When Spotlight debuted with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger), I came to the realization that it’s not really necessary to keep your files organized in a neat hierarchy of folders and files. While I’m sure plenty of you disagree with that, and in fact feel Spotlight a resource-hungry non-necessity, you’re crazy. Ok, not crazy. To each his or her own.

My desktop contains one folder most of the time. I call it Miscellany. It just sits there, all the time, getting bigger and bigger. Occasionally I clean it out, but for the most part it just sits there like a pet rock. I use Spotlight to find everything, and would be lost without it at this point.

If I want to find an email sent sometime this month from Rebecca mentioning Toby, I’d ask Spotlight for Toby kind:mail from:rebecca date:this month and I’d get a list of emails from Rebecca mentioning Toby. Or, an iChat from Jon in which he professes his love to Red Delicious apples, I’d ask Spotlight for delicious kind:chat from:jon and it’d pop right up.

There’s so much more to Spotlight than most people use it for.

Spotlight even powers the help system built into Mac OS X. If you click the Help menu and type Spotlight, you’ll come up with an article called “Searching for specific types of items” that’ll explain it all in depth.

For those of you still averse to this amazing technology, I’d urge you to reconsider and give it another go. It changes everything.

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