EagleFiler: Collect, Organize, and Search Your Information – For Mac OS X


EagleFilerUniversal Binary

Organize, search, and archive your mail, Web pages, files, and miscellaneous scraps of information.

EagleFiler in a nutshell:

  1. Main Window

    With a single keypress, import a Web page, mail messages, a scrap of text, or any file on your Mac.

  2. EagleFiler stores them in an open format: regular files and folders that are fully accessible to your other applications.
  3. Optionally: encrypt the files, add tags, notes, color-coded labels, and other metadata.
  4. Browse by folder or by tag, or use the live search to find the information you need (faster than Spotlight).
  5. View, edit, or create documents directly in EagleFiler’s streamlined interface, or double-click to edit using a more specialized application.

“It’s a vital tool for the digital pack rat.” —Macworld

“Using EagleFiler, I can now stop fussing with organization tools and just get myself organized.” —InformationWeek

New in Version 1.4.11

What Is EagleFiler?

EagleFiler is an easy-to-use information manager. It lets you organize and search mail, Web pages, PDF files, notes, and more. Use it to collect stuff from a variety of sources. Browse everything using a standard three-pane interface. Organize using folders and annotate using tags and notes, or just leave everything in one folder and pin-point what you need instantly using the live search. Since EagleFiler stores its library in Finder format, you can use it in concert with the other tools in your Mac ecosystem.

EagleFiler

Importing Is a Snap

Getting your information into EagleFiler is easy. When you’re viewing a Web page in Safari or NetNewsWire, looking at a mailbox in Mail, or browsing files in the Finder, just press the capture key (F1 by default, or Option-F1 to see the options below). EagleFiler will save the document into its library, and you can go right on working without interrupting your flow. (Of course, you can also use drag and drop or other methods if you prefer.) Once the document is in EagleFiler, you’ll always have a copy of the way it looked when you imported it. No more bookmarking a great article, only to find out later that the page is no longer available or that registration or even payment is now required. If you do research on the Web, you know that pages change—sometimes without notice—so it’s always good to keep a paper trail of exactly what you read. There’s no shame in being a digital pack rat when today’s Macs ship with tens or even hundreds of gigabytes of storage.

images/capture-with-options.png

Familiar Mail-like Interface

EagleFiler browser windows use a three-pane view that’s familiar to any Mail user. This is not a database front-end; it’s a real Mac application with a fully Aqua user interface. Click on one or more sources to view their contents. Enter some text in the search box to filter the record list. Click on a record to view it right there in the window. HTML mail messages can be viewed as rich text, or you can view e-mails as plain text, complete with color-coded quoted text and clickable links. You can open as many windows as you want to view different parts of the library.

Search Everything

It’s no good to store your information if you can’t find it when you need it. Fortunately, EagleFiler offers some powerful search options. If you know the title, author, or recipient you’re looking for, you can search by one of those fields. Or, use EagleFiler’s indexed search to look through the entire contents of your documents. Like Spotlight, EagleFiler can search different types of files at once—after all, what matters is what you’re looking for, not whether it’s in a PDF, an e-mail, or a chat.

Searching

Unlike Spotlight, EagleFiler makes it easy to narrow down the results. You’re searching within the library, not all the files on your hard disk, so the search is fast. You can select one or more folders or mailboxes within the library to restrict the search—reducing the amount of data that EagleFiler has to look through, and number of results that you’ll have to comb through. You can even do Boolean, tag, and phrase-based searches to tell EagleFiler exactly what you’re looking for. Once you’ve narrowed the search results to a manageable number of documents, it’s easy to find the information you’re looking for because you can view the document contents right there in EagleFiler.

For more complex searches, or for quick access to your most common searches, you can create your own smart folders.

The Library Is Open

Like iTunes and iPhoto, EagleFiler keeps your data in a library. The library is just a special folder in the Finder that EagleFiler manages. You shouldn’t re-arrange the files and folders in the library except through EagleFiler, but other than that you can treat it just like a regular folder. Browse its contents in the Finder or Path Finder—the folder structure matches the folders in EagleFiler.

Library Folder in Finder

View and edit the files using your favorite applications. Drag key files to the Dock or make aliases of them on your desktop. Search the files using Spotlight. Back them up using Time Machine. Label files in EagleFiler, and the labels automatically show up in the Finder—and vice-versa. Files in the library will still show up in your application’s Open Recent menus, and Preview will still remember which page of the PDF you were reading. In short, you can capture, organize, and search your files using EagleFiler, without giving up the normal conveniences of the Mac experience.

Reliable Data Storage

The library may look like just a folder full of files, but EagleFiler uses a Core Data SQL database to keep track of the files and their contents. This lets you put thousands of files in the library and access them reliably and quickly. Each time you open a library, EagleFiler checks to make sure that all the files are present. It can even verify the library (using MD5 checksums) to make sure that none of the files has been corrupted. There’s no point in storing and backing up damaged files. When you archive your documents in EagleFiler, you can be sure that when you need to read them again they’ll be in pristine condition.

Verifying in the Activity Viewer

Plus, EagleFiler libraries go great with backups and archival. Your data is stored in individual files, so smart backup and synchronization programs won’t waste time and space copying the documents that haven’t changed. Since the files are in standard formats like PDF, RTF, and mbox, you’ll be able to read them years from now, even if—alas—you’re no longer using EagleFiler.

Add Tags and Notes

Tags are somewhat like labels in the Finder, except that each record can have as many tags as you want. EagleFiler has some tags such as “unread,” “flagged,” and “replied” built-in, and it will import these from Mail. If you’ve created additional tags in Mail using MailTags, EagleFiler will import those as well. You can also create your own tags. Tags may be treated like keywords, and each tag also appears as a source in the browser window, which acts like a playlist in iTunes or an album in iPhoto.

Tags and Notes

Each document or message in EagleFiler can also have a note. Notes, which you can edit in EagleFiler’s Info inspector, are like comments in the Finder on steroids. They support rich text with multiple fonts, sizes, and colors. Notes can even include clickable links, graphics, tables, and lists. Use notes to write down information that goes with your documents, to excerpt key passages, to add your own comments or analysis, or to add links to related records in EagleFiler.

Speed Up and Simplify Your Other Applications

Most e-mail programs are designed for communicating with your mail server and letting you read and write messages—not for storing all your old mail. By cleaning out your mail program’s database, you can remove some clutter from its mailbox list and speed it up. EagleFiler preserves the entire message source, including headers and attachments. But cleaning it out doesn’t have to mean lots of time wasted trying to predict which messages you might need in the future. Disk space is plentiful—just archive all your old mail into EagleFiler. Later, you’ll be able to find what you need with a quick search. Meanwhile, the archived messages will no longer be slowing down Spotlight searches of your files and current messages.

Likewise, your Web browser’s bookmarks feature is great for remembering sites that you’ll want to go back to frequently. But it isn’t ideal for remembering the information found on Web pages. Don’t bookmark news articles, recipes, reviews, and other documents—and then try to look through your overflowing bookmarks folder to recall the articles by title and URL. Instead, capture the Web pages into EagleFiler where you’ll be able to search their entire contents.

Multiple Libraries

Some people like to dump all their information into a single EagleFiler library, with minimal folder structure, and locate documents that they need using the search feature. But EagleFiler also supports multiple libraries, for those who like to separate their business and personal files, group them by project or client, or keep different kinds of files in different places. For example, you might keep some of your files on your iPod or USB keychain drive, some in an encrypted library, and others in your Documents folder. Unlike with iPhoto and iTunes, you can have multiple EagleFiler libraries open at once. However you want to group your files, EagleFiler can accommodate.

Copyright © 2002–2009 C-Command Software. All rights reserved. Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

A great way to back up mail, optimize, better search ….

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