Editors note: The following review is part of Macworlds GemFest 2012 series. Every weekday from mid June through mid August, the Macworld staff will use the Mac Gems blog to briefly cover a favorite free or low-cost program. Visit the Mac Gems homepage for a list of past Mac Gems.
When it comes to folder organization, there are two kinds of people: Filers and searchers. Filers keep their files organized in elaborate folder hierarchies. Searchers dont worry about where their files are; they just use search to find what they need. If youre a searcher, Tagit could be a great tool for you.
Tagit enables you to apply metadata tags to files; you can then use those tags in searches. So, for example, instead of storing files relating to your home refi in a Home Refi folder, youd create a Home Refi tag and apply it to the relevant files; youd then find those files by searching for that tag.
Adding tags to files with Tagit is simple: Once the app is launched, you select files in the Finder, and then drag them onto the Tagit Dock icon. A small window then pops up, in which you can apply tags youve already used or create new ones.
Once files are tagged, you can search for them using Tagit itself or other apps that are compatible with the OpenMeta tagging standard. You can also find tagged files from Spotlight, using the tag: switch; that means you can create tag-based smart folders, too.
Of course, OS X already has a tagging system of its own: Click Get Info on any file and youll see an info screen full of metadata. But that native metadata isnt easy to work with; its not easy, for example, to add the same Spotlight comment to a bunch of files at oncecertainly not as easy as it is to apply tags with Tagit.
That said, Tagit could be easier to use. There is only that one way to apply tags: by dragging files to the Dock. Itd be nice if you could also do so with a hotkey or a contextual menu item. (While were picking nits, itd also be nice if OpenMeta tags could contain spaces, but thats not Tagits fault.) That quibble aside, Tagit is a simpleand certainly affordabletool that could transform you from a filer to a searcher.
[Dan Miller is editor of Macworld.]