While the personal computer is just a tool, a great deal of work has been done to make it work in a manner that is akin to the human mind. Artificial intelligence is still far from becoming a reality, but operating systems have already evolved immensely. Multi tasking, multiple windows open at the same time, contextual menus and drag and drop are all examples of how computers are being made to work in a more flexible manner. This is important because the more the computer behaves like the human mind, the easier it will be to do various things and the more intuitive they will become. Unfortunately, in some areas, this is easier to do than in others and there are still aspects of computers that are decidedly machine-like. A perfect example of this is the way a computer stores information, in a file hierarchy. Aliases were a definite huge step forward, as were smart folders that automatically update their content, but at the core, the system is still that of a machine. Fortunately, with advances in technology such as Spotlight and the widespread adoption of tags, things are gradually changing, thanks to applications such as Punakea.What it does
Punakea is at its core a tagging application that will let you assign tags to your files. However, it takes things one step further by not only offering you a seamless tagging experience, but also giving you a very intuitive way of interacting and locating these tagged files.Working with it
Information in the human mind is not stored in a specific place and working with it has nothing to do with locations. Instead, information is stored in our minds and it is correlated with other information present like in a giant spider web. In many ways, the mind is similar to a wiki, where you don't really care where the information is stored, every entry is linked with hundreds of others.
Unfortunately, the same is not possible with files on your computer so the next best thing are tags that can be assigned to these items. Because any file can have as many tags as needed and tags can be applied to files irrespective of their kind, content or location, you can break out of the file structure paradigm.
Using Punakea you can easily tag all your files and folders. There are many
ways of tagging files, whether it is dragging them onto the application's dock icon, opening them from within the program or using the sidebar. This variety in methods gives you the freedom to tag in any way you like, either as a dedicated task, or simply on the fly, as you work with files. You can tag files, individually or in groups, and any file can have as many tags as you like.
Once files have been tagged, you can interact with them in various ways. Punakea lets you find things in a slightly different way than other applications, by showing you a 'tag cloud.' The cloud is simply a collection of all of your tags, one after the other, each having a different size based on how important that tag is. Though at first it might seem strange, once you get used to it, the cloud is by far more intuitive and akin to the way our mind works. Once a tag is selected, additional ones may be selected if available, until the results are as refined as possible. Even the results themselves can be further sorted by their kind.
In addition to the cloud, you can also make use of smart folders that will be constantly updated with all the files that match their keywords.
Last but not least, Punakea tags can also be used from within Spotlight, so you have a great deal of freedom when it comes to finding tagged files.More and more
What makes Punakea so good is simply the way that it gives you more and more options when it comes to doing anything and a good example of this is the sidebar.
The sidebar that pops out when you move the mouse near can be used both for tagging and for locating files. Not only can you drag files onto it in order to start the tagging process, but you can even drop the files directly on one of the listed tags in order to automatically tag them and move on.
Similarly, the sidebar can also be used for locating files, as clicking on any of the listed tags will display all results for it.
Between the popular and recent lists of tags that are constantly updated as you work, you will nearly always find the tag you need right there.
If menus are more up your alley, you can also make use of the Punakea menubar item, which will give you instant access to the Browser, Tagger and preferences.The Good
A most excellent program for both tagging your files and working with them. Lots of flexibility as it gives you many ways to accomplish the same result. The Bad
Some of the preferences, such as those related to the tag cloud should be far more accessible for changing on the fly.The Truth
Tags are a simple concept that many applications simply fail to do right. Punakea is one of the few applications that make working with tags both simple and intuitive. If you are considering migrating from folders to tags, definitely give this program a look.
Here are some screenshots, click to enlarge: