The Case Against Everything Buckets

Alex Payne explains my general bewilderment with all of the Mac bucket applications. Thanks to MPU listener Tommaso for the link.

13 Comments The Case Against Everything Buckets

  1. Richard Heldmann

    Gee wiz, text files, directories and Spotlight. Nothing like common sense to remove the smoke and mirrors. Great read.

    Reply
  2. ronproto@gmail.com

    I appreciate Alex’s position on bucket applications…but I couldn’t live without Yojimbo. I don’t use it for everything, but I use it for a lot of things. It has bailed me out many times. If it crashes, I have TimeMachine for a backup and a SuperDuper backup, just in case.

    I wish Yojimbo had an iPad and an iPhone app and that they synced with one another. Then my YoJimbo life would be complete.

    Reply
  3. ronproto@gmail.com

    I appreciate Alex’s position on bucket applications…but I couldn’t live without Yojimbo. I don’t use it for everything, but I use it for a lot of things. It has bailed me out many times. If it crashes, I have TimeMachine for a backup and a SuperDuper backup, just in case.

    I wish Yojimbo had an iPad and an iPhone app and that they synced with one another. Then my YoJimbo life would be complete.

    Reply
  4. ronproto@gmail.com

    I appreciate Alex’s position on bucket applications…but I couldn’t live without Yojimbo. I don’t use it for everything, but I use it for a lot of things. It has bailed me out many times. If it crashes, I have TimeMachine for a backup and a SuperDuper backup, just in case.

    I wish Yojimbo had an iPad and an iPhone app and that they synced with one another. Then my YoJimbo life would be complete.

    Reply
  5. ronproto@gmail.com

    I appreciate Alex’s position on bucket applications…but I couldn’t live without Yojimbo. I don’t use it for everything, but I use it for a lot of things. It has bailed me out many times. If it crashes, I have TimeMachine for a backup and a SuperDuper backup, just in case.

    I wish Yojimbo had an iPad and an iPhone app and that they synced with one another. Then my YoJimbo life would be complete.

    Reply
  6. ronproto@gmail.com

    I appreciate Alex’s position on bucket applications…but I couldn’t live without Yojimbo. I don’t use it for everything, but I use it for a lot of things. It has bailed me out many times. If it crashes, I have TimeMachine for a backup and a SuperDuper backup, just in case.

    I wish Yojimbo had an iPad and an iPhone app and that they synced with one another. Then my YoJimbo life would be complete.

    Reply
  7. rich@halfadozenmonkeys.com

    Hi David – thanks for the link. An interesting article.

    Not sure that I agree though! The premise is that lobbing everything into one bucket and then relying on search to untangle our mess is inefficient and misses opportunities. I find this a little disingenuous!

    For me, the power of modern search (be that Google, Spotlight, or even OCR technology) means that using these software tools we are now not throwing things into one bucket, we are throwing them into a thousand very specific buckets. A bucket for every word and tag the file contains. This is a powerful system.

    Further to this, for most of us the alternative to scanning everything very quickly into Evernote , is not using a more thorough filing system. In reality the alternative is to do nothing at all, other than watch files, information and documents get lost or pile up in a draw. The ‘one bucket’ is the lesser of two evils for those of us without the patience to do something else!

    Cheers

    Rich

    Reply
  8. rich@halfadozenmonkeys.com

    Hi David – thanks for the link. An interesting article.

    Not sure that I agree though! The premise is that lobbing everything into one bucket and then relying on search to untangle our mess is inefficient and misses opportunities. I find this a little disingenuous!

    For me, the power of modern search (be that Google, Spotlight, or even OCR technology) means that using these software tools we are now not throwing things into one bucket, we are throwing them into a thousand very specific buckets. A bucket for every word and tag the file contains. This is a powerful system.

    Further to this, for most of us the alternative to scanning everything very quickly into Evernote , is not using a more thorough filing system. In reality the alternative is to do nothing at all, other than watch files, information and documents get lost or pile up in a draw. The ‘one bucket’ is the lesser of two evils for those of us without the patience to do something else!

    Cheers

    Rich

    Reply
  9. rich@halfadozenmonkeys.com

    Hi David – thanks for the link. An interesting article.

    Not sure that I agree though! The premise is that lobbing everything into one bucket and then relying on search to untangle our mess is inefficient and misses opportunities. I find this a little disingenuous!

    For me, the power of modern search (be that Google, Spotlight, or even OCR technology) means that using these software tools we are now not throwing things into one bucket, we are throwing them into a thousand very specific buckets. A bucket for every word and tag the file contains. This is a powerful system.

    Further to this, for most of us the alternative to scanning everything very quickly into Evernote , is not using a more thorough filing system. In reality the alternative is to do nothing at all, other than watch files, information and documents get lost or pile up in a draw. The ‘one bucket’ is the lesser of two evils for those of us without the patience to do something else!

    Cheers

    Rich

    Reply
  10. rich@halfadozenmonkeys.com

    Hi David – thanks for the link. An interesting article.

    Not sure that I agree though! The premise is that lobbing everything into one bucket and then relying on search to untangle our mess is inefficient and misses opportunities. I find this a little disingenuous!

    For me, the power of modern search (be that Google, Spotlight, or even OCR technology) means that using these software tools we are now not throwing things into one bucket, we are throwing them into a thousand very specific buckets. A bucket for every word and tag the file contains. This is a powerful system.

    Further to this, for most of us the alternative to scanning everything very quickly into Evernote , is not using a more thorough filing system. In reality the alternative is to do nothing at all, other than watch files, information and documents get lost or pile up in a draw. The ‘one bucket’ is the lesser of two evils for those of us without the patience to do something else!

    Cheers

    Rich

    Reply
  11. rich@halfadozenmonkeys.com

    Hi David – thanks for the link. An interesting article.

    Not sure that I agree though! The premise is that lobbing everything into one bucket and then relying on search to untangle our mess is inefficient and misses opportunities. I find this a little disingenuous!

    For me, the power of modern search (be that Google, Spotlight, or even OCR technology) means that using these software tools we are now not throwing things into one bucket, we are throwing them into a thousand very specific buckets. A bucket for every word and tag the file contains. This is a powerful system.

    Further to this, for most of us the alternative to scanning everything very quickly into Evernote , is not using a more thorough filing system. In reality the alternative is to do nothing at all, other than watch files, information and documents get lost or pile up in a draw. The ‘one bucket’ is the lesser of two evils for those of us without the patience to do something else!

    Cheers

    Rich

    Reply
  12. Jim Sewell

    While I can appreciate the points Alex brought up, I have to disagree. His rule about only using software that does one thing really well is one I had in the past but it is arbitrary and impractical. Let’s pick some tools:

    A hammer also pulls nails and whacks people in the head in an emergency.
    A knife cuts carrots, opens packages, and pries off that sucker your kid left on the back corner of your counter last week.

    There are no tools I know of that only do one thing, if taken to the extreme. However, tools that do several related things are good. I agree that I don’t want a text editor than reads newsgroups, manages my email and brews coffee (Emacs). These types of tools generally do none really well, but if a text editor has built-in spell checking and word completion then it can do them all well and it’s a more useful tool. The fact that my Firefox with a certain plugin can not only display web pages but also can show me the CSS code behind all of it is very good.

    As for Every/Anything buckets… it is extremely valuable to have a tool such as the one I use – Evernote – that can store all kinds of information and retrieve it when needed. Technology has given us the speed to make this practical and it’s pretty nice to let the computer be all structured while I don’t have to be as much so. If I scan my receipt on my iMac and save my tax returns as a PDF then why not throw them together? It’s just a place to store information. I don’t have to know where it is, just what I’m looking for and how to ask for it. And there is the GTD principle of dump it into a trusted tool so you don’t have to keep your brain working on remembering it. I see a tool like Evernote as a great Resource file for storing information but not so much tickler, calendar, etc.

    Besides, if a respected person like Merlin Mann can store everything in a primitive tool like Notational Velocity (no offense and I love it but it’s as plain as a grain of rice) and he make it work quickly and easily then why not one with all the bells and whistles for us mere mortals?

    Basically we now live in a world where ‘to each his own’ and ‘different strokes for different folks’ can be addressed with different tools for different uses. 🙂

    Peace!

    Reply

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