Sidebar: All My Files

I didn’t get it.

When I saw the All My Files item at the top of my Mac OSX Lion’s Finder sidebar, I thought it would be totally useless. How could I possibly deal with ALL my files at once?? But then I spotted the Arrange button in the toolbar. It started to make sense. I could replicate my preferred office filing system for paper documents.  For over 20 years I’ve been doing what I call a Super Simple 2-Hole Punch System. I file my paper bills, receipts, statements and check stubs in a continuous stack on a 2-hole clipboard. In essence, all my paper documents are filed chronologically with the most current paperwork on top. The deeper you go in the paper stack, the older the documents.

Arrange button

Now I can use my trusted office filing system on my Mac’s digital documents. Here’s how I’ve set up:

  1. In the Finder, click on All My Files in the sidebar
  2. View > Hide Sidebar
  3. View > as Columns
  4. Click the Arrange button. Select Date Last Opened (or other sequence to your personal liking)

Example:

All My Files screenshot

You’ll see your files — all your files — nicely arranged and grouped in chronological order with the newest files at the top of the window list. In the above example, I’m limiting my view to only include files related to the word “marathon” (making the window smaller puts the search field under the toolbar). Clicking on a file shows a preview since this is in Column view.

Now I get it.

Added: How to fix problem of not showing .doc and .xls documents in All My Files