AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

May/10

5

LaMarcus Bolton on Managing Local Computer Files

My name is LaMarcus Bolton, and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Technology Director, as well as a doctoral student in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Today, I wanted to let you know of a few great resources for managing your local computer files.

Rad Resource: Everyday, we deal with tens (some of us, hundreds) of computer files and emails. Unfortunately, the more “stuff” we have, the harder it is to find when we really need it. Fortunately, there are software options available to help us better manage all of our data by tagging them. Tagging is an excellent way of associating files by using keywords, rather than traditional rigid file folders. Thus, when you use your operating system’s default search function, the files you are seeking will naturally rise to the top. On Mac OS X, Gravity Tags offers an intuitive way of tagging items. However, if you’re on a PC, TaggTool may be a worthy alternative.

Rad Resource: When iTunes first hit the market, it revolutionized the way we managed music. Unfortunately, because research is undoubtedly less popular than music, our needs have long been unmet for a similar option–until now. Sente is an academic reference manager for Mac OS X. Although Sente does have bibliographic functionality (like the popular EndNote software, available for the PC), it goes beyond it in so many ways. For example, all within the software, you can: search repositories for articles, download, automatically tag with the appropriate references, automatically file within “smart libraries” based upon present keywords, and scan a manuscript for reference placeholders when automatically building your bibliography. Regrettably, I have not found a software option that’s on par with Sente, for PC. Please post to comments if you have suggestions!

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4 comments

  • Author comment by Marcus · July 1, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Hi David,

    That’s a good question. Mac OS X (and Gravity Tags) places the tags within files’ metadata. However, since I only use PC’s for about 10% of my workflow, I couldn’t tell you any software off-hand that works similarly. Though, I’m sure a search of “PC tagging software” should point you in the right direction. Good luck!

    Reply

  • David Dobrowski · June 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Are you familiar with any other software besides Taggtool for PCs that allows tagging that puts it in the files metadata rather than only in its own database?

    Reply

  • Author comment by Marcus · May 6, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Hi Wendy,

    Yes, I find tags to be a much more fluid and intuitive method for organizing files than folders. In fact, I find folders, at times, to be down-right clunky! I truly think tags are the future and will catch on more in the next few years. Just think back to email web applications 10 years ago vs how Gmail has evolved things with the introduction of its “labels” functionality (which function like tags). I think great things are in store!

    Reply

  • Wendy · May 5, 2010 at 10:40 am

    LaMarcus,

    Thanks for this post! I’m finding tags to be a much nicer system than folders, and I’ve recently been wishing that there was a way to use tags on my PC. I never thought to look for an add-on.

    Reply

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