On May 1, 2008, at 4:28 PM, david wrote:
Even now I'm not convinced that tabs are the logical replacement for nested folders. A useful tool, yes - but a replacement? I'm not convinced yet.

When Yojimbo first came out I thought the lack of nested folders was a limitation. It took me a while, but I'm fully converted to the "tag it and dump it all in one place" method of organizing, and Yojimbo is primarily responsible for helping me see the advantages.

Nested folders were once the best solution to organizing files on a computer, but now that we have very fast computers that can find things very quickly, the need for nested folders is going away. In fact, since we have such large hard drives that can store so many files, nested folders have begun to become a hindrance rather than a help in finding documents.

Here's an example of the "now what folder did I put that in problem." In Mail I have _one_ folder in which I store the current year's sent and received messages. When I want to find a message, I can just search, usually by subject, sender, or recipient and find the message I want in a couple of seconds. I save tons of time over when I used to have bunches of folders in which I could store emails. My father still uses the bunches of folders method, and half the time when he goes to find an email he can't find it because he can't remember which folder he put it in.

Another thing I do to help me find files easily is giving them very descriptive file names, both in Yojimbo and in the Finder. For instance, a receipt from LL Bean might be named:

LL Bean - 2008.04.21 - Shirts for Spring

and tagged "receipts". Or an article I downloaded from New Scientist might be named:

Do we read too much into our need for sleep? - being-human - 15 March 2008 - New Scientist

and tagged appropriately. I'd say 80% of the time I search on a file name to find what I'm looking for. As you noted, I think inertia keeps most people thinking they have to keep their file names under 32 characters. My goal is to name files so that not only I know what's in them, but so that anyone that looked at a file on my computer would know what's in it based on the name. I believe that if people gave their files good descriptive names, the fuss about tagging vs. nested folders would nearly be a non-issue.

All IMHO of course.

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