Has been a while since I last do a software review, and unlike before, I don’t have much time venturing the wild jungle of niche titles. This time I will write about a tool that has been part of my arsenal for a year or so and totally indispensable. Seriously, I feel lost without it, and I miss it if I have to work on other laptops.

Introducing Clipcube, a clipboard extender. Before we take a look at Clipcube, let’s talk about clipboard extender first. Ever accidentally cut a text and cut/copied another text afterwards so the first text is lost? Document crashing on you before you have any chance to save? Pasting a same set of text over and over? A clipboard extender is a godsent to anyone working with large amount of text and the use case is extremely large. It will retain everything you copy to use again later, automatically. Some clipboard extender like Ditto will work for other copyable files as well.

Why Clipcube?

Well, Clipcube is not only a clipboard extender, but also doubles as a notebook. It’s not intended to be a heavy-duty notebook like Evernote or other PIM-scaled softwares, but it works in the sense of keeping scraps and tidbits of informations manageable alongside your ‘clips’.  Double clicking any note will copy it to the clipboard. I find this very useful.

As a clipboard extender it will save up to 6000 set of texts, allows you to access the recent ones on a pinnable floating window for quick paste, edit clips, sort clips into tags, search for clips, basically robust enough for my daily use while not stuffed to the brim with options. It’s one of those ‘set it and forget it’ little utility. I just have to activate the ‘on startup’ option.

links group

links group

One of my favorite is the feature to automatically group links in a tag for easier retrieval, and double clicking on link will open it in your default browser. On a lesser importance, it has minimalistic interface that is also aesthetically pleasing enough to me.

Clipcube weighs only about 1.5 MB and it’s portable, meaning you can place it on Dropbox and have access to your clips wherever you go. While not in use, it will sit in the system tray, gleefully and silently collecting anything everytime CTRL+C is pressed.

real-time search

real-time search

pinnable floating window

pinnable floating window

I mainly use this for three activities:

1. Maintaining reading and link lists

I’m not usually online, and sometime I have more links than I can read in a night. With this, I can spam CTRL+C on any links that catch my interest and check it later. I don’t really need fancy app like Pocket between this and Scrapbook Firefox extension because I don’t have any other gadget. Other links I gather I will sort into several tags, for example links I need for class projects in a tag, wishlist in a tag, links for writing references bunched with relevant notes in another tag,  as you can see in the screenshot. This is the way I compile my Link Sunday selections. In the olden days I use the reliable plaintext, but with large amount of information it ends up rather unwieldy.

2. Managing clips

I spam CTRL+S like crazy because I know how hard it is to lose an important file. But forms and sites don’t always have this capability. This is where a clipboard manager can be handy. My internet connection isn’t stable so every time I have to submit forms and such, I will copy the entire chunk of text before clicking next. This has saved me from typing an entire paragraph many times. Oh, and rather than saving multiple versions of an ongoing writing project, I copy the entire works to compare later before I make radical changes. Aside of this strange backup plan, the ability to save everything you copy opens up many possibilities. In my browsing adventure, I will copy everything I deem interesting to sort later. See that I have ‘quote’ tag?

3. Managing short notes

Big notebook softwares don’t work too well with short notes like ‘do X later’. Sometime I also want it together with certain links. This place doubles as a backburner for my writings, like rough draft of a poem or story ideas. These notes are easily copyable when I want to work on them in better place (like actual word processor) in later stages.

If you don’t like Clipcube or need more bells and whistles, try Ethervane Echo. If you need clipboard extender that works with any kind of file you copy, try Ditto. Bottom line? I think everyone needs a clipboard extender. If you don’t think you need one, you simply don’t know what you’ve missed.

Once you get one you like, you’ll wonder how you’ve managed so far without it.

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