App for Collection/Quick Access to Files

What apps do you like that help you load and visually see a bunch of files that are related, but all over the place (various docs needing various apps, URLs, emails, etc.)? I realize Hook is made for this, but I’m wanting more visual, less search interface.

Something like Curio is very visually-oriented:


For files (including emails captured to file, and .weblocs for URLs) I like Leap. It’s a tag-based app – so there’s that, which might not be attractive. What I like is the tag cloud for searching, and that all the found documents can be seen spread out in preview mode.

Of course – this can be done in Finder or PathFinder, but I like the presentation in Yep better.

Curio is absolutely the best app for visual presentation of notes. It also has a good tagging system. Actual files or links can be embedded into a Curio project.

But, instead of learning another app, why not use Tinderbox with hook links(as an attribute) with your own tags ? Or if Devonthink is your repository of choice - Devonthink links.

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Good suggestions, thanks.

Those apps are a little high maintenance for what I want. Looking at Leap, I’m wondering if plain Finder tags might work? I’m remembering some esoteric app Merlin Mann used that had a name like “Docket” or something… maybe it was a Brett Terpstra app? Does that ring a bell for anyone?

Right now, I’m dragging important files to the dock so I can quickly access them, but this is obviously a limited solution.

Plus one for Leap, along with the rest of the suite (Yep and Fresh)

Quite honestly, though, the easiest method I have found is doing a spotlight search for, say PDFs, then saving that search as a Smart Folder with access in my Finder sidebar…

In macOS you can drag a tag from the “Tags” section of Finder, to the lower portion of the Dock, then from the contextual menu of that tag in the dock you can choose Display as Folder. So, you can tag your important stuff, and have them accessible as a “folder” in the Dock.

Cost $0

(An app I definitely do not recommend for this is Trickster. It is supposed to track files by partial name, or tag, or location, etc., but it never updates the display.)


I think you’re talking about Bunch, but I don’t think it does what you’re looking for (without being a hacky way of doing it):

What do you need to visualize the files for? Like, what kinds of things will you do from this view you’re looking to create?

That’s it! Thanks. Yeah, it won’t do what I need to do.

I don’t need to visualize them, per say, just see them. I am wanting to have a place to go to see all the files I have for this (consulting gig) or that (research project) or the other (class), and so on. I do this with “Reference” tags in OF and, lately, with the dock shortcut thing I mentioned earlier.

This may very well do what I want! I’ll report back…

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Not too visual, but something I’ve been experimenting with lately in Finder is making a folder, then dragging aliases of files into that folder. I have files strewn across the galaxy, external drives1, etc. plus multiple versions of some files. It’s not very visual, unless you use the icon view.

Other than that, I like Curio with aliases to files.

1: Yes, galaxy includes external drives.


This does exactly what I want it to do… fans out and everything. Thanks, @anon41602260!


:point_up:Bonus points for automatically adding DevonThink tags.


How about BumpTop?
Saw this back in 2007 and it blew my mind. I thought, “this is the way!” Google bought it, it stagnated, then they open sourced it. I haven’t tried it in a decade or so. Works on Windows or Mac. never mind, it’s ancient, won’t run on modern macOS, and seems to have been abandoned.

Here’s the TED Talk from 2007:

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Hahah. Thanks for taking us on that journey with you.

I am very interested in the VR/AR implications for this kinda thing, though. Being able to place and reorganize files and data in 3D space around you would be pretty cool.

See e.g.,

C’mon Apple, get on it!

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Carry a compass and a good topo-map (or space chart).


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I did this once! In an “immersive virtual environment.” It was the coolest thing. I would put stuff over my shoulder, over in the corner, up there, behind me. I’ve been longing for a similar experience ever since.


I’ve always wanted the holo devices everyone uses in Avatar or The Expanse (to name a few cool examples).

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From the Prince Interactive video game (ca. 1994). In a more modern form, this would be great for remembering where things are, switching contexts, etc.



Imaging running around all these virtual rooms, where the heck did I leave my password??