One-Click File Management
Imagine a magical piece of software that organizes your entire hard drive for you.
Whenever it finds an .mp3, the software scans it, tagging it if necessary, and understands that it isn’t a song, but rather a podcast, converts it if necessary, and places it in the “Automatically Add To iTunes” folder.
You specify whether to sort by date, person, place, or contents, and the program sorts all of your images into a logical file structure using facial recognition, location tags, file date, &c. That makes it easy to add them to iPhoto or Picasa, and saves you having to sort through and organize all of the imported images like you usually need to.
Likewise, it scans your .pdf’s and .doc’s for subject matter and organizes them into categories, understanding the difference between the .pdf version of a book and a .pdf of your bank statement.
You can see how you can apply this to the most common file types at first, with a handful of options and reiterate the software from there.
It may be better to have it only partially-automatic. In other words, it may be best if it gets a one click confirmation from the user for any decision that doesn’t produce a certain confidence level. As it does this, it offers one or two alternate options for the file that the user can specify with a click.
And, most importantly, information about the files is anonymously relayed to a central location where you can see where the program gets it wrong and compare how different users chose to sort certain files so that the program educates itself and performs better for each subsequent user. So, if 1,000 people have a .pdf with the same header (even if the rest of the file is different,) and 900 of them said that it belongs in a folder called BANK STATEMENTS, then the software defaults to doing the same for you.
Finally, to find or manually manage a file, you’d use a graphic-based search within the software (or as a stand-alone OS integrated search.) This way, if you download an image of Olivia Wilde—and the software has already processed the download location, you’d simply search for PICTURES > PERSON > OLIVIA WILDE, or PICTURES > FEMALE > RECENT, or PICTURES > FUTURE GIRLFRIENDS.