Mac power users love those little utilities that pick up and deliver what Apple left unfinished and behind.
This is the tale of two cool folder utilities for your Mac. One has been around forever as a power user delight, the other is fresh, new, different, and oh so very handy.
For the most part, folders are where we organize and store our files on the Mac. We get at folders two ways. Through the Finder and through the pop up dialog boxes, such as Open and Save As.
Let me start at the top with an old favorite, a Mac utility I’ve used since before Mac OS X, back in the platinum gray of Mac Classic. Default Folder.
I’m on my Mac most of the day and I look for handy utilities which help me navigate my Mac, save time, save keystrokes, and handle some functions that Apple doesn’t give us in Mac OS X, even in Leopard.
Default Folder X remembers which application stores which files where, and inserts special tools right inside the Leopard’s pop up dialog boxes. That was Default Folder’s original claim to fame and it still works that way in the latest edition for OS X Leopard.
I don’t like to use the term “workflow” even though Default Folder helps improve my flow of work by eliminating some extra steps to navigate and retrieve or save files.
DF’s toolbar is really more of a directory, or a folder assistant. Open folders to any location on your Mac right from the DF toolbar, without even using Leopard’s Open and Save dialog box. I think of the DF toolbar as whatever is between the Finder and a launcher.
One of the things I do is save files to the same folder but only from within a specific application. So, Word files go there, while Excel files go somewhere else, while Photoshop files go in two or three places. DF remembers folders based on the application being used.
DF doesn’t completely dispense with Open and Save dialog boxes in OS X. They’ll always be around, but DF makes the dialog boxes easier to use by adding hierarchical pop-up menus, keyboard shortcuts, and menus to the dialog box.
Once you’ve used Default Folder for awhile you begin to wonder why Apple is shortchanging Mac users. The list of Default Folder features and capabilities go on and on. It’s a power user utility that is easy for anyone to use, stood the test of time since Mac Classic days, and is even better in OS X Leopard.
Yes, folders are a big part of every Mac user’s Mac life. It’s where we put everything on our Macs, so folder organization and utilities can prove to be handy. Somewhat of a newcomer to Folderdom, Mac style, is The Big Mean Folder Machine.
As noted, I’m always looking for Mac utilities that can save me time, improve the flow of my work (I just don’t like ‘workflow’—it sounds to much like, well, work), are easy to use, and actually do something not already done within OS X.
If you spend time digging through folders, rearranging folders, moving files around within folders, then you’re like me and look for tools to reduce the toil.
The Big Mean Folder Machine is a Mac utility which helps you bring quick structure to the files and folders on your Mac. Split folders with large file collections into a simple multi-level folder hierarchy. Think of TBMFM as Spotlight in reverse. Instead of finding files, it takes the files you have and puts them into folders based on whatever sorting and filing criteria you want.
TBMFM creates folders on the fly, based on file names, file types, file creation or modification date, and, great for photographers or Photoshop users, by the digital photo’s shooting date.
TBMFM works the other way, too, and lets you move files from several different folders into a single folder. That’s not as easy as it sounds. TBMFM unifies the files without you having to worry about name conflicts. Try that in the finder.
Behind the scenes and out of site, TBMFM uses a tough database copying engine that easily handles thousands of files, and yet gives you a full preview of what is about to happen before it happens. What’s the opposite of undo? That’s the kind of preview you get. See what’s being moved or created where, before actually doing anything.
TBMFM is a remarkable little utility that’s well worth the less than $15 price tag, especially so if you’re the kind of Mac user who lives in the hierarchy of folders.
Default Folder is the king of folder and dialog box navigation accessories. At the other end of our Mac folderized life scale is The Big Mean Folder Machine (I keep wanting to say “Big Green Folder Machine”) is the power user folder organization tool for Mac users who move lots of files and folders.