I couldn't live without Spotlight but there are times when some way of identifying similar files or those with similar names more distinctly would be useful.
Punakea is a small app to make life a little easier in this respect. It works as an alternative to Spotlight to tag your files and bookmarks and this free you from what the developer calls 'the strict hierarchy' of Finder's folder structure. Punakea works by allowing you to add 'tags' to files which are keywords that make them easier to find. You can tag each file with as many words as you want thus allowing you to distinguish between similar ones.
Punakea sits discreetly on your sidebar and simply requires clicking when you need to use it. Alternatively, you can create a hotkey to access the program at any time. You just drag and drop files into it to start tagging. As you create tags, a tag cloud builds up, allowing you instant access to the most frequently-used words. The program is fully Snow Leopard compatible, but note that there is a bug with the Quick Search function in it. Note also that, although it supports a huge amount of file types, there will be some that it simply doesn't accept.
Although I won't be abandoning Spotight for it, Punakea is something that should be possible by default in OS X but until it is, it's one of the best tagging tools out there.
- Sort-order is now preserved.