Directory is History

I’ve been using a desktop search tool called Copernic. It has changed the way I organize my digital world. Copernic and other similar tools like Google desktop make searching for a file on your machine so easy that the concept of folders may well be headed for the rubbish bin of history.

Nitin, our CTO, doesn’t use folders in Outlook anymore. He just lets the emails sit in his inbox until they get archived. Copernic and Google desktop are so much faster than clicking through folders. And the archives are indexed as well. Using folders takes more time and effort to set up and maintain, yet takes longer on retrieval. Seems like Outlook folders are going to get vestigeal pretty quick.

Over the years I have developed (what I thought was) the good habit of filing away files and emails and notes into neat, nested folders. I’d try and have the same directory structure and folder names in Outlook, Windows directory and Evernote, which I use for notes. Old habits die  hard, but I am tempted to chuck it all and trust Copernic.

There is one reason though that makes it hard to abandon all those folders in Windows. If you want to attach a file to an email, Outlook requires you to navigate through folders. If you’ve dumped all files in My Documents with no file structure below that, you’re in trouble. Going the other way, that is to find the file first and then create an email should be doable but it isn’t the way most people work.

I’m hoping the wunderkinds at Google are thinking of a way around this (that does not involve saying ‘use Google mail’). I don’t think Microsoft is up to it. They’ve got bigger problems. Like rolling out Vista before their XP upgrade revenue dries up.


  1. SamY says:

    vista is gonna support file tagging … supposed to make locating files piece of cake … dun know if these tools will live in the vista world


  2. Sayrun says:

    True, but what is the security implication of running mini search engines on your desktop connected to the net?

    Security of data on your desktop will be a key deterrent, I believe.


  3. Sachin says:

    Google is a company where they earn their bread and butter from Advertisements. Google is a business. The revenue the company generates is derived from the sale of ads displayed on Google
    Sooner or later they will start adding Ads based on your search in Google Desktop Search (evil google?)… Will you still use it and stake your privacy?
    MS Vista is going to redefine Search and indexing. Similar desktop search product is available with MSN Toolbar and I found it better than Google’s Desktop search.


  4. Nitin says:

    I like google desktop but i think desktop tools are better done by microsoft. Those geeks always come up with better GUI…just bear with couple of crashs in first release.


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