Friday, 13 February 2009

The everything-bucket

In the debate about whether 'bucket' applications are a good thing or not, I'm inclined to think that computers are really just big buckets in general. I know that a tidy desk is supposed to represent a tidy mind, and I appreciate the idea that if I keep all my files organised, my productivity will increase because I'll be able to find things more quickly. Fine. But what I want—and what things like Spotlight or Hazel give me—is the ability to dump things somewhere, anywhere, and have the computer sort things out for me.

Take Hazel as an example. I don't use it to anything like its full potential, but I do have it set to clean up my desktop. I dump something on the desktop because I want to use it right now; after it's been there for a couple of weeks—time enough for me to file it away manually if I want—Hazel deposits it in a folder of similar files (jpgs, pdfs, and so on). Sure, organising files by type may not be the best solution. I'm sure I could spend some time with Hazel's preferences and have it tidy up more effectively. But the files are stored logically, and I now have a tidy desktop.

In the end, the more proficient operating systems and applications become at sorting out our mess, the happier I'll be.

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