’s clean interface, but it had 3 major showstoppers:

    1. I needed to be able to manage *all* my files together (presentations, outlines, etc.), and not just the ones Yojimbo supported.

    2. The monolithic database approach made me very nervous about losing data due to corruption.

    3. I needed hierarchical groups to have any chance of organizing docs that pertain to one term / class / exam block.

    I hadn’t run into KIT back then, so in the end I just gave up and wrote my own filesystem-based Yojimba clone with nested groups (did I mention I used to be a programmer?). It’s crude and still doesn’t totally support drag-n-drop, but it’s gotten me through fall term.

    So why am I telling you this? Because KIT elegantly solves 2 out of 3 issues I had with Yojimbo, and I’d LOVE to dump my homespun solution and use KIT instead. Unfortunately, I also just can’t work without nested groups. The throw-it-all-together and search-to-find-it-later approach works great for a lot of things, but you still need to know what you’re looking for, and when I sit down to study for an anatomy exam I need to see at a glance all my course materials that pertain to just anatomy for one specific exam block. No combination of flat groups/search/categories works as efficiently as nested groups for that.

    So you’ve already solved 2 of Yojimbo’s shortcomings… how about a perfect hat trick?

    p.s. your FAQ says that “KIT’s groups don’t work like folders but more like iTunes playlists.” But you know that iTunes already caved and now allows nested playlists? 😉

    p.p.s. You might want to consider ways to target educational users since KIT is a perfect app for students managing resources (with nested groups of course :-). I have 83 classmates in the same situation I’m in.

  11. nic Says:

    id like to have tags options for files…
    and subfolders are great idea…

  12. sjk Says:

    In addition to traditional nested groups I’d like to suggest nested smart groups that include conditions of parent groups, similar to what Journler supports. One benefit of that nesting is the ability to create a boolean-style matching that’s not always possible with only the single All or Any operator for each individual smart group. And temporarily rearranging nestings can be a useful filtering mechanism.