A utility to help keep your files organized — falls short of expectations.
I’ve been fortunate to experience several different professional fields in my life and no matter how different they were, one thing was consistent: organization. Each of my different jobs has relied on fierce organization as a standard skill and how files on a computer were organized was key to being successful in the position. I’ve always defaulted to using my system’s file organization structure even though there are many utility apps available that will help you clean up the files on your computer. I’ve never really looked into using one until recently when I started using Lightroom to keep my photos organized. I found it made a lot more sense to organize those files using the file manager in the software so I looked into other options for managing the rest of my files and I found File Cards.
File Cards is a utility app for macOS that is currently on version 1.30. The app is only 14.5MB in size and doesn’t require a lot of set-up. According to the description from the Mac App Store, File Cards is the first app to bring ‘true innovation and revolution in the file management process in more than a decade’. You can create a workspace that a group of folders lives in and you can easily switch between files at a glance. The idea behind this app is to be able to ‘watch’ folders no matter where they are located on your computer. When you add a ‘card’, you are essentially opening the folder within the app’s browser window instead of viewing it through the Finder. Users can use File Cards to ‘remember’ a group of folders as a WORKSPACE and it has the logic to forget the secondary open folders to keep the interface clean. File Cards extends the popular category of ‘Commander File Managers’ and currently retails for $6.99.
When I first opened the app, I was met with this screen — a blank canvas for starting a ‘card’ library. To get started, you click on the “+” as is stated in the background of the image. Then you get a pop-up Finder window that shows all the files on your computer. You click on one and then select “Open” at the bottom of the Finder window. After a few seconds (processing time for the app), the contents of the folder appear in the File Cards browser.
At this point, you can sift through the contents of the folders as you would normally in a Finder Window. You have the same control over your files as you would in a Finder, too. If you create a folder within File Cards and place files in it from that interface, then they become organized the same way on your computer. When you click the magnifying glass in the top left corner, you will zoom out to see the card view of the folders. Now, best as I can tell, the cards that appear are directly related to the ones that are open in the workspace. If you open one folder and then the subfolders within it, those will appear as cards when you zoom out. You can add cards by opening folders, but then when you zoom back into the folder view, all the cards show up as open folders.
When I downloaded File Cards, I was expecting something more than what I got. I thought it would be a stand-alone app that would provide structure for organizing my files. I also thought I would have more control over the cards. I think I would feel better about the app controlling the files at the root level of the computer if I could organize them by workspace without the opening of files controlling that. For example, if I started a workspace for WORK and then created cards in that workspace for files that were located all over my computer’s hard drive. I would want those cards to remain stationary and unchanged despite what I do with the actual files that the cards represent. But as of right now, when something changes on the files on the computer, the card changes and vice-versa.
I have a note-taking app that organizes projects/thoughts into cards and has become a decent management system for me. I actually expected something similar from File Cards just on a grander scale. As it turns out, File Cards really just gives you a similar view of files like the macOS Finder does with its column view of files. While File Cards wasn’t the ideal app for my situation, I can see how some people might really enjoy/benefit from working with it.