We all know how to use our browser's bookmarks to keep track of our favorite sites and online searches. Some of us are even diligent enough to organize those favorites into folders instead of having a list that stretches beyond our monitor's boundaries. But that still doesn't make the information that accessible or easier to share with others.
Enter Onfolio, one of a new class of productivity tools called Search Information Managers. Onfolio integrates with Internet Explorer (or works as a stand-alone product with other browsers or applications) to make it easier for users to store, reorganize, and share information.
"We've basically built a desktop productivity tool that does three things," says Adam Berrey, president of Onfolio. "It helps you collect information, helps you organize the information that you have, and helps you share that information with people that you work with."
Onfolio has two different products: a $29.95 Standard Edition and a $79.95 Professional Edition. The Professional Edition includes Onfolio Publisher for producing reports of your data and allowing you to publish it to the Web.
Onfolio offers a free, full-featured 30-day trial version that I took for a test run. Once I downloaded and installed it, Onfolio occupied about one-fifth of my browser window. It featured an upper pane housing the Onfolio folders (called collections) and a lower pane displaying the contents of the highlighted folder.
I found it easy to drag and drop Web sites into the panes. Onfolio either stores them there as links or it downloads the entire page. And it doesn't need to store a whole page: You can grab just a paragraph by simply highlighting the text and then clicking the toolbar's Capture button. Onfolio saves the text as a snippet--with or without formatting.
Similarly, you can drag images, PDF files, and other objects into an existing or a new Onfolio collection. Onfolio also lets you import your current favorites and incorporate them into a collection.
Shares With Others
Sharing information with other users is accomplished via e-mail or the Web. You can, of course, mail information as an attachment or a link, or send the entire collection to another Onfolio user.
But Onfolio also has a unique way of disseminating data to users who don't have the software. The data can be shared as a multipart HTML file (MHT) called a report: a neat list of links, images, and text that any Internet Explorer user can open. The Professional version of the software also lets you edit these reports and upload them to a Web site. While it won't replace your more powerful HTML editor, it's an easy-to-use way to quickly upload data that can be shared with anyone.
While the average user may not find the program worth the money, users who research and share data of any kind will see Onfolio's advantages. It's definitely worth checking out the free trial to see if this new tool meets your searching and organizing needs.