This is the story of a serious Mac app for serious Mac users. If your Documents folder is stuffed with all kinds of files and you’re adding dozens more each day then you know the value of good file organization.
It’s a pain. Files can be stuffed into folders by file type, by project, by date of use, or by Apple’s new but cumbersome tagging system in OS X. Is there a better way? There is and it’s beautiful, worth the money and the learning curve, and has a single flaw which may or may not matter to you.
File Them Files, Folks
There’s no question that heavy duty Mac power users find the right tools for the job and that brings me to EagleFiler. It’s not really as much of a file filing app as it is the real-time filter which grabs files in transit and moves them to safety and organizes them at the same time, and it does not matter what the file is made of; text, PDF, photo, audio, video, Word, Excel, snippets of text, Safari WebArchive, archives. Whatever. Yes, that means email.
EagleFiler installs on your Mac with drag and drop and you won’t be burdened with a database, or browser extensions, or plug-ins to match specific file types. The app begins collecting, storing, and organizing any file you give it and in the file’s original format so retrieving is both instant and pure (nothing to convert to or from).
Try to think of EagleFiler as iTunes or Photos for files. There’s a modest and mostly self explanatory Toolbar across the top. The Left sidebar displays the Library of files and you can organize files however you choose. Tags are customizable and aid when searching through tens or hundreds of thousands of files collected over the years.
Click on a Library, folder, search folder, or tag and EagleFiler will display all the files that match in the upper window pane. Select again and the details are displayed below in the main window pane. Behold your new Mac file management system. A few global hotkeys makes it easy to use the keyboard to import files from other applications, including webpages, email from Mail, or whatever file you’re viewing in another application.
Speaking of Mail, most of us have email that dates back a decade or two and that begins to clutter Mail on your Mac. So, archive what you think you might need at a later date but don’t want visible to clutter up your daily email routine. EagleFiler archives email as email files, not as some clumsy text or RTF file.
EagleFiler can handle multiple libraries of files, organized to suit your needs, each easily accessible with a click, and since it takes and stores any kind of Mac file everything you’ve ever saved can be saved but made easier to find than sorting through Spotlight or the Documents folder.
Since we live in an insecure age EagleFiler comes with an option to secure a library of files with AES 128-bit or AES 256-bit encryption that uses the Mac’s built-in disk image functionality so the contents of a library can be viewed on any Mac by entering the password. EagleFiler also uses it’s own indexing system that in many ways is more powerful than Spotlight (which really doesn’t index everything; while EagleFiler indexes everything you add to it). Every file gets a metadata record but you can also assign keyword tags to make it easier to find files in a large library or within many document libraries.
There is nothing to not like here except one thing. EagleFiler does not have an iPhone counterpart and oh how I long for that. Maybe it’s just as well that the app is Mac only. This is for Mac power users with many files and folders and types of files to manage. Syncing them up between devices would take up plenty of space on an iPhone or iPad, but still, I see value in carrying valuables wherever you go, especially if they’re secured by encryption and a password.