Knowing how to construct a good search query is a key skill these days, and not just when it comes to Google.
A powerful search engine almost negates the need for a classification system in your email inbox or even on your hard drive. Because if you can find and open the precise file you’re looking for in a couple of quick keystrokes, why worry about a carefully nested file structure? I spent years thinking about how best to organise my files and folders until Quicksilver came along. (And there are plenty of other powerful utility applications out there too.)
I was reminded of this a few months ago when I came across a post by Merlin Mann, in which he suggested that people stop obsessing about organising their email and focus instead on whether to trash it or archive it. Simple as that, one of two options: trash or archive. ProfHacker similarly summed it up with the catchphrase “Don’t file. Search.”
This approach certainly appeals to the side of me that’s always suspected tidying up was a waste of time. Peel back the layers of social convention, concerns about first impressions and most powerfully of all, what my mother would say, and you’ll find I secretly believe that the floor really is the best place for everything. At least then I always know exactly where to look when I lose something.
Anyone have any other utility software they can recommend?
Photo credit: My Reference Files, Tim Morgan’s photostream on Flickr