A messy desktop

Earlier this week we released a new version of Nemo Documents, the biggest addition is that we integrated google into the desktop. How this improves things have been documented on the official nemo documents blog, so instead of writing more about that I want to focus on a more personal angle, namely the subject of a messy desktop versus an organized one.

My windows desktop is quite messy. You can see how it looks below. Then again, it’s mostly used to store temporary stuff. Projects we are working on always go into a neat folder structure inside our version control system.

Finding stuff in a messy desktop can sometimes be a bit tedious, but on the other hand so is cleaning up. Furthermore it might not even be a good idea to clean up too much. No matter what your mother tells you 😛 Another thing is that the urge to clean up is lessoned by the fact that you know 90% of the stuff are most likely not to be used again. But you keep it around just in case. This is where I think Nemo Documents really shines. It gives you a structured view of your files based on time and allows one to organize as much or little as needed using labels, while still maintaining the folder structure already in place. I map both my structured folders and my desktop into this view.

While talking to people about how they organize their files and documents I tend to meet two types of persons: people, like me with a messy or semi-messy structure and people in the other end with a big folder hierarchy to structure their files. The question then becomes, if Nemo Documents is only for messy people? After releasing the software we have gotten feedback from a lot of people, including the same people that are big on organizing, and from what we are hearing they are very fond of the system as well. The thing is they love structure, and this is exactly what Nemo Documents gives them. Free file organizing is always welcome I guess 🙂

On the web

Bridging the gap between web apps and desktop apps or virtual homedirs

As anyone working on different machines know, keeping files in sync between different computers is really a pain. But it’s not only files, its as much the settings, bookmarks etc. that change when you shift to another machine. Not to mention backup. In large organizations this is solved using central servers where your stuff is stored remotely and synced to your local machine when you log in. This works fairly ok, except the whole centralized approach, but its a major pain to set up if you’re a small company or a dude with two machines at home. Especially considering your want access to your data anywhere you have an internet connection.

For a long time I had no great solution for this, but recently a very neat piece of software has surfaced. Dropbox hides the central server away in the cloud and more or less just gets out of your way and lets have a virtual home directory. They provide 2gb storage for free (as in beer), enough to store the most important stuff. and the software works is cross platform (Mac, Linux and Windows).

What has this to do with web apps? For a long time, one of the great advantages of web apps has been the ubiquitous access to your data. And with a virtual homedir you can getmost of that for normal applications as well.