Mac Productivity Tip: Tagging Files

Here’s a little productivity tip for those of you who may need it. In OS X, one of the features that I find is vastly underused is Spotlight comments. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a way to tag your files quickly and easily with say‚Ķ a “TODO” tag or something so you could easily find them and remember to work on something?

Using Automator, you can do this very quickly. Open up Automator and build out a Service that looks like this:

Automator TODO

Like I said, you did this as a Service. So Save it. Now, anytime you have a file selected, the Service to tag this will become available in the top menu bar.

This is useful, but let’s make it more useful. Let’s assign a keyboard shortcut. Go to System Preferences/Keyboard and select Keyboard Shortcuts. Choose “Services” on the left-hand side and scroll down to your new Service. Tick the checkbox and assign it a keystroke. For me, I assigned it CTRL-CMD-T.

Now, when you select a file, hit your keyboard shortcut and the file will automatically be tagged.

That’s neat, but let’s make it EVEN NEATER.

Now go to Finder and make a new Smart Folder. Tell it you want to display files that meet criteria of a Spotlight comment containing “TODO”. You’ll end up with a view like this:

Finder TODO

See the comments field? Now you can see the tag there. If you really wanted to get fancy, you could make Services with other tags and carve out smart folders for them. Good stuff.