objects/paperstack80.jpgMagazines have a wonderful eye appeal that can’t be matched by any medium. Add that to the wealth of information that they offer and it is easy to become addicted.

I have stacks of magazines everywhere and many contain memorable articles. The problem with magazines is that you can never seem to find the article you want. That’s where a new software program called Scanalog comes in handy.

Scanalog provides archiving and organization for all your magazine articles. The program is easy to install. Once you are up and running you will see an impressive homepage. This program was obviously developed by a magazine lover because the 12 well-designed, color-coded squares on the main screen are as attractive as a glossy magazine cover. . Eleven of these represent different categories like home decoration, gardening, home maintenance, food & wine, travel, crafts, parenting, health, career, etc. while the twelfth square holds the Scanalog logo. The program also comes with color-coded sticky tabs that match the categories. Each category has pre-named subcategories. For instance, under health & beauty you will find nutrition & diet, illness, growing older, and skin care. Over one hundred subcategories are listed and you can also add your own.

Here’s the idea. You look through a magazine and see an article that you want to save for future reference. You use one of the sticky tabs to mark that page. Later when you have the time, go to the computer and start Scanalog. Put the article in your scanner and click on Scan. Type the name of the magazine, title of the article, and the date. Then choose a category and subcategory. Add a few keywords (to be used later to help you find the article), and you are done. When you want to locate an article you simple click on the Search button and type in the name of the magazine or a keyword. You can also search for articles by looking through the categories and/or subcategories.

Scanalog is visually appealing. While you are in different categories you will see beautiful images that relate to the topic. For instance travel has two empty beach chairs on a secluded beach and fading images of travel-related items like the Eiffel tower, a tent, and a globe. Although the images are well done, on some screens the pictures are too large, making the menus look cramped into the top and bottom of the screen.

The program also uses thumbnails to help you look through and locate items. Unfortunately, these are usually too small to be recognizable. Luckily, when you hold your mouse over any thumbnail, the magazine title, article title, and date will appear.

Scanalog also includes a special section to keep a detailed list of all the books and/or catalog items that the user may want to purchase in the future. This would make it possible to document the items you want and then toss the catalog. It would also make a perfect wish list that you could present to your mate or other person who might be interested in buying you a present.

Another interesting feature is the Hopes and Dreams Journal, a diary section of the program that can be used for daily journaling.

Scanalog is undoubtedly geared to women with categories such as love and marriage and motherhood, but it could also be used by any magazine lover. While the pre-named categories and subcategories were adequate, I was left wishing that I could customize the program more by being able to rename the categories and eliminate and/or rename subcategories.

While Scanalog is easy to use, I found a few of the procedures to be unintuitive. For instance, to add a new subcategory you click on New. When you get to the next screen you must double-click on New again before you can add the category. Even so, the program can be learned quite quickly.

Scanalog is a little pricey at $59, but if you were able to find that article on how to fix the toilet, you might save that much on a plumber’s fee alone!

Manufacturer:  Scanalog
Price:  $59.95