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Monday Productivity Pointers
Illustration by Neil Webb

Using Smart Folders on a Mac


From:

Monday Productivity Pointers

with Jess Stratton

Video: Using Smart Folders on a Mac

Hi there, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. The first thing we need to do is to The first one I want is just a way to identify all the active files I'm going to use a combination of smart Now, you may have seen on a Mac, if you right Well, the first thing we're going to do is change the text I'm going to select Finder at the top left Go to the Labels tab, and here's where I can change the names of these.
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  1. 2m 59s
    1. Requesting your Twitter archive
      2m 59s
  2. 9h 53m
    1. Welcome to the series
      1m 13s
    2. Running a group meeting with coworkers
      7m 19s
    3. Recording and marketing chat on air
      8m 30s
    4. Creating a quick presentation
      5m 37s
    5. Presenting from an iPad or computer
      3m 36s
    6. Migrating your accounts to Mint.com
      9m 55s
    7. Setting budgets and goals
      7m 4s
    8. Collaborating on team documents
      5m 53s
    9. Creating an online photo gallery
      4m 58s
    10. Kickstarter: Setting up your project
      10m 41s
    11. Driving traffic to your project
      5m 48s
    12. Conducting a voice call with a virtual team
      6m 40s
    13. Adding video and chat notifications
      4m 7s
    14. Accepting a payment with Square
      4m 35s
    15. Using the Square Wallet
      2m 32s
    16. Setting up shop on Etsy
      6m 31s
    17. Tracking your Etsy sales with Shop Stats
      4m 9s
    18. Raising your Klout score
      7m 3s
    19. Earning Klout perks
      4m 55s
    20. Skydrive: Collaborating on team documents
      4m 56s
    21. Skydrive: Accessing files on the go
      2m 57s
    22. Setting up Google alerts to track your data
      5m 5s
    23. Removing a page from the Google search index
      4m 42s
    24. Browsing privately in public
      4m 38s
    25. Cleaning up your session before logging out
      5m 8s
    26. Troubleshooting a remote computer with TeamViewer
      3m 42s
    27. Taking screenshots from a PC
      4m 12s
    28. Taking screenshots from a Mac
      3m 36s
    29. Setting up Find My iPhone
      3m 36s
    30. Using iCloud to find an iPhone
      3m 49s
    31. Sampling color from the screen
      5m 27s
    32. Using ColourLovers.com for inspiration
      3m 22s
    33. Get an audio clip onto YouTube using iPhoto
      5m 49s
    34. Creating playlists and customizing your YouTube channel
      5m 41s
    35. Record your screen using QuickTime
      3m 14s
    36. Record your screen using CamStudio
      2m 34s
    37. Using Tempo Smart Calendar when you are going to be late
      3m 9s
    38. Using Twist to let your customers know where you are
      3m 38s
    39. Using Wunderlist to track multiple projects
      9m 0s
    40. Use the Wunderlist browser extension to create tasks on the web
      5m 46s
    41. Using Smart Mailboxes with Mac Mail
      6m 52s
    42. Customizing the Mac Mail View
      7m 13s
    43. What's a firewall?
      7m 36s
    44. What is the Cloud?
      4m 42s
    45. Creating your own recipe with IFTTT
      7m 19s
    46. Browsing existing recipes with IFTTT
      5m 7s
    47. Installing the Feedly browser extension
      6m 34s
    48. Customizing Feedly
      6m 53s
    49. Understanding the basics of Twitter
      9m 9s
    50. Using Tweetdeck to handle multiple accounts
      9m 14s
    51. Working with URL Shorteners
      5m 45s
    52. Using bit.ly
      8m 31s
    53. Creating Quick Parts to re-use text
      6m 19s
    54. Moving your Autotext to a new computer
      6m 7s
    55. Shutting off access to social networks
      6m 18s
    56. Hiding taskbars
      2m 36s
    57. Exploring the iOS 7 Update
      10m 7s
    58. Running a productive online meeting
      3m 44s
    59. Getting meeting minutes faster
      6m 47s
    60. TextExpander for Mac
      7m 6s
    61. Breevy for Windows
      3m 44s
    62. Using Smart Folders on a Mac
      5m 52s
    63. Using Windows Libraries
      4m 25s
    64. Finding large attachments in your email apps
      5m 13s
    65. Use Ninite to install all your PC apps at once
      3m 30s
    66. Use Get Mac Apps to install your Mac apps at once
      2m 56s
    67. Creating a disposable email address with Guerrilla mail
      4m 7s
    68. Creating an email address that lasts only 10 minutes
      3m 16s
    69. Finding and adding local vendors to enhance your iOS reminders
      3m 45s
    70. Adding geofencing to Find My Friends
      3m 20s
    71. Turning a Word document contract into a PDF
      4m 1s
    72. Turning a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF
      4m 10s
    73. Resetting browser site passwords
      7m 11s
    74. Disabling toolbars, resizing screens, and accidentally closed tabs
      7m 42s
    75. Identifying your wifi's weakest link
      7m 59s
    76. Setting up dual band speed on your router
      7m 36s
    77. Add your social media activity to your website
      8m 54s
    78. Using WordPress mobile to update on the go
      4m 48s
    79. Matching the header row on your spreadsheet files
      8m 20s
    80. Using a formula to merge first and last name columns
      5m 58s
    81. Using JoliDrive to browse cloud app data
      5m 11s
    82. Using JoliDrive on an iPad
      4m 31s
    83. Finding deals on eBay using misspelled listings
      4m 18s
    84. Searching for promotional and coupon codes online
      5m 52s
    85. Sending real postcards from your computer with Postagram
      4m 25s
    86. Using Postagram to send a real postcard from your smartphone
      3m 55s
    87. Getting to Inbox Zero
      11m 4s
    88. Using existing GMail labels with Mailbox
      3m 19s
    89. Adding 2-step authentication
      3m 39s
    90. Enabling in-app PIN codes
      3m 31s
    91. Accessing your digital movies
      5m 20s
    92. Copying movies onto a device
      3m 25s
    93. Using Genius Scan to scan your documents
      3m 34s
    94. Sending your scans
      2m 41s
    95. Using Acrobat to ink sign a PDF
      4m 49s
    96. Writing a letter of recommendation
      7m 49s
    97. Constructing a successful press release
      4m 48s
    98. Troubleshooting wireless security
      4m 48s
    99. Writing a claim letter
      5m 22s
    100. The best reasons to try online chat customer service
      5m 9s
    101. How to do a firmware update
      6m 34s
    102. Siri, your iPhone assistant
      4m 48s
    103. Writing an email that gets read
      4m 51s
    104. Writing an email that requires action
      2m 54s
    105. Your Blu-ray questions answered
      3m 50s
    106. Using LittleBit to photograph your goal progress
      3m 9s
    107. Exporting WordPress blog entries
      3m 28s
    108. Understanding how Office 365 works
      5m 9s
    109. Using Waze for crowdsourced GPS
      2m 58s
    110. Downloading your Facebook timeline
      3m 10s
    111. Scheduling email with Boomerang
      4m 24s
    112. Google Labs for Calendar
      2m 58s
    113. Finding missing songs in iTunes on your iPhone
      2m 10s

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Monday Productivity Pointers
9h 56m Appropriate for all Mar 25, 2013 Updated Jul 21, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.

Subjects:
Business Collaboration Productivity Home + Small Office Computer Skills (Mac) Computer Skills (Windows) Teacher Tools Education Student Tools
Software:
iOS
Author:
Jess Stratton

Using Smart Folders on a Mac

Hi there, I'm Jess Stratton, and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. In an earlier edition of Monday Productivity, I showed you how you can use smart mailboxes in your Mac mail client to aggregate and view all your mail that meets certain criteria in one place. Well today we're going to extend that functionality to finder in Mac. So that you can aggregate all sorts of folders in one place called a Smart Folder. Now why would you want to do this? Well for one, you may have photos in various folders all over the place on your Mac.

You can aggregate them all into one smart folder. So whenever you want to look at all your folders, you only have to go to one place to see all your photos. You can do the same thing with music. That's actually what I do on my Mac at home. So let's get started, and I'll show you how to set up your own smart folders. The first thing we need to do is to decide what things we're going to create our smart folders for. I'm going to create two. The first one I want is just a way to identify all the active files and folders that I'm working on in whatever current projects I'm working on right now.

Now remember, they could be anywhere on my Mac, in a Google drive folder, in a documents folder, in a sub-folder, it doesn't matter. I'm going to use a combination of smart folders and labels to get these things identified. Now, you may have seen on a Mac, if you right click a file, you can color code it with a label. Well, the first thing we're going to do is change the text of these labels so that we can clearly identify what we're labeling. I'm going to select Finder at the top left hand side of the Mac and choose Preferences. Go to the Labels tab, and here's where I can change the names of these.

For example, the red label, I'm going to change that to be active. Now the second smart folder I'm going to make is all my photos. So I'll take this purple color and rename that to Photos. When I'm all done, I can close out of it and now I'm ready to start labeling my different items. So if I use my expense reports all the time, I'm going to right-click that file and label it as Active. You'll see that all the other ones are still labeled the same color name except Photos and Active, which we changed.

It gets flagged with the red color. And now I can go through and flag any photo or any active project that I'm working on. You can even do it with subfolders. For example, here's this logos plus story folder that I use all the time. So I'm going to flag that as an active folder. There's an Images file. Now you'll notice that this is kind of buried. But I'm going to flag this as being photos. So now that I flagged that folder and I flagged some active things, let's start creating our smart folders.

We do that by choosing File from the top Finder menu. And choosing New Smart Folder. The first thing we need to do is type in our search criteria for that smart folder. I can do that by choosing my labels that I created. Now there's other things that you can use smart folders for but right now we're just aggregating our active folders and our photos. So I'm going to start typing label is active. Now you'll notice that it immediately found all the files that I've labeled as active.

So now I'm going to chose the Save button. I could click this plus if I wanted to add more criteria to it. For example, there is all sorts of things I can create smart folders out of. When it was last opened? When it was last modified? I could create a new smart folder of all files that have been modified in the past two weeks. This would be a good one to create if you're constantly scrambling to find files on your computer. But right now I'm going to keep it as just active files. So I'll click the Save button.

And now I need to give it a name. I'll just call this one Active, because that's what it is. It's going to save this smart folder in my saved searches. And I want to add it to my side bar. I don't have to, but it's very useful, so I'm going to leave this checked. That's going to put it in this favorites over here, as soon as I click Save, here's my active view. So anytime I open up finder, and I'm working anywhere in my computer, if I want to quickly find all the active folders that I'm using, I can come down here, and here they are.

Lets do that one more time with my photos. I'm going to come back up to the Finder's Menu, Choose New Smart Folder. I can add any criteria that I want, but in this case I'm going to type Label. This time I'm going to type photos. So here's where it's aggregated all the photos that I've labeled on my computer. This is also useful if you have photos in mapped drives and things like that. And I'll click the Save button, I'll call it photos. I still want to add it to the side bar. I can click Save and here it is.

So now I've got two smart folders that are going to be very useful to me. So go through in your computer, see what kind of files you find yourself always going to and always spending lots of time clicking through various subfolders to get to. And make them a smart folder.

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