Have you ever wished that you could quickly see and/or access the files that you were working with last week, or the week (or the month) before that? Nemo Documents is a free file manager that can help; it organizes your files visually into a calendar style view similar to Outlook or Google Calendar.
It also provides an array of options to filter the files being viewed (e.g. by file type, by folder, by user defined tags, or Gmail-style stars).
What’s more, Nemo Documents can connect to your Google account and place Google Calendar events on the same timeline/calendar view on your desktop, alongside your files.
Such a simple yet brilliant concept! Each file on your hard drive has a creation, modification, and access dates, so it makes absolute sense to implement a calendar-style organization structure that lays them out visually. The only real question is why I haven’t seen more of this sort of thing previously, and why Microsoft haven’t built it into the operating system.
Here are some notes on this program:
- How it works: Nemo Documents lives in the background and uses Windows desktop search to monitor changes to the directories that you choose. It is accessible anytime via the system tray menu or a keyboard shortcut (Win+n by default).
- Views: daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, or simply a list view that is independent of any specific time period. You can filter views by filetype, by label, by specific folders, or simply by typing something into the searchbox.
- Filetypes: the program comes with a number of filetypes pre-defined, and which can be used as view ’filters’. Users can easily go in and add to or edit these.
- Labels: are user defined tags which you can apply to your files and use to filter your files in any view.
- Google Calendar integration: events from Google Calendar appear in the timeline as “Calendar” files, just as any filetype would. However, a little calendar icon is typically placed next to the date to signal that a Google Calendar entry is there.
- Resource utilization: to quote the Nemo Documents website, “[it] monitors your files very light way … [and] … relies on Windows Desktop Search for heavy-duty full-text indexing”. I can vouch that it doesn’t use much CPU cycles, however, it does seem to take up quite a bit of memory (how much is somewhat unclear since it uses the .NET Framework which typically raises memory usage artificially, but looks like its about 100 megs).
Wish list (or how this program can be even better): this program is still in its early stages and can be greatly improved. Here are some suggestions.
- Working with files inside the ’grid’: is currently somewhat glitchy, and needs to be fixed. If a particular square in the grid had many entries in it, for example, it is impossible to scroll down to view them by arrow keys or by mouse or mousewheel (you are forced to either maximize your window or otherwise switch to a daily view). And although it is possible to aggregate (i.e. minimize) filetypes inside the grid view so they are lumped together into a single entry, the screen seems to refresh every few seconds and the entries extended/maximized again.
- An option to “Clear all restrictions” from filters: in the sidebar filetype, labels, and folder areas. I.e. to be able to quickly re-set any filters you are applying, instead of unchecking them one by one, would make the program a lot easier to work with.
- General bugfixes: the searchbox, for example, would grab the occasional file or two that seemed to have nothing to do with the string that I typed in.
The verdict: I love this program for the sheer innovation behind it and the excellent implementation of a great idea. Beyond the calendar-style visual interface, Nemo Documents is also a full-fledged file tagging and management platform that can potentially make working with your files much easier and productive (especially if you work with a lot of different files that pertain to many different projects or clients, etc).
I will say that Nemo Documents coexists well with Windows Explorer, in that the visual, calendar style organization instantly comes to life, without requiring a lot of commitment or labor from the user up front. On the flip side, of course, the more you use this software and the more energy you put into it (in terms of tagging your files and setting up your filetypes, etc), the more value you will get out of it.
Version Tested: 0.9.1
Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Requires MS .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 or later.
Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 437K; the installer is not self contained and will download more files once you run it).