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Apple Mac OS X v10.4 - Tiger - Smart Folders
Perhaps more important than the raw Spotlight search is that the technology enables a secondary new feature in the OS, Smart Folders. Smart Folders aren’t real folders on your system. They are, essentially, folders that are defined by queries, almost as if they’re a shortcut to a set of search results.
For example, you can make a folder that sits on your desktop that ‘contains’ all the files that you’ve worked on today, or all the Excel files that are scattered across your system. You can put the technology to work in your email inbox, by setting up a smart folder that will always show you , for instance, emails from Jamie in the last week that have had attachments on them, or show you all the emails from Tom that you’ve replied to.
What Smart Folders allow you to do is to create a faster way of working, a different way of working and, in some cases, a smarter way of working, by allowing you to maintain the way you organise your data, but also allowing you to pull that data out in a different manner, depending on the context in which you want it.