You would think in 2023 one function that a file manager would do quite well is move files to the desired location. In fact Finder, Pathfinder and Forklift do not have great built in capabilities in this respect.
The gold standard in moving files around is exhibited in DEVONthink. It has a comprehensive context menu, smart rules to automate item movement, and a AI system that will suggest where a item should be filed based on your past behavior.
In recent days DEVONthink has put out a note that it is not a Finder replacement and I understand their argument. However on another level I would argue that if your use case means you can spend most of your time using a particular application then it can for you be substantially a Finder replacement.
Certainly having DEVONthink Pro installed on my Mac has triggered the thought more than once that I could substantially use this for my file management needs.
In Forklift I move files just by creating a service (quick action) with a keyboard shortcut. This mostly seems to work okay. I have also experimented with Alfred workflows that also seems to be acceptably efficient. This is light years behind what DEVONthink offers.
These days I’m back to using DEVONthink as a basic markdown note-taking application and file manager for my iCloud stored files. No database syncing, no cloudkit. And I would have to say it’s superb for that, what with the favorite workspaces and autocomplete features, it’s really a Finder replacement.
Does this include your documents folder?
In passing, … would love to see a “Finder” replacement that incorporates the best relevant features of DEVONthink, Forklift and Path Finder.
I don’t use the default “Documents” folder, but I keep all my docs, notes, images in a folder on iCloud Drive, and let it do its sync thing across devices. My understanding is that iCloud Drive syncing and DT sync do not mix very well (even using DTs CloudKit sync stuff). Generally speaking, the reason why syncing iCloud Drive files into a DT databse is that iCloud Drive may confuse DT making files (dis)appear automagically, so DT declares the database as corrupt.
So my current approach is to surrender DT sync. Now I have two separate DT instances on different computers (work and laptop) and they see the same iCloud Drive, but they attempt no syncing. I am aware I am missing quite a lot of DT’s power (as there are also a lot of capabilities and features that will not be synced, beginning with metadata, tags, suggested groups…) but even with that DT trumps Obsidian in mac-assedness, and I can always run Obsidian again the same set of files (and the links across files can be made compatible).