Advertising
Advertising

Learn How to Use Mac Finder Like a Genius

Learn How to Use Mac Finder Like a Genius

The Finder folder is the application on Mac that is always kept active in your dock; the area where all of your applications are made available. You are able to see this because below the icon, the light to show an active application is always kept on. Once selected, you are able to see a window of your various folders and files found on your Mac. Aside from this, the usefulness and definition of what Finder really is can be a bit of a mystery. Today, we will unlock this enigmatic folder and find out what Finder is, how to use it, and the great potential that it has.

Document Organization

demystifyfinderfolder_fileorg1

    The Finder folder doesn’t just allow you to access your multimedia files—you can access your documents there as well. Document organization in the Finder folder occurs multiple ways: first off, document organization can occur through simply creating a folder. To create a folder in Finder, simply do the following:

    Advertising

    • After opening Finder, select the items within the window that you would like to group together.
    • To select multiple items, click near (not on) the file and drag to highlight all of the files you’d like to group.
    • Then, after right clicking on one of the files, select “New Folder with Selection (# items).
    • Rename your new folder and click return.

    demystifyfinderfolder_fileorg2

      Aside from folders, another great way you can extend your ability to organize documents is by making use of labels. When you right click on a folder, you are presented with the option to add color labels on a folder. This allows you to keep your folders organized by assigning them in specific categories.

      Advertising

      FinderLabelPreferences

        For example, you may wish to label all urgent documents with red, or business documents with yellow. How exactly do you change the settings of the labels? Simple: just go to Finder preferences. To do so, simply click on Finder in the Mac dock, and then “Preferences”. You can also use the keyboard command of Command + , (comma) to access labels—just ensure that Finder is open first. From there, under the “Labels” section, you can assign names to each color.

        The Dropbox Issue

        If you are a Dropbox user, you may be wondering how your files are handled in Finder. Dropbox and Finder have a wonderful, co-existing relationship on Mac: when used in conjunction with the Dropbox menu bar button, Dropbox is fully accessible, and in Finder, you are automatically given a Dropbox folder.

        Advertising

        demystifyfinderfolder_dropbox

          Available on the left sidebar, the Dropbox folder in Finder syncs periodically. When a new file is added, you will see the blue sync icon show on the file; once synchronization is complete, the blue sync icon turns into a green check. Public Dropbox folders in Finder are shown with a globe design on the folder, while shared folders will have a design featuring three people. Private ones are plain blue folders.

          On the Finder window, in the center, you will find a Dropbox drop-down options button that allows you to browse your folders in the web browser, share your folder’s link, and share the whole folder in general. The same options are available when you right click on the folder and move your cursor over the “Dropbox” option.

          Smart Folders

          Advertising

          demystifyingfinder_smart1

            So, what’s the deal with the smart folders? If you haven’t heard about them before, it’s important to get one thing straight: they aren’t technically folders, but shells of ever-updating search results of specific search criteria that you set for the folder to look up and include. For example, if you want a folder that includes just .JPEG files, Smart Folders groups these files together into your designated Smart Folder. Here’s how to get started with your customized Smart Folder:

            • Open up Finder and search for a specific criteria for your folder in the search bar at the upper right of the window. To continue on with our document example, you could type in .PDF for all PDF files.
            • Directly under the search bar is a “Save” button: click it!
            • You’ll get a window popping asking you to name the file and allowing you to choose the saving location.

            demystifyingfinder_smart2

              While this is the easiest way, it’s important to remember that this way includes anything associated with JPEG. This means if your file includes the name JPEG—even if it’s a PDF book about the history of JPEG photographs—it would be included in this folder. How do you make a more accurate Smart Folder? Here’s how:

              • In the top, click File, then “New Smart Folder”
              • Add your criteria, clicking the “+” button available at the right to add more parameters.
                • “Kind” – Allows you to choose the type of file it is. For example, an application, the file type (PDF, JPEG, etc), and the like.
                • “Last – Date” – Allows you to include files only opened within or exactly at a certain time. You can also sort based on modification day.
                • “Created Date” – Sort based on the day the article was added to your Mac.
                • “Name” – Sort based on the exact name, or based on files that include that keyword.
                • “Contains” – Type in any word, if the file is associated with it in any way, it’s included!
              • Once done, click the “Save” button, name the folder, and choose the saving location.

              Burn Folders

              To finish up, we will talk a bit about how to create a burn folder. This is considered necessary when you are burning a CD onto your Mac or burning files onto a CD from your Mac. To create a burn folder, you must first go to Finder. After clicking File in the menu bar, click “New Burn Folder”, and from there, add documents and other files into that new folder. When you are ready to burn to the CD disk, open the file and click Burn. Then, insert CD, and go from there.

              More by this author

              10 Meal Planning Apps You Need To Have To Get Healthier Easily The 50 Best Desktop Wallpapers for 2013 23 Awesome Travel Hacks That Add Fun To Your Trip How to Stay in Good Shape During Black Friday 9 Apps Unrelated to Black Friday That Are Helpful

              Trending in Mac

              1 20 Best Productivity Apps for Mac You Should Have in 2019 2 15 Mac Hacks You’ve Probably Never Heard Of 3 10 Ways To Prevent Your Mac From Being Hacked 4 3 Things to Consider When Uploading Videos to YouTube 5 Top 5 Reliable Backup Apps for Data on Mac

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on February 15, 2019

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

              Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

              Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

              Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

              So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

              Joe’s Goals

              Advertising

                 

                Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

                Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

                Daytum

                  Daytum

                  is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

                  Advertising

                  Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                  Excel or Numbers

                    If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                    What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                    Evernote

                    Advertising

                      I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                      Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                      Access or Bento

                        If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                        Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

                        Advertising

                        You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                        Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                        All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                        Conclusion

                        I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                        What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

                        Read Next