The new features in Leopard previewed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs at WWDC yesterday sound like a great way of getting organised, but will it change the way I work?
These new ways of storing files always sound like a great idea when Apple mentions them the first time, but in reality I never end up changing the way I work - because it’s what works for me.
When Apple introduced Spotlight and smart searches I thought, “What a good idea. Now I don’t need to make up folders for projects”. That’s how I work; I put everything relevant to a particular project into folders on my desktop, emails, word docs, excel spreadsheets, pdfs of webpages, images. Everything I need in one place.
In reality, Spotlight couldn’t replicate that for me. True it made searching for documents I’d not filed in the proper way easier, but the fact is that if I wanted to search for every thing to do with this issue – the WWDC issue – Spotlight wouldn’t find it, because not every file will have the word WWDC included in it. And searching for all the files from the last month of my life won’t solve the problem either, because I’ve been working on the next issue too.
So with Spotlight resigned to the sidelines I’m wondering whether the new features in Leopard will entice me to change the way I work. Stacks sounds interesting. Rather than having my project folder on my desktop I could tidy it away in the Dock hovering over it when needed and watching the folders and files within fan out in front of me. Pretty.
What about the Cover Flow feature in the Finder? Well, it doesn’t work for me in iTunes (I’m clearly not a visual type of person). But that doesn’t mean it won’t work for me here. I can certainly see the benefit of being able to get a preview of the Word file I’m thinking about opening. Actually, I’m sure it’s been possible to see a preview of a Word document on a Windows PC for years…
One other feature of Leopard that I am interested in is ‘Back to my Mac’. The idea that I could search my work Mac from home at the weekend sounds like an excellent idea. Hang on a second, I don’t think I really mean that! If Apple’s going to change the way I work I hope it means there will be less working from home at the weekends!