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  1. #1
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?

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    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    Hi,

    I find myself a bit overwhelmed by all the locations on my computer + iCloud Drive, not to mention Desktops, Documents, and copies of desktops and documents that I have put on USB sticks to take them on trips (in case I was unable to access iCloud)... long story short, there is a tangle of locations and I no longer know what is where.

    The way files and folders are displayed in Finder is OK but I do not find it conducive to getting an overview that would allow me to move the files to better locations.

    Anyone have a suggestion for either a better way to do this using built-in software or a third-party app?

    I'm running Mojave on my new 2019 iMac as well as on the 2017 Macbook 12".

    Thanks !

  2. #2
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    While there are apps that might help with this, most will just show you the files in the locations you've saved them.

    To that end, simplify the process and come up with something that works for you.

    For example, I use the following "rules":
    - Nothing stored on Desktop (ever!)
    - All of my documents (Word, PDF, XLSX, etc.) go into Documents under folders that allow me to group them and find them in the future
    - All of my pictures (and videos too) go into Pictures under folders
    - I use the Downloads folder as a place for all of my downloads either from the browser or otherwise. This is meant to be a temporary holding place. If I'm installing an app, once installed, I delete the installer or DMG/PKG file unless I need to save that for any reason. Other files that fall into the broad categories above get moved to the appropriate folders.

    I follow these rules for all of my files stored on iCloud and Box.

    With this, I end up with just a handful of places to search for files and the format makes sense to me.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    I, like Ashwin, have organized where I put things. Never on the Desktop, except for really short term items that I move to their proper location within minutes). Downloads get used and discarded, or moved to final locations, so that the Downloads folder is empty. I don't copy to USB thumb drives, although I do make backups to external drives and take those with me when I travel as a backup. iCloud just sits in the background, I don't store Documents there. I only use iCloud to sync Mail, keychain, etc. I want to be able to get to all my documents even when I have zero access to internet.

    So figure out your storage system, stick to it and your file finding will be much easier.

    There are third party tools like EasyFind or FindAnyFile to do searches on your drives, but I only use them when I don't remember the name of the file I want, but do remember something that was IN the file.
    Jake

  4. #4
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    chscag's Avatar
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    Anyone have a suggestion for either a better way to do this using built-in software or a third-party app?
    Great suggestions by Ashwin and Jake. However, if you wish to use a more enhanced "Finder" like app, you might want to try "Path Finder". Not free but an excellent way to organize files and folders with a dual browser view. They do have a 30 day free trial so that you can test the app.

  5. #5
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Charlie, I tried that for a while, but found that I could get the same kind of results through Finder itself. Finder/File/New Finder Window will open a second Finder and you can drag from one to the other. Also Finder/File/New Tab will let you copy/paste from one to another. Path Finder integrates those two, which is good, but you can get the job done without it.
    Jake

  6. #6
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    chscag's Avatar
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    While that's true for Finder, Path Finder does have other enhancements that Finder does not. Granted, maybe it's fluff for most people, but I use the fluff quite often.

  7. #7
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Jake

  8. #8
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    chscag's Avatar
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    LOL, good one Jake.

  9. #9
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    IWT's Avatar
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    No one has mentioned "tags".

    I use them for just about every file I ever save. You can create as many tags as you wish for a particular file.

    For example: say I wanted to save a particularly useful piece of advice from our Forums The tags might be "Mac Forums"; "Clean Install"; "Selling Mac"; etc. By adding sufficient tags to relate to the file in question, it would be easy to locate that file again.

    One shouldn't go OTT on this. Keep them brief and to the point.

    My only grumble with Apple is that they don't yet allow one to search under more than one tag.

    Just an idea.

    Ian
    Ian

  10. #10
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Ian,

    I imagine with the use of tags, it's less important where the files are located. Have you noticed how quickly files of a particular tag are found and displayed? If the speed is fast (because it is likely indexed), this might be the best solution and one that I'll have to start employing.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  11. #11
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    IWT's Avatar
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    Ashwin,

    Good questions and thank you for asking them.

    File location becomes irrelevant once you have the great majority of your files associated with tags. But this takes time. I've been doing it ever since tags were introduced.

    Have you noticed how quickly files of a particular tag are found and displayed?
    Instantaneous. If I open Finder, Tags are shown as a Header at the bottom of the Sidebar. Under this Header, the most recently used tags are shown (you can select the number in Preferences); then at the bottom of this list is "All Tags".

    Click on that, and every tag is listed alphabetically. Click on any tag (recent or under all tags) and every File associated with that tag is displayed - instantly.

    As a side effect, you might say, it demonstrates how many duplicated Files you have. Sometimes quite an eye opener!

    In my case, the duplicates arose from my uncertainty about finding a specific File, so I saved them in more than one location. Now, no need for that. Give the File all the tags you want and save it it wherever you want.

    My hope for the future is that I could search under Tag (a) AND Tag (x) AND Tag (z). Thus narrowing the search characteristics. Tremendously helpful with scientific papers, for example.

    Hope that helps a bit

    Ian
    Ian

  12. #12
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Ian,

    That is awesome that the results are instantly displayed, as far as your multi tag search dilemma, let me propose a solution that might involve a bit of work but might work for you.

    Within Finder, in the Search box, enter some random character to get results, then immediately delete that junk, you'll be left with the results page with no results. Now to the right there will be a Save button and +, click on the + to add a new criteria line. The first drop-down will be Name, click on that and then choose Other.. and search for Tags and select it. On the right of this criteria line, you'll see - and + buttons, click on the + as many times as you want to create multiple criteria lines and set them all to Tags.

    You can have more criteria lines than what you intend to use, so go crazy.

    Do NOT enter any criteria at this point, but rather choose to Save the search and give it a name that makes sense like "Multi Tag Search" and keep the option to Add to Sidebar selected.

    Once the search appears in your sidebar, click on it and you will see no results (this is expected). Right-click on it and choose Show search criteria to expose your lines. The criteria will now always be visible each time you visit the search.

    Now add your tags to each of those lines and see the results appear after each entry. If you leave the search, you will be prompted to save the search, I would choose not to do so, but the next time you visit the tags will be pre-filled with what you search for last, so you might want to clear the tags before leaving the Saved Search.

    Hope this helps your workflow with tags.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  13. #13
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    IWT's Avatar
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    Ashwin,

    I am indebted to you. Right now I'm busy with a few projects; but tomorrow, I shall follow your advice and post back.

    Ian
    Ian

  14. #14
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    Slydude's Avatar
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    @Raz0r That sounds brilliant. I used to do something similar when the smart search feature was introduced but I've never applied the idea to tags.

    I haven't used tags much. Maybe it's time I start.
    Last edited by Slydude; 09-07-2019 at 11:14 AM. Reason: corrected error made due to autocorrect
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  15. #15
    App for easier viewing and organising files ?
    IWT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raz0rEdge View Post
    Ian,

    That is awesome that the results are instantly displayed, as far as your multi tag search dilemma, let me propose a solution that might involve a bit of work but might work for you.

    Within Finder, in the Search box, enter some random character to get results, then immediately delete that junk, you'll be left with the results page with no results. Now to the right there will be a Save button and +, click on the + to add a new criteria line. The first drop-down will be Name, click on that and then choose Other.. and search for Tags and select it. On the right of this criteria line, you'll see - and + buttons, click on the + as many times as you want to create multiple criteria lines and set them all to Tags.

    You can have more criteria lines than what you intend to use, so go crazy.

    Do NOT enter any criteria at this point, but rather choose to Save the search and give it a name that makes sense like "Multi Tag Search" and keep the option to Add to Sidebar selected.

    Once the search appears in your sidebar, click on it and you will see no results (this is expected). Right-click on it and choose Show search criteria to expose your lines. The criteria will now always be visible each time you visit the search.

    Now add your tags to each of those lines and see the results appear after each entry. If you leave the search, you will be prompted to save the search, I would choose not to do so, but the next time you visit the tags will be pre-filled with what you search for last, so you might want to clear the tags before leaving the Saved Search.

    Hope this helps your workflow with tags.
    Ashwin,

    Bloomin' magic. It works just as you said. Moreover, as I add each Tag, the results appear instantly.

    I started with one Tag = 22 results
    Added second Tag = 7 results
    Added third Tag = 2 results

    Instantaneous, accurate, exactly what I was looking for.

    Thank you so much.

    Ian

    PS Can't give Rep points - got to spread them around. So I have to say publicly, "Brilliant".
    Ian

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