I wrote a little while ago about OpenMeta tags and some software to implement them. I continue to be a believer in tagging. At every opportunity, I reduced the number of folders I use and consolidate as many files as I can into one folder and then tag them, sparingly. Over tagging files can be just as bad as having too many folders. Here’s an example of overtagging:
For a while, I was tagging work documents as ‘work’ and ‘COMPANYNAME’. It was overkill. I should know that anything that is tagged with my employer’s name is work. I shouldn’t need to tag those documents as ‘work’ too. Those files are already in a ‘Work’ folder in Dropbox.
Two updates to applications I had tried in the past came out last week and their new inclusion of OpenMeta tagging support has gotten me back into them. The first is Path Finder 6. I tried Path Finder out in 2007, I think, and while I liked it’s extra abilities over the Finder, it wasn’t ready to be a replacement for the Finder. Path Finder’s come a long way, and I think you can safely leave Finder behind. What I essentially do is run both in tandem, and I redirect all “Reveal in Finder” commands to reveal in Path Finder and Path Finder lets you hide the Finder’s dock icon. Finder can run in the background for Time Machine and you can use Path Finder exclusively. It’s pretty seamless.
Path Finder 6 also adds the ability to work with OpenMeta tags. You can edit the tags for any file, but Path Finder has these nifty “tag groups” you can set up and then every time you apply a “tag group”, Path Finder adds multiple tags that you’ve already assigned to that “tag group”. I still use Tags.app because of the ability to tag anything, anywhere rather quickly and Tags.app has a great search feature and tag browser that Path Finder doesn’t.
Oh, one more bad ass thing. Path Finder 6 can queue file transfers! No more grinding hard drives to a halt when you initiate multiple transfers at the same time.
The other piece of software is the new version of the MailTags add-on for Mail.app. MailTags now adds OpenMeta tags so the emails you tag with MailTags show up in Tags.app’s tag browser. I guess tagging emails is a natural extension of my newfound love of tagging files. Adding tags like ‘@action’, ‘@followup’ and ‘@waiting’ have made it easy to create Smart Mailboxes that help me get to certain types of mail quickly. I have a Smart Mailbox called “Priority Mail” that contains flagged messages, ‘@action’ and ‘@followup’. I check this once in the morning and I can quickly see what needs to be acted on or processed in some way.
Overall, I’m really happy with my tagging setup. I keep everything in Dropbox, my MailTags tags sync through iCloud’s IMAP system (or at least they appear to be) and I’m taking advantage of Smart Mailboxes and Spotlight Saved Searches to keep everything at my fingertips.