Tagging should be a feature of operating systems. It’s usually a superior way of organizing information v. folders because a file can be placed in only a single folder, but multiple tags can be associated with that file. It’s one of the reasons I like Gmail, because emails can be tagged with multiple descriptive terms instead of just throwing it into a folder. I find it much easier to find tagged items on flickr, del.icio.us and gmail, for example, than it is on Mac mail, my desktop email client that doesn’t support tagging. Properly tagged items are much easier to search for down the road.
Vista does support a limited form of tagging, although it’s hard to get to. If you right click on a file and click properties, and then details, you can enter in a set of tags for that file. Using the search feature of Vista you can then find those files by searching for a tag. Windows XP doesn’t support tagging, nor does Mac.
Austria-based Tag2Find, though, has created a nifty application that allows tagging for any type of desktop file. It only works with Windows machines running XP or Vista, and it relies on the .NET framework. In our testing on a XP machine, it did very well.
To see how it works, see the demo here. The application sits in the system tray on the bottom of the screen. Click on it and a search bar appears to tag files, or find tagged files (see image to right). to tag a file you type in the tags and then drag files to the icon. Tag2Find will also suggest other tags based on what you type.
There is also a larger view option that opens up a window showing tagged files, a tag cloud or tag list, and a built in media player to play media files that you’ve tagged (see image below).
There’s no word on the business plan, although it’s possible this could be advertising supported. The beta period, at least, is free. Right now the company is in private beta, you can request an account here.
This is a great Windows tool, and I’d definitely use it if I wasn’t on a Mac. Microsoft, by the way, has certainly given some thought to moving in this direction – see this video (works in IE only) for information on their Project Tesla.