The Metadata Project – An Update

Yesterday was a month from the start of my Metadata-centric Experiment. Those eagle-eyed readers amongst you watched it come and go with nary a word from me – I apologize folks.

To Recap:
For a month now I’ve been dumping everything into an empty Documents folder. No directory structure to speak of what-so-ever. However, I’ve been tagging all my files (in the Spotlight Comments) accordingly. My intent being that I can quickly pull up the precise file(s) I want with a Spotlight Query, or with generalized Smart Folders that I can tweak to fulfill my data-mining needs.

Well I’ve decided to extend the project a little longer, and for a couple reasons:
1 – It seems to be working for me. Stick with what works, right?
By ‘working for me’ this is what I mean:
I’ve been successful in making a habit of tagging all my files to even work with this experiment. (Basically I save all my files to the desktop, tag them (using Quicksilver) and then move them to Documents (using Quicksilver).)
Also using Quicksilver, I can type in the tag I’m looking for and it’ll pop up a Smart Folder – on the fly no less – with all the appropriately tagged items. I find it quicker than using the Spotlight bar…
Or, if you’re a widgets person, check out the TagBag widget. It’ll show you all your Spotlight Tags (with a count) in a handy little Dashboard view.
So yes – to answer Kyle semi-directly – It is making it faster for me at this point. I’m not clicking through Finder Folders to get to my files. I DON’T use the Spotlight search bar as the results pane is horrendous, but Quicksilver’s method of returning what I need is lightning fast and produces a desirable result to work with.
2 – As my PowerBook isn’t my main [work] computer, it doesn’t see the bulk of my file-creation efforts. I want to make sure I’m getting a good test-bed of ‘stuff’ (to use a technical term) to really see if there’s a true usefullness from metadata-only over a structured folder hierarchy.

So stay tuned readers. As I progress, I’d like to dive a little deeper into the experiment too. I’m toying with adding some applescript capabilities, labels, and possibly even some Automator type aids. I want to see how much I can make my computer do for me, removing as much need for me to think or do anything as possible. I don’t want to do anything.

To quote Peter from Office Space, “I did absolutely nothing – and it was everything I thought it could be!”

Actually, now that I think about it, I think what I’m actually looking for is a way to fully bypass having to use the Finder. And based on the many gripes with the Finder’s state at this point in time, is that such a revelation??


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