Mac’s Spotlight can help you to find what you’re after eventually, but for those of us who actually try to stay organised, we’re keen to make it simple to find exactly what we need when we need it. Elyse is able to help here, by providing a free tag-based file management solution for Mac and Windows.
Why Tag Files?
If you’re not already on the file system tag bandwagon, think about things we habitually tag online. Photos, blog posts and music genres are all generally tagged online rather than placed in folders. Can you imagine sites like Last.fm placing all classical music in a folder called “Classical” rather than tagging with other useful genres such as “Choral” or “Baroque“? Things would get out of hand pretty quickly and it would be very difficult to be able to find the exact music you wanted to listen to.
It’s the same with your file system. On sites like Flickr you can tag your photos with the city you were in, some detail of the subject of the photo and many other things you find useful. On a regular file system you’re stuck using folders, so most people wind up with photos arranged by date taken as it’s one of the only ways the photos will ever be found again. If only you could tag all those photos…
However, it’s not just photos. What about essays? Letters? Spreadsheets? Once you start thinking about it, tags make much more sense than folders and will go a long way toward improving filesystem organization.
Download a free copy of Elyse for Mac or Windows. We’ll be taking a closer look at the Mac version in particular. Installation for Mac is straight-forward – all you do is open the .dmg download and drag the application to your applications folder.
The first thing you’re faced with is the need to create a default database. Once “Create Default Database” is clicked, you’ll be presented with a beginner guide to Elyse and instructions to create a fresh database to start your file tagging.
Add & Tag Files
Adding your files is easy – all you do is drag and drop the files you want to tag into Elyse. Elyse then automatically creates tags based on your folder names, so you’re halfway organised already!
Add new tags by clicking on the “New Tag” button in the menu. New tags can be dragged and dropped throughout the tag tree as you wish. You can also rearrange these tags and hierarchies without disrupting the original location of the file on your filesystem.
Mac users can also use Quicksilver to tag files, while Windows 7 users can tag photos and office documents natively. However, Elyse is a solution which will allow you to tag any files you like and keep track of things in one place. There’s also a few other tools you could try, such as Tagged Frog for Windows or Tag It for Mac.