Yojimbo as Finder Alternative

No, not the Kurosawa film. A utility from Bare Bones. It lets you drag/drop and generally easily get files into it, you can add tags to them, and you can also set them up as collections. It works much like mail, or iTunes or iPhoto. A library which has all, and then collections where you can organise stuff. Unfortunately (or fortunately) collections don’t seem to support subfolders. Now, I was using DEVONthink to do this, but I found that I was putting stuff into folders inside folders inside folders to arrange things (yes, DEVONthink has very nice tools for workign out where stuff should go, but personally I think tags have made that, on a personal level, redundant).

Why I am toying with moving to Yojimbo is the tagging. Because tags work a bit like agents in Tinderbox. I can tag all the documents I move into Yojimbo, for example a memo might have the tags “2006″, “memo”. It can just live in the library, if I need to find a memo from 2006 I can just search for those tags (I’m not sure if I can put together a search that would find content inside the memo and specific tags). This is very cool. At the moment I try to turn my file structure into a meaningful filing system, but this never works. Should that memo be in a folder in a hierarchy of admin/memos/2006 or does it make more sense to go admin/2006/memos? And it is also about a student, so is it teaching/2006/subject or admin/memo/2006? And that’s just a memo which are nearly the most unambiguous documents I need to ‘file’. Of course alias’s are a response to this, but that is labour intensive, and doesn’t really solve anything (though I guess you could just stick all documents in one common location and use alias to put them in different simultaneous in your directory structure). So, Yojimbo lets me save in one place then with tags I can add appropriate multiple metadata (which is all a filing system is) which I can retrieve subject to a request.

Now, wouldn’t it be awesome if this was built into the finder. So that files, as an attribute, could be tagged? That way spotlight wouldn’t be just looking for internal content but for user defined metadata.