Zengobi Curio - Should I purchase it?

I use Curio extensively to develop lecture notes, manage projects, and brainstorm. I highly recommend it for applications that require being able to create a visual layout of ideas.

You may be interested to learn that Curio 14 includes an automatic, built-in journaling option.

As noted, Curio is (and will likely always be) a macOS-only app.



That has been my stumbling block too.

OneNote isn’t so constrained, but doesn’t integrate with DEVONthink and, the last time I looked at it, the iPad version was limited to storing files on the Microsoft cloud offering which I am not keen to use.

One partial workaround is having Curio export a project as a pdf file upon exit (or as needed). This would at least give access to static information on an iPad while away from macOS.

If one lives inside their Mac and only inside it then Curio could be a must-have app. It’s uniquely featured and has been well-supported for close to two decades. But for anyone who needs to manage their info on any other platform - iOS, Android, Windows, Chrome or even a browser - it’s a no-go and Zengobi has seen the writing on the wall for a long time and ignored it. A read-only PDF really doesn’t fly for most uses when it comes to an app designed for mind maps, lists, tables, index cards, albums, and pinboards that have tags, flags, checkboxes, priorities, ratings, and start/due dates and durations. And if you fully use Curio you’d have to first choose specific types of datasets to manually export to PDF… and then hope those contain the read-only data you’d end up needing while away from the Mac. The hackiest of hacks.

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Is there a way to sync between 2 Macs?? Ive just started to delve into Curio for my course planning. Seems like a great tool so far for that. I agree that having a better mobile friendly solution would be great. But I MAY be ok having it as a workspace I use only when in course planning mode and only at my Mac… but I’d like for it to sync between 2 Macs at least.

I’ve just downloaded the Curio 14 trial and I am an existing DevonThink 3 user. DT3 is used mainly as my repository for PDF assets relating to my work.

I can see that I can search for documents in the Shelf > Library > Local and by selecting Kind=DevonThink, but if I drag a result onto a Space it just creates a link to the asset, unlike finding a PDF stored locally (outside DT3) that can be dropped onto an Idea Space.

Is that the extent of the DT3 integration or am I missing something?

Thank you.

See the Syncing Service tips on:


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The DT3 integration is described here:

And indeed, Curio leaves the file in DT3, so that in Curio only a reference is used.

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Zengobi has opened acknowledged the clear limitations of being a one-man development operation.

The limitations not-withstanding and with forethought in mind, some folks do use the export methods to good advantage on other platforms.

I’ve edited to give a better sense of both the limitations and the positives. I might suggest that anything else is a matter of personal opinion and could be flagged as such.



To your post specifically but also to others in general, I encourage that you ask support questions directly on the Zengobi support forums. The forum is a treasure in its own right for the depth and promptness of the replies.


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I’ve been a Zengobi Curio fan for many years now, using it for developing lecture notes and presentations, general brainstorming on topics, and even presentation creation – and I’ve hardly scratched the surface of what it can do in any particular version.

Thursday I used it to organize our school district’s “how to close out the year safely” plan and share it in a hyperlinked PDF with stakeholders.

A few weeks ago I used it for holding research notes for a used car purchase, from comparison of models, to local availability, to pricing and negotiation aspects.

Next week I’m using it to visually plot out the hardware deployment and replacement plan across the next seven years in school district.

Though it is limited to Mac’s, I find it a key software I know I underutilize even though I use it regularly. Further, the developer, George, is extremely responsive to issues/questions. From my perspective, Curio is the model for what a well-done one-man operation can achieve in a sustained manner.


I gave credit where credit was due. It’s not “going off the rails” to point out that it’s a Mac-only solution that is less and less useful for people who access and edit their info away from their Macs, that Zengobi has no interest or plans in accommodating those needs, or that manually creating PDFs and syncing them after changes is a poor hack. Dismissing my comments, which rightfully praised Curio as a Mac-only app, as a “rant” is insulting and silly.

I’ve modified.

Since you now have re-introduced the “rant”, I note that I was agreeing (respectfully) with the core truths in your introduction but otherwise stating that statements such as “has seen the writing on the wall for a long time and has ignored it” and “hackiest of hacks” border on rants and, in their own right, might be flagged as such.


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The idea that one could use Curio off-Mac by manually selecting lists/files etc and outputting pdfs each time in order to carry them around with you, without being able to edit or sync back changes, indeed a pretty hacky hack, and not one most people would ever choose to do.

As for Zengobi’s refusal to offer non-masOS connectivity, it’s fair to say they’ve been aware of user requests for well over a decade and have made their stand and intentions clear, despite asking for feedback going back a decade.

I feel comfortable giving my opinions where I please. As I’ve noted, Zengobi has heard from users and potential users about this for many years already and made clear their disregard.

You realize that reply was to chrisa, right?


I try not to chime in on these MPU forum discussions but thought I could clarify something. This topic comes up fairly often in Zengobi’s forums (and in emails), so forgive me if you’ve heard all of this before.

To be perfectly clear, I would love to bring Curio to iOS. I love my iPad and iPhone so, believe me, I’d love to have my own product on these devices as well. There is no selfish refusal to carry this out. Simply put, it’s an expensive proposition requiring additional hire(s), substantial time before first release thus a long period before revenues start coming in, substantial delays in the macOS product, and working with a tricky and competitive pricing market for “notebook apps”. While I don’t currently have the resources to do this kind of task, I would truly, sincerely, absolutely love to do this one day and am hopeful that it will be possible. It’s a fair criticism of Curio’s offerings but I wanted you to know there is no callous disregard of customer requests.

If you’d like to discuss this further, I hope we can continue this in Zengobi’s forums, just so we don’t lose the productivity focus of these wonderful MPU forums. Thanks for listening.


One other bit of integration was mentioned in this topic:

Thanks to feedback from that customer, Curio 14 tidies up cross-reference links into DEVONthink.

So I jumped on the Curio bandwagon. So it seems that they have two models one buying directly from them and the other on a subscription plan from the Mac App store so very little cost to give it a try out

I’ve been tempted for about a year. Though, without really knowing the app well, I realized that what I thought I was going to buy it for was easily accomplished using Keynote or Trello. And I had to hustle to get things ready for the semester, so I bailed on the free trial.

I’m sure it is really powerful once you really get immersed in it. Would love to hear about it if you take the plunge.

I’m still in the early days of the trial and liking it so far.

My use case is to hold all types of files and information relating to a work project that I am currently working on. This could be XLS spreadsheets, PDFs, emails (printed to PDF), notes, images, and then some Curio items such as stacks and lists.

I find it helpful to have all this information in one place whilst I am working on it. It is quite visual too which is nice.

I expect that once the project is complete that I will export the project to DEVONThink for long term storage and reference in the future.

So it sort of sits between OmniFocus (actual tasks) and DEVONThink (reference material or archive).

I could just use a folder in Finder but I always end up with extra/superfluous files and stuff in different locations.

So it’s only active projects that make their way into Curio (I.e. there will be a corresponding project and task list in OmniFocus).

At this stage I think I will be buying (or subscribing).