Friday, July 2, 2010

Access recently modified, created files with Piles

Usually when you are working on your computer, you like to keep your work-in-progress files close at hand. I have come across people who dump all their recent downloads and work files on the desktop because it saves time when accessing.

One way to access recent files is of course, via the Recent Documents history under Windows start menu. But that’s not a very good option. One thing is privacy – most people don’t like to have the recent document history, in first place. Besides, the history tend to get populated with unnecessary stuff pretty quickly – music files you listened, photos you viewed – which makes it ineffective.

Again, another way to view recent files is to sort files by date in Explorer. But this means that you have to keep switching back and forth between different sorting options.

A better solution comes by way of a software called Piles. This unfortunate sounding software can monitor any directory for recently created or modified files and display it on a JumpList from Windows 7 taskbar.

To use Piles, a user just need to right-click on the Piles icon on the taskbar, choose Create new Pile and point it to a directory.

piles-create

Immediately, a new Pile icon will appear on the taskbar from which you can access files you recently created or downloaded, documents you worked on lately and any other files you use often on that folder.

piles-jumplist

If shell integration is enabled, you can create a new pile from Explorer’s context menu too.

But Piles has its own limitation, the most severe one is that it cannot monitor files in sub directories under the monitored directory. It also can’t combine multiple directories under one Pile, which means that for every directory monitored there will be one Pile in your taskbar. Certainly not a very space effective approach.

Well, it’s not necessary you pin every pile you create to the taskbar. You can just double click on a Pile from explorer to view recent files on the directory. But pinning to the taskbar gives you faster access as always, and that is how the developers recommend you to use the program.

All the same, Piles is a good program that makes clever use of Windows 7 Jumplist.

Related: 7 stacks, StandaloneStack

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