Boswell 4.0.1
Your rating: Now say why...

(3) 3.25

Organize text, Web clippings, and more.   Demo ($99.95)
Add to my Watch List
Email me when discounted
Boswell flexibly archives, organizes, and retrieves any text you give it: original writings, e-mail, Web clippings, research, notes, whatever. When they are Boswellized, they can be grouped, sorted, and searched in very powerful ways. Boswell is like hiring a professional librarian to manage a huge archive of all the text in your life, but one that works with all the efficiency of your Mac.
What's New
Version 4.0.1 is Mac OS X 10.4 compatible.
PPC, PowerPC, Mac OS 8.6 or later, CarbonLib.

  • EagleFiler

  • Tinderbox

  • DEVONthink Pro

  • Together

  • Yojimbo

  • SOHO Notes
Boswell User Discussion (Write a Review)
ver. 4.x:
Your rating: Now say why...

sort: smiles | time


Dejmac reviewed on 17 Jul 2012
Dear old Boswell. You are probably Grandpa of all text organizers in 21st century. Developers have learned from you, they have created newer and newer organizers, thanks to your experience. But you have never changed while you were aging. Newer are younger, nicer, stronger, faster, more reliable.
Stay well. We will not bother your peace. You have deserved it.
PS: Please, be aware that nobody will pay the price so high that it reaches the sky. You are not old wine, you are just an very very old app.
[Version 4.0.1]


Andhar commented on 02 Aug 2011
One should be aware of the fact that Boswell uses Rosetta - which is not supported under Lion. So if you have already upgraded, don't buy Boswell!
[Version 4.0.1]


Zx81 commented on 16 Jan 2011
Has not disappeared. I just sent a message and got a quick reply.
I discovered this app a short while ago and downloaded the demo. The concept is great and suits me fine, but is it possible to buy an app that has not evolved since 2005?
I just feel like when I discover -and like- a music group the day it disbands (and it happened to me quite a few times...)
[Version 4.0.1]


AndHar commented on 11 Sep 2009
Well, obviously you were wrong. Boswell has not evolved in any way. A beta version was given to interested customers, but even that one hasn't changed since 2006. Looks dead.
[Version 4.0.1]

1 Reply


Amberv replied on 25 Jun 2010
Yes, a pity it does seem to have disappeared. Not for lack of trying though.

I still use it however. For a long while it was nearly unusable, thanks to a bad Apple bug in Rosetta, but recently Apple has fixed their problem and it works just fine. I'll use it until it falls apart, frankly, and then when it falls apart I'll write my own alternative. Nothing else on the market does what Boswell does, dead or alive.

Anonymous reviewed on 02 Aug 2005
Date: 05193.550
Source: Digital

This entry was slated to contain material written in my journals. However, the journal in question was lost.

[-PDS-2.5.1-] Initiating PDS in this archive
Years after the initial concept was hatched, I have begun the final preparations for applying a Personal Decimal System to an archive - specifically this archive - in the hopes that it will make locating things in the future a less painful process.
I have decided to store the PDS description file as an TAO file in The Archive folder. This way, it can evolve as need be. However, once I start archiving (actually, now that I think about it, I have already archived one: An e-mail to Allison), the numbers must remain static. Changes can only be to the aesthetics of the label, and additional tags, beneath the current levels.

[-PDS-2.6.4-] Comment on Boswell to MacUpdate
A truly unique application. Once I got over the hurdle of realising that it is an archive, and not strictly a "notebook application" (although it has the capability to be one, in a limited capacity), it is much more appealing. Being unable to delete or modify old entries is only natural for an archive. If you wish to make a change, you do it just as in a library, you make a photocopy of the document, make your changes, and if they are good you submit them. Then both versions are available, forever.
Another thing I like about Boswell is that, not being a "Notebook Application", archives do not necessarily have to be filed at all. They can merely exist in The Archive. "Notebooks" as it calls them, are merely more like persistent queries against The Archive, with a built-in manual over-ride, allowing the user to selectively add or remove entries from the query. Unfiled notes can still be queried by the user (with great precision), or dropped to ignore status where they will all but be deleted. They will always exist, but be effectively invisible. It's the Trash that never needs emptying -- and how many times have you emptied the Trash and then said, "Whoops." More importantly, how many times have you looked for an ancient document, only to realise a day later that you had deleted it in a fit of "house-keeping" that felt relevant at the time, but in retrospect was narrow minded.
So, it is a feature, a big feature. It feels unwieldy in a digital world where we have grown accustomed to everything being volatile and malleable. Without even realising it, your work habits reflect the dangers of living in such a system, where a few stupid moves can destroy years of work. Boswell is a place for things to go when they have finished their cycle of change, as all documents eventually do. And for those that do not, it is an excellent system for periodic versioning.
Keep your Boswell library backed up, and you will never have to fear the above scenario of desperately looking around for something that you once thought was worthless, and now no longer do.
Since using Boswell, I have come to realise just how much data I have floating around in diverse formats, years even decades old. It will be an overwhelming task to get it all sorted and archived, but I am eager to do so. It will be a godsend to have a life's work of everything I have written and documented, all in one central repository where forgetting things does not mean losing them.
There are a few things quirky with the interface that I shall address. First, this is one of those applications that firmly supports the disappearing OS 9 user base. I have no idea how large that user base is, or how long it will be before it is gone entirely. But there are some limitations to how it does things due to this regard of supporting both platforms. Styling is the rudimentary set of tools you would find in SimpleText, for example. File names, and thus entry titles, are limited to 31 characters. Interface design definitely adheres to the Old Mac philosophy of placing function before form. I have no problem with that. Frankly, I cannot wait until Apple and the majority of developers these days get over their gushing over-use of pretty widgets and get back to business -- but that is just me.
On the other hand, I cannot wait until these lagging OS 9 users get upgraded, and developers can concentrate on the new OS, and fully take advantage of the last half-decade of functional progress. I gave the application of four out of five for features on these grounds. There isn't much the development team can do about that, unless they wish to become one of these development houses that only supports one platform, and sometimes only one /version/ of that platform.
Overall, this is one of those applications that has a concept which supersedes its few limitations. This is especially so, given the exemplary support given by the developers. Part of what you pay for with this application is the knowledge the the developers are fully on your side, and will help you out with your issues to the best of their ability. I have no doubt Boswell will evolve over the years to better take advantage of the raw data I have stored within its format.
[Version 4.0]

1 Reply


AmberV replied on 15 Aug 2005
Sorry about the over-spill on that comment. Only the last, larger, section is relevant. Oh well, it is a humorous statement on immutability! That is what I meant, yes.

Anonymous reviewed on 02 Dec 2004
I upgraded to Boswell 4.0, and find that it's a much better program. I've always liked the idea of having my text files readily available. But, this version of Boswell has a search engine that is more useful to me.

Their tech support is great. I had a problem opening my old Boswell Library from version 3.1.2. Will gave me a call, and walked me through the process of saving my old Library. This kind of support is appreciated, and unexpected. I give them a five star rating. If you work in text files a lot, give Boswell a try.

Just for the record, I am not affiliated with Boswell in any way.
[Version 4.0]

There are currently no troubleshooting comments. If you are experiencing a problem with this app, please post a comment.

There are currently no ratings. Write a comment or review now.

Version Downloads:2,826
Type:Business : Word Processing
Date:15 Aug 2005
Platform:PPC 32 / OS X / OS Classic
Price: $99.95
Overall (Version 4.x):
Ease of Use:
Displaying 1-6 of 6
Please login or create a new
MacUpdate Member account
to use this feature
Watch Lists are available to
MacUpdate Desktop Members
Upgrade Now
Install with MacUpdate Desktop.
Save time moving files & cleaning
up space wasting archives.
Boswell flexibly archives, organizes, and retrieves any text you give it: original writings, e-mail, Web clippings, research, notes, whatever. When they are Boswellized, they can be grouped, sorted, and searched in very powerful ways. Boswell is like hiring a professional librarian to manage a huge archive of all the text in your life, but one that works with all the efficiency of your Mac.

- -