Lion Finder Columns and the FSIM

Perhaps this was a function before Lion, one that I missed by not being curious enough to drag windows around, resize them, see what they would do, but as you can see in the screen shot below good old OS X Lion Finder makes for an excellent File System Infobase Manager browsing tool.

I’ve always used Finder in list view for managing the FSIM. I often use it along with Notational Velocity and/or WriteRoom to make quick edits, or to write longer on an entry I find interesting. I couple it with Quick Look — keeping the QuickLook window open as I scroll through a Finder in List view. This makes for a passable alternative to all the PIM programs out there (Evernote, EagleFiler, Yohimbo, Jounrnler[RIP]) In fact, in many ways it is superior to those apps: The file system is already installed; it has tagging capabilities (as hash tags in the text file, in Spotlight Comments, with OpenMeta tags); it can accommodate all file types; it’s future proof when populated with PDFs and Text files.

But the QuickLook approach was not as elegant as the integrated approach that Notational Velocity provided, so I used NV frequently as a file manager replacement. But now look at what Finder can do on its own.

That’s just Finder in Column view, sorted by file name. Preview is checked On, and I’ve pulled the right column wide to see the contents of the text file.  It works great in sort by file creation date and modified date also. CMD O, or CMD Down Arrow and I’m editing full screen in WriteRoom (or Bean, or TextEdit or TextWrangler, or whatever).

I’ll probably still use NV frequently because it is just so darn easy to make quick edits in a note on a drive by basis. And it is hands down the best web-to-text clipper around. And even though I use a small script that Adds A New Text File Here you can’t beat NV for its instant creation of a new FSIM entry.

This update to Lion really brought home the value of the File System based approach to managing data: As I updated I had no fear of application incompatibility; I was operational on day one; I could, if needed, go to a Windows or alternative operating system (gasp); the increased functionality of OSX Finder only served to enhance the free database architecture of the FSIM.

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