Zootool: When You Want To Corral Your Web

More content means more overwhelm. It really is true. Sometimes you are surfing aimlessly and see something you want to save for later. Sometimes you are engaged in pointed search and you see something off topic that you know you need in another matter. Or sometimes, you are researching and need to snip and collect the efforts for later assimilation and aggregation.

Delicious and Diigo are the main players in the social bookmarking realm. Evernote and OneNote are competitive products in the notetaking / notebooking realm (OneNote is an off-line tool, while Evernote is everywhere).  Zotero is the academic option, offering full citation and archival benefits.

If you are a visual learner, you might want to try out Zootool (link here). Unlike FFFFound, which is limited to web images, Zootool will allow you to snip and save pretty much everything but audio.

It offers a function similar to Delicious or Diigo, but with visual rather than pure text entries. You can organize content in packs (instead of folders or, as in Evernote, notebooks). The original URL is saved, and you can edit the identifying information and tag your content accordingly. There is URL shortening, and the ability to share with social networks (such as Twitter, Delicious and Friendfeed), and quick-blogging sites like Tumblr. There is a social aspect to the site, in that you can follow others and publish links to your other on-line outposts.

The result is your “zoo” – a series of visual “files”, with tags and links, organized by type accessed by tabs marked “all”, “images”, “videos”, “documents”, and “pages.”  If you click on the image, you can either download the doc, navigate to the page or pull the image or vid. You can further organize and identify your content in packs, titling the packs accordingly. The interface is easy and intuitive.

Zootool upports more than 30 video plattforms, Slideshare and Scribd Documents and employs a special reader for Wikipedia-articles and RSS feeds. Zootool can also accompany you on the got with a mobile version for the iPhone.

With any archiving, bookmarking service, one has to be concerned with backing up the informatinon. Zootool is web-only. I haven’t yet determined the best way to create a redundant system to protect against loss of saved snips, other than possibly saving everything over to Delicious.

Furthermore, with its visual bent, Zootool does appear to be aiming for artistic types or those primarily interested in images. Nonetheless, as a visual person, I find Zootool’s interface far easier to scan than Delicious. It could definitely serve a purpose, particularly with respect to combining your docs, video and image snips all in one place.

I have to chuckle, though, at the logo. Color scheme is similar to Evernote but, in place of an elephant, insert a rhinoceros.

Hat tip to John Hicks at The Hickensian.


6 comments on “Zootool: When You Want To Corral Your Web

  1. Another alternative to the services you mentioned is Springpad (http://springpadit.com). Not only does it enable easy rich text note-taking and bookmarking, it also makes it quick and easy to save things you typically find interesting…like restaurants, products, recipes, wines etc.

    Springpad is database driven. So, not only do we detect and structure the core data of what you’re capturing (recipe ingredients, restaurant address, product specs, business contact info, movie particulars, etc.), we also automatically organize it for you. And, we enhance what you’ve captured by integrating with popular web services to help you out when you’re ready to take action (links to Open Table for reservations, price comparison for products, local listings and showtimes for movies, etc.)

    (Disclosure – I’m a Springpad co-founder)

  2. Thanks Jeff! I will check it out. I am interested in the service-prompted organization feature and whether it would jibe with my own sense of organization. Nice to have a “next step” tool, which takes the note process out of archiving and into action.



  3. Thanks for checking our @springpad – please let us know what you think.

    Also, fyi on March 8, we're launching many improvements and upgrades to Springpad, including an iPhone app and a significantly enhanced bookmarklet to facilitate data detection and enhancement of what people are saving.

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