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aaron's picture

retaining folder names as 'tags' for duplicate documents

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I have a large PDF collection - and several applications that claim to help me 'manage' my PDFs.

Some are focused on being note-taking tools; some see judicious selection from your PDF collection as research fodder for the writing process (Scrivener, Selenium); others are interested in organizing and mobilizing reference metadata for citation while writing papers (Reference Manager, RefWorks, EndNote); others have only added file management to robust citation management (Sente, EndNote) or vice-versa (Zotero).

And then there's Papers. Hands down the best document + metadata search, retrieval & article management app for the mac.


aaron's picture

Tag Folders (or maybe just smart folders) broken after 10.6.1 upgrade

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No Smart Folders made by Tag Folders show any contents, even after "successfully" tagging files. Using other means, verified that OpenMeta Tags are attached: TagFolders' Smart Folders just aren't showing any contents.

The upshot is; I can get the TF Smart Folders to function, but my fix occasionally causes the Tag.app they belong to stop working. For details, read on...


aaron's picture

Updating to DockSpaces 2.45 breaks FlowSpaces PLIST hacks

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My FlowSpaces project has relied to date on DockSpaces 2.1, which has a number of warts. Since I am not shy about sharing both the ups and downs of technology, this post discusses the pros and cons of DockSpaces and my recent attempts to update to its most recent version in context of the FlowSpaces project objectives.

So what's wrong with the old DockSpaces? First, it only allows Spaces integration (Dock/Space bindings) with the first 4 spaces.

FlowSpaces. DockSpaces 2.1 Preferences. Spaces Integration Message

FlowSpaces. DockSpaces 2.1 Preferences. Spaces

What 'Spaces Integration' means is that when switching to any one of the first 4 spaces, the right dock will load automatically.


aaron's picture

Whats with these Stacks 'Drawers' anyhow?

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As a sidebar to my discussion of my strategies for managing my Applications folder, Ill answer the question: Whats with these Stack 'Drawers', anyhow?

A 'Drawer' is used to visually brand any Stack with a nifty customisable icon that remains the first item in the Stack regardless of how many new items are added to the Stack's folder.

Mindful Media Management. Stacks Drawers. Icons

But first: Why would you want to do all of this?

These simple steps allow users to visually customize and thus (hopefully more easily) differentiate among the Stacks in their Dock.

Here's how:


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 5: My Desktop

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Actually this one is usually, mostly all right.

My desktop is my landing pad for my own work, or stuff I grab from the internet that requires special handling (like renaming, tagging, filing, conversion, analysis etc). Like when I want to quickly make an icon for a new concept I am trying to represent and grab some images from the web as conceptual resources; or for PDFs, Word documents, and other stuff I've dragged from my Downloads folder to work on before filing.

Desktop Shortcuts are the enemy! And so is a mess of files...

My desktop is most often empty. This is my ideal.

When I have to keep this project or that in mind, ill sometimes drag an alias (or the project folder itself) to the desktop. Its being there irks me just enough to provide an extra nudge towards completion.


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 4: My Applications Folder

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Okay so this one is not *really* so bad. But its easy to get out of the sweet zone with this one, too.

I recently switched from a 'multiple-custom-folders-inside-the-Applications-folder' to a single custom folder inside the Apps folder. Ask me why...and we'll test your threshold of pain-tolerance, geek style.


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 3: My Downloads Folder

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OMG. What a nightmare. Of course, I'm mostly trying to build my collection of tools, so 99.8% of my downloads are applications.
As in the case of bookmarks, I can tell you that simply having accreted a directory structure (slowly over time) is *NO* guarantee that the folder structures that I used to file "Little Snitch.dmg" last time will be the one that occurs to me next time I have download an updated disc image of that app.
So how do I get past this endemic classification continuity/consistency problem?


aaron's picture

Hard to clean spots, No. 1: My Email Inbox

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My email inbox. Sheesh. You'd think that after spending hours. ..no, DAYS creating and tweaking rules for Mail.app, you could have a set-and-forget, self-maintaining inbox. But...Nope.
Especially since on a mac, you first need to put in all the effort of adding the addresses of incoming messages to your Address Book.app and creating groups (to be used by Mail.app rules).
But...No. Still a mess. My inbox ends up as the place where everything that 'slipped through the cracks' of my extensive rule-list ends up. I think I clean it up every 4 months or so. On a semesterly basis. I currently have about 300 500+ unfiled unfortunates in there.


aaron's picture

15 hard-to-clean spots on any hard drive...

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So here is my list of cobwebby digital corners that, despite my 'best' efforts, nearly always seem to be in a deep state of disarray. They seem to remain on the back burner, in the back of my mind as something I know I should tidy up some day, but that day never seems to come.
The list started out as my top 9 disaster zones, but as is so often the case, upon painful reflection, this list grew larger. And, in fact, grew into a series of defined projects that intersect along some important organizational lines.
So without further ado, here is my list of top 15 hard-to-clean spots on any hard drive:


aaron's picture

How the Pieces are coming Together

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So, I have decided to stop whining about how the tools 'just are not there' or 'just have so many shortcomings'.

From now onward, I am building a system - a dependable (ok, ill settle for pretty reliable and mostly stable) environment within which tailored workflows can be semi-automated to the best of my ability, and to the furthest extent possible with the available tools...


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