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10.4: Use the Finder as an outliner Desktop
Tiger only hintSo, what is the perfect outliner? I wanted it to be project related. Ideas and project files should be organized in one simple way. I tested many outliners, but they all had the same problem: some stuff stays in the Finder (important but unsupported project files like Freehand, Illustrator etc.) and other stuff (ideas, mindmaps, notes...) goes into the outliner.

So you need the Finder for the project files, and the outliner as a conceptional layer. That just didn't feel right. I think the Finder is still the best way to organize files and folders for projects. So I just needed some way to store text and multimedia in one file inside these project folders ... and there is a somewhat obvious way: .rtfd files.

These are textfiles with the option to store any Apple-supported media files within them. Movies, pictures, bookmarks, you name it. Now every project folder contains a folder with the cheesy name projectname__ideas. I made the name unique with the two underscores. Later you will see why. Inside is one (or more) .rtfd file containing notes, tables, bulleted lists, pictures, movies, basically all project-related stuff.

But what about a nice sorted overview of all ideas, like in a classic outliner application? Well, I just saved a Finder search for the term __ideas. Thanks to Spotlight, you get a nice list of all folders whose title includes __ideas. Thanks to the unique naming with the underscores, only the expected folders were found by Spotlight.

That's all I need for my outlining needs: a folder-based project structure with all contextual information in one place, and a quick overview of all that information. What's missing is some inline view of the .rtfd files to make this concept perfect. But I really believe that the future of the Finder will include the ability to work with even more metadata, to make it a nice tool for organizing all your data in one place. The ultimate outliner.
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10.4: Use the Finder as an outliner | 2 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Use the Finder as an outliner
Authored by: rickl on Dec 07, '05 08:18:25PM

Sounds like a great idea. It would probably be even more effective to use a single OmniOutliner document with media included, though this would be considerable more expensive. Or a VoodooPad document with one page per project and all related documents dragged in (where they automatically become linked). Though again this would cost some money…

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Rick



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10.4: Use the Finder as an outliner
Authored by: sjk on Dec 08, '05 12:04:45PM
But I really believe that the future of the Finder will include the ability to work with even more metadata, to make it a nice tool for organizing all your data in one place.

What I really want is the ability to manually add additional content to smart folders. In other words, be able to create folders that contain content matching certain criteria (like a current Smart Folder) plus anything else you want to add there. Call 'em Smarter Folders, if you like. :-)

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