Managing Lists In Springpad

I am a vocal supporter of Evernote, which is the main application that I use for storing the majority of my information. If you aren’t familiar with Evernote, think of it as one great big box in which you put things that are easily retrieved. The main reason why I like Evernote so much is that the data is securely stored on the Internet and accessible from all of the devices I use, from anywhere I can get a connection to the Internet.

While I like Evernote a lot, it is not perfect. I wish it provided more ways to structure and relate information. Evernote separates information into separate notebooks, and you can build relationships between items with tags and find them using saved searches. Another weakness of Evernote is that it is not great for creating and maintaining lists. Evernote does have checkboxes that can be added to any note, and I can now even see and check-off those checkboxes on mobile devices, but I can’t create checkboxes on mobile devices.

I am finding myself using Springpad more and more for list management. Like Evernote, Springpad stores your data on the Internet, and there are iOS and Android Springpad apps, along with a very robust web app. The best way to compare Evernote and Springpad is by looking at how the two support importing bookmarks from Delicious.com.

Recently, Yahoo announced they were either closing or selling a number of their Internet services, one of which is the bookmarking site, Delicious.com. I’ve been using Delicious to store bookmarks to web pages for several years, so when I heard they might be closed down I began to investigate ways to get my information out of Delicious and stored somewhere else.

Evernote posted instructions for exporting bookmarks out of Delicious and storing them in Evernote. Exporting out of Delicious creates an HTML file containing all of the bookmarks. Importing them in Evernote creates one note in which all of the bookmarks are stored. Delicious tags are simply stored in the note rather than being converted into a tag in Evernote, so you can’t use the Delicious tags to filter information.

Springpad imports the bookmarks in the HTML file as individual items, stored in a new notebook called delicious. The Delcious tags are incorporated into the Springpad tags in the notebook, which means that you can use them to filter. In short, Springpad treats the information the imported information the same way as Delicious.

There is one very big caveat about Springpad, it does not provide the ability to export information. If Springpad, which is also a free service, were to close, there presently is not a way to get information out. The big lesson we learned from Yahoo’s announcements is that it is important to be able to retrieve your information from free Internet services should they close. For now, I don’t intend on storing information in Springpad that I can’t afford to lose. Still, I think Springpad is a very useful for managing lists and if you find yourself looking for a list management app, I recommend that you try it.