Catch: The Online Notekeeping System for the Non-Organized

3/29/11Follow @xconomy

Steve Brown, co-founder and CEO of Catch.com, a cloud-based personal content management system, says he’s the only dad at his daughter’s end of the season pizza party who remembers every single soccer game. And he can pull out the notes and pictures to prove it.

During the season, Brown uses his phone to snap pictures, take notes, and tag content with places and dates. He lets Catch organize all the information for him. That way, at the end of the season, it’s no problem for him to review all the penalty kicks and game-winning goals.

“Every other season, like every other parent, I’d forgotten everything,” he says. “Having that handy and being able to bring that all back is super powerful.”

Catch is a digital content management system that uses mobile apps and a Web platform to help users organize personal information. Conceptually, it works like a digital version of an old-school spiral notebook or a journal, Brown says. It’s a place for users to record their thoughts, file their photos, update their calendars, store recipe ideas and make grocery lists. But instead of storing information in a linear way—like alphabetical files in a filing cabinet—Catch organizes its information more like the human brain, Brown asserts.

“In the brain, there is no notebook,” Brown says. “There is a growing map of linked information.” Ever find your keys by retracing your steps? With Catch, you can arrange your data alphabetically, or based on where you were at the time you tagged it, the date, the time, font size, key words and more. Can’t remember where you took a certain photo? You can filter your saved photos on Catch based on where you were when you took them. And you can do it on the go through your Android phone, your iPad or iPhone, or online.

The company started in late 2008 with two guys in an apartment—Brown and co-founder and CTO Andreas Schobel—trying to figure out a way to “use smart phone technology to be smarter,” Brown says. As they developed the idea for their personal content management system, they realized that it was really modeled on the way the human brain organizes information, and originally named the company Snaptic because of the similarities to brain function (it’s a reference to synapses). But eventually, they decided the name was “too academic,” and renamed the company Catch, because capturing information was “the fundamental starting point,” Brown says. Now, the name of the company, the site, the platform, and the button that you press on your screen are all Catch.

Catch is free for personal users, but the company also just announced a product called Catch Pro, which gives users a larger monthly upload limit (1 gigabyte vs. 70 megabytes), and allows them to attach Word documents and PDFs to Catch notes. A subscription costs $5 per month or $45 per year—the same as Evernote, the online notekeeping service that is currently the leading player in Catch’s market. Catch’s premium service is new enough that … Next Page »

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