I’ve been fussing around with Backpack some more lately, trying to decide if I want to switch from a free account to a paid one. I think I could get some utility out of having more than 5 available pages to play with. I’m thinking about taking some notes that I have on my old Palm, plus some stuff that I have in OneNote on my PC and/or DevonThink on my Mac, and copying it all up into Backpack. The fact that there’s still no obvious way to sync these notes to my iPod Touch is probably the only thing keeping me from doing that. I can think of some workarounds, but they’re not perfect.
I started playing with the journal feature in Backpack last night. It’s pretty cool, but as I discovered by digging through the forums, there’s a 100 item limit on what you can store in the journal. Past that, stuff just falls off into oblivion. This limit doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere. I wouldn’t have known about this if I didn’t go looking for it. That’s one of the things that’s frustrating about some of the 37 Signals stuff. They often seem to impose weird limits on things, then fail to document them. I’ve also noticed, for instance, that stuff in the journal doesn’t show up in search results, if you use the search box on the main page.
This stuff makes the Journal a good bit less useful than it could be. I was thinking about using the Journal as a kind of log for some key activities that I might want to come back to later, and see when I started them, when I completed them, or when I last did a certain thing. With the 100-item limit, I’m really not going to be able to use the Journal that way, except for short-term stuff. I had been thinking it might be cool to create a Journal entry every time I had work done on the car, for instance. Then, I could get a full service history on my car by just searching on “car” in the Journal. I can still do that, of course, but the history won’t go back that far, depending on how much other stuff I use the Journal for. I guess I could copy and paste old stuff from the Journal into a regular Backpack page once in a while, but that seems like a kludge.