Originally Posted by peterlemer
1. is my Finder system as easily understood by other, nontechnical family members in the event that I am no longer in the pilot's seat for whatever reason?
That's hard for me to say. It really depends on how complicated you make your system. If your nontechnical family members can navigate a folder heirarchy, sort by column headings, and double-click file icons, then they've probably got the basic skill prerequisites. ;-) It's the building of complex Spotlight queries and using encrypted disk images that adds an extra layer of complexity. But depending on the PIM application you choose, similar complexities may exist in using that software as well.
There's certainly something to be said for having everything in one place, all bundled up nicely in a PIM database. Even though you can think of your filesystem as that "database", I agree that there's an addiitonal level of comfort provided by knowing that all your info is neatly contained within the narrower confines of a trusted application.
Then there's the issue of convenience. As Curt mentioned earlier, Shawn Blanc wrote about this in his recent review of Yojimbo 2
. John Gruber has also written about reducing the friction
of collecting notes.
I mostly agree with them, but the efficiency gains seem small to me. Maybe it's just my OCD, but regardless of where I store the info, I'm going to name the item properly and store it in an organized manner, whether that be in a folder heriarchy or with tags. Some PIMs might make this slightly easier, but it's not much of an obstacle in the filesystem either, at least not for me.
NI dongle purchased 12/4/07
Originally Posted by peterlemer
2. using Finder, how would you advise storing the random examples I gave ( above) in my reply to curt?
I keep a folder of receipts from all of my purchases. Most of these are PDFs saved from Safari or Mail. If I don't have the original receipt, I create a simple text file with the pertinent details and save it in my Receipts folder. Spotlight, Finder, and Quick Look make searching and browsing easy and fast. I store the folder on an encrypted disk image just in case there are credit card numbers or other bits of private information in any of the files.
Unsubscribed from MyLife' 12/9/09'
I keep another folder of all my subscriptions and accounts on the same encrypted disk image. I create a single text file for each account using a simple template in my text editor. Each file contains the account name, location (URL), username, password, and a comment field. In the comment field, I log when the account was opened, any signifcant transaction or details, and if/when it was closed or canceled. As with my reciepts, this folder can be easily searched and browsed with Spotlight, Finder, and QuickLook
lots of technique notes for Logic Pro
I keep another folder of general purpose reference material I've collected over the year. I call mine "Articles" and have a new folder for each year. When I find a useful piece of information, I simply dump it in the folder. Everything for the year is kept in one big pile. I typically view it in list mode in the Finder, sorted by modification date. By the end of the year, I might have a couple thousand articles saved. Tags might be a nice addition here, but I've found Spotlight's full content search to be sufficient for my needs.
I sometimes also create topic-specific folders outside of my Articles folder for things I'm particularly interested in. For example, I have an "Audio" folder for all my notes on Logic Pro, sample libraries, and production techniques. I have another folder for all my purchased e-books, one for all my manuals and user guides, and another for Python tutorials and code snippets.
people I was considering to invite to perform at a festival last year
For something like this, I'd probably create a folder named after the event and put it in my "Miscellaneous" folder. Inside, I'd store all my notes about the event: URLs, brochures as PDFs, and the list of attendees as either a Numbers or OmniOutliner document or even as plain text.
Using Finder's column view, it becomes very easy to browse through these items and find what I'm looking for. And of course Spotlight works on folder names as well as individual documents.
Originally Posted by peterlemer
Ideally that's what's needed: a repository for all non-project related info.
I really can't see Finder doing that job elegantly.
action: 'test action' + note 'test action note'
Folder 'A'; ex-project 'Z'.
How would I file that in Finder?
I'm not sure I understand. Couldn't you just create a related folder in Finder and put all your reference material in it? Isn't that essentially what you'd be doing in a PIM? Then just link the folder to your OmniFocus project. I usually store short text notes that are directly related to the action or project in the note field of the project or action itself.
As I see it, a PIM basically offers these potential advantages:
- Ease of data entry; just drop stuff on the app or "clip" it to store it; no save dialogs or filenames to worry about. But once you start to sort and organize items in the PIM app by placing them in subfolders, tagging, or labeling, there's not much of an efficiency advantage over Finder -- you're more or less spending the same amount of effort in both systems.
- Tagging. Granted, this is missing in Finder. Although it can be implemented with various hacks or third-party apps, it may not feel quite as polished as a dedicated PIM app. If you're a big fan of tagging, the Finder approach might not be for you.
- Search relevance and intelligent item relationships. I've never used DevonThink, but it looks like it can do some pretty sophisticated stuff in this regard. If you need something like this, Finder is probably not a good choice.
- iPhone app. If the PIM offers a syncing iPhone app so you can view all or a subset of your notes and reference material on the go, that's a huge advantage. I guess you could use your iDisk or an iPhone app like Briefcase or Air Sharing to take files with you on your iPhone, but a syncing PIM database seems more elegant.
Am I missing anything?
I'm not really trying to convince you or anyone else that the Finder, Spotlight, and Quick Look are going to solve all your problems. It's not perfect and probably requires a particular mindset and a fair degree of discipline to make it work.
In fact, I'm kind of hoping someone will offer up some convincing reasons why I might want to consider moving back to a PIM myself. :-) I don't see a clear advantage now, but I'm certainly open to persuasion! And if nothing else, maybe these ideas are at least food for thought.