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Yep: iPhoto for your PDF’s

by Philip Sellers

I’m trying to go paperless at home… well, not really.  I’m really trying to make sure some important documents don’t get destroyed if we ever had a fire or other disaster at home.  I don’t know why, but that sort of things concerns me now.  Maybe it was Hurricane Katrina and memories of Hurricane Hugo blowing over my house years ago, but I digress.  What I’ve found is a great little Mac app that does the trick for my document archive – its call Yep.  Its billed at iPhoto for your PDF’s and that’s a pretty accurate billing.  Its a great library application for your PDF files, wherever they happen to lie on your filesystem.  

My wife and I went into Circuit City yesterday to purchase a new printer.  We found and purchased an Officejet with an attached document feeder for the scanner.  So, yesterday afternoon, I got it all setup and running at home.  I started scanning some of my mortgage documents and trying to store them.  Some quick Google searches later, I’d found how to create searchable PDF’s in Adobe Acrobat Pro, and I was very happy with my results.  I finally had a pretty good solution.   Between Spotlight and my folder structure, things looked pretty good.  Documents were fairly easy to find.  But it wasn’t perfect.  

A few Google searches later, I was demoing DevonThink, which is a great product.  Unfortunately, the Pro version is very pricey and the scan features are currently disabled in this current release, although the very kind error message said they’re working to get that back quickly.  I really liked the software and its very full features, maybe a little too much so for what I was looking for, so the search continued.  

A MacRumors forum post then pointed me to a little app called Yep.  I downloaded and I’ve been demoing it overnight.  Color me impressed.  

This little app is wonderful at what it does – it finds and categories your PDF files.  You can limit it to your home directory, the whole computer, or just your documents folder.  I opted for the latter, since that’s where all my relevant PDF files are at.  

Yep lets you add tags to your PDF files to for quick search.  Much like a blog, you have a tag cloud that shows you which tags are most used in your PDF collection.  You can organize the PDF’s into logical collections of PDF files, too.  The PDF’s all stay in their original file system location (no duplication here) and renaming or updating them has no effect to their record in Yep.  

Yep lets you do a full preview (even full screen view) of your PDF document.  You can open it with your preferred “normal” PDF viewer/editor if you would like to perform touch-ups.  You are able to view documents in your Finder filesystem locations in one view and by collection with just a simple click.  

The downside to all this is its PDF only…  So it won’t be tracking your original documents in Word, iWork or OpenOffice.  But that was kinda my point.  I wasn’t looking for something to track everything (that’s call the filesystem).  I was looking for a nice program to help archive my documents and keep it all straight.  

If something catastrophic were to happen, I need help finding my key documents and getting that information to put things back on the road, and I think this app can do that.  There are some things left to do for me – like finding and backing up its database of tags (or does it attach them to the PDF file??).  All in all, I think I’ve found the perfect solution to my document archiving.

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