Buzz Folders free edition is a Windows enhancement that provides quick access to favorite and recently used folders in the Windows open/save file dialog.
It displays several tabs underneath the open/save dialog (see screenshot) that allow the user to quickly access recent folders for the active program, user-defined favorite folders for the active program (which the program calls ’stickies’), overall or global recently accessed folders, as well as a customizable tab that can filter or file list by extension.
Interesting to note is that Buzz Folders will let users specify favorite or sticky folder that are application specific, such that your favorite folders available for program A can be different from those you provide for program B.
Buzz Folders is similar to programs such as previously mentioned FlashFolder and Folder Menu that are designed to bring your favorite and recently used folders to the open/save file dialog menu. To get a sense of what this software is and what it does take a glance at the screenshot above. More notes on this software as follows:
How it works: I will use an example that the developer of this software used with me. Supposing you are using Notepad and proceed to open or save a file. You will see 4 colored tabs underneath the regular dialog as follows:
- The 1st tab: shows recent folders for the active program; i.e. for all recent folders accessed with Notepad in the example above.
- The 2nd tab: shows user-defined folders specific to the active program (Notepad). These will have to be defined separately for each program you use. Note that the developer is working on an “global sticky” option whereby the user could make one or more of these available to all programs.
- The 3rd tab: is the global recent folders list. Will display all recently accessed folders for all programs.
- The 4th tab: is a custom tab whereby you could either specify filetype (e.g. mp3, xls, etc..) or a program. In the example above, the user might set this to txt and it will display all folders where the user may have opened or saved text files. You could also set the 4th tab to a program, Excel.exe for example, and it would show all the folders you had opened from or saved to using Excel.
Differences between the free and paid versions: the paid version(s) offer more than 4 folders per tab as well as more tabs.
The PROS: what I like about this program
- The tabbed interface: as an enhancement of Windows, it looks really good.
- Program-specific favorite folders: which is quite a unique concept. The only downside to this is that creating favorite folders for each program just feels like a lot of work; thankfully, the author of this program is going to add the option to set global sticky folders.
- The tray icon: provides quick access to the ten latest folders that were added as stickies (see image to the right)
- Memory expenditure: a very small and tiny 8 megs in memory.
The CONS: suggestions for making this program even better
- Adding a “global sticky” option: which as mentioned above it on the developer’s list.
- Adding favorite “sticky” folders is not very intuitive: first, browse to the folder you want to add, switch to the sticky tab, then left click on an empty spot to set it. If all spots are taken right click on one of them to make it blank again, then left click.
- A centralized console where you can manage your stickies: would be a good addition in my opinion.
- A couple of more spots for folders: would be great, for the free version. Although 4 program-specific spots should work just fine (and although the author provides more in the paid version), adding 2 more would be perfect, imho.
- Unsure about the usefulness of the 4th tab: seems like it may be adding more complexity without a payoff. In any case choosing a specific program for the 4th tab did not seem to work for me.
- Ironing out some bugs: which I assume will happen as this program gets developed further. Specifically, I encountered strange behavior when trying to erase a sticky and define something else in it’s place.
The verdict: a very interesting enhancement for Windows. The notion of having access to favorite folders in the open/save dialog that are set for each program you use is very interesting. And although this might seem like a lot of work, as mentioned above, if you do put it in the effort it might be well worth your while and be very useful in the long run.
The author has managed a remarkable feat: creating a free program that is interesting and offers a lot while making the paid version interesting enough to consider buying. Hopefully, this program will be developed further
Version Tested: 11.18
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7.
Go to program home page to download the latest version (approx 1 meg). Make sure to download the free version.