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Use Tags to organize files and folders

Tagstoo is a free cross-platform desktop program for Windows, Linux and Mac devices to manage files and folders using tags.

The idea to tag files and folders on desktop systems is not entirely new. We reviewed Tag 2 Find back in 2009 which focused on finding files quickly using tags that you could assign to files or folders manually or automatically. Then in 2016, we reviewed Tag2Spaces, an open source cross-platform program to tag files.

Tagstoo is a cross-platform application. Windows users can download a portable version and run it, or install the program instead if they prefer that. The application is compatible with all recent versions of Windows

First thing you need to do on start is to create a new database and select a location for it. You can launch the program once that is out of the way.

First thing that you may notice is that the program is quite colorful; you can enable a grayscale mode in the options if you prefer that.

tagstoo tag folders files

Tagstoo comes with several demo tags by default. You may select the Edit/Remove tag button to edit them or remove them. New tags are created with a click on the Add new tag button.

Each tag has a label and shape associated with it, and all tags are listed in the main interface for easy access.

The program lists the folder structure on the left and the content of the active folder on the right. Note that you need to long-press on folders to switch to them which is not super-intuitive. Double-clicking or left-clicking won't switch to the selected folder.

You can assign tags using drag and drop. Just drag a tag to a folder or file and it is associated with it right away. If you add a tag to a folder you get an option to apply it to all folders and files it contains automatically.

Note that you can drag tags on folders on the left or on files or folders in the main content area.

It takes a moment to apply tags to all files and folders of a root folder. The time depends entirely on the number of items stored in the folder.

The default view mode is list view which lists files and folders in list form. Each file is listed with its name, extension, size and modification date, and each folder with its name and the number of items it contains.

You can switch the view mode, for instance to display images and media previews directly in the interface.

Another option that you have is to change the sort order of files, and to add certain folders to fast access. Fast Access is a menu at the top that you may use to switch to one of the listed folders right away; a favorites system so to speak.

Images can be previewed in the application and supported video formats can be previewed as well if you select the right view mode or in the search results.

Search is built in and it relies on tags for the most part. Select a start path for the search, and tags that files or folders should or should not have.

Search is not super-intuitive either; you need to drag tags from the tag bar to the search fields to run searches. There does not seem to be an option to search for files or folders that have not been tagged yet.

Tagstoo supports two different copy and move modes. You can drag and drop files or folders around, or by selecting files or folders and then the paste button at the top.

Closing Words

Tagstoo is an interesting program to manage files and folders using tags that works well. The program has a few usability issues, long-pressing to switch folders for instance, and it would be good if on-screen help would be available to notify users about these special ways of interacting with the application.

I'd like to see automation in the program, for instance by applying music tags automatically to files or suggesting to add a "spreadsheet" tag to all Spreadsheets.

All in all though, it works quite well and users who like the idea of adding lots of tags to their files and folders to improve manageability may want to take a look.

Now You: how do you organize files on your systems?


This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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