Tag2find is a memory-resident program that can apply tags to all of your local files. It can be optionally accessed from the right click context menu, a search box within the taskbar or the IE toolbar, or a floating searchbar (tagbar) that can be launched from the tray menu and moved around the desktop. Currently Tag2find supports NTFS file systems only, and is free for personal use.
“Directories & folders”, states the Tag2find website, “were the structure of the 20th century. Now it’s time for something new” … that something new being tagging, of course. And they have a
point: one reason why tagging is such a great idea is that you can apply multiple tags to
any individual file in order to categorize it, rather than being confined to a single location within a folder structure. You can then use these tags to find the relevant files that you might be looking for when you need them.
Here’s a quick example: say you have 2 word documents “text1.doc” and “text2.doc”, both of which are relevant to the same client (say ’client A’), except they pertain to 2 different projects (say “opti” for the first one and “SEO” for the second). Thus “text1.doc” might be tagged “document, client A, opti”, and “text2.doc” tagged “document, client A, SEO”. Doing a search on “client A” in the Tag2find “tagbox” (or clicking on clientA in a tag cloud) will display both files in the Tag2find browser, and so on.
More info on this program:
- The data: upon installation you are prompted to identify the folder where you would like to save the program data (if other than the default location). The program can also import and export data if you are reinstalling your computer or moving your files to a new one.
- Beginning the tagging process: this can be quite a bit of work early on. Tag2find offers a wizard that can perform multi tagging based on rules; for example folder path names can be used as tags, file extensions can be tagged (e.g. tagging “image” for JPG and other image formats), and the metadata in some files (e.g. MP3s) can be used by the wizard to tag as well. I personally did not use the wizard as I prefer to tag my files/folders manually.
- Tagging: there are multiple ways to tag; through the context menu, by dragging and dropping on the Tag2find toolbar (in the taskbar), the floating tagbox, or the tag browser.
- Tagging folders: the folder and all its contents recursively (including other folders) can be tagged in one fell swoop. This was useful to me as I tend to put files that belong to the same project in project folders. One drawback to this is that hidden and system files and are tagged as well, which I hadn’t intended. Note that the folders themselves can be tagged, not just files.
- The ’Tag Browser’: this is the main program console where you can search tags, access the tag cloud, and do a number of things (including filter your list of files using a number of useful pre-set filters, edit the tags themselves, and jump to a file’s location in explorer.
- File monitoring: tag2find can monitor a set of folders (and file extension types) and notify you whenever a new file is created or downloaded into them. This allows you to quickly tag these files on the spot and ensure that your new files are tagged.
- Drag and drop: you can drag and drop files from the tag browser into your desktop or any other location (this will move it; ctrl-drag to copy).
- Memory use: I’m estimating that the services running in the background take up around 18 or so megs in memory, which is certainly reasonable for such an ambitious program. Launching the tab browser however adds to this considerably (a whopping 100+ megs), but this is intermittent and you won’t have it running and consuming memory all the time. There is an improved performance mode that consumes more resources which I didn’t test.
- Free: for personal use.
- Media integration: can play media files by integrating Windows Media Player 9+. (Personally I do not care much for that feature).
- The option to add a “tag” column to the ’detailed’ windows folder view, to provide at-a-glance tags info from within the windows file system.
- The option to exclude certain extensions (e.g. .lnk) from the new file monitor and/or from being tagged in general. Also the option to exclude hidden or system files from tagging.
The verdict: a very nice, well designed program. Depending on how you use your computer it can add a lot of value and significantly boost your productivity and the way you work with your files. Highly recommended.
Version Tested: 0.10.2.5
Compatibility: Windows XP or Vista 32 bit. Requires Microsoft .NET framework (installer will download and install this if not available). Requires an NTFS-formatted hard drive to work.