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I'm always switching between client's folders in different applications like photoshop, sql manager, explorer etc. It's so slow to go between them, navigate to the folder and it's still too slow to copy and paste the directory etc. It's so annoying to do. Someone must have a good solution.

I was thinking if there was a "recently accessed" folders list available within every folder explorer window... so in any application, if i go "file > open" it will have something, somewhere that lists the recently accessed folders - that would be really helpful.

I am aware of the recent places folder in win7, but I would love it if there was a more elegant solution. at the moment I can use this, by adding the "date accessed" column to the list and then sorting by that. It works alright but surely someone has a better solution.

Is there some application that already does this? i'm sure someone has already solved this issue in a more elegant solution than I can think off. I'm keen to know what programs people use or how people addresss this issue?

Thanks...

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3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Total Commander.

Features in Total Commander 7.50a now include :

  • Two file windows side by side
  • Multiple language and Unicode support
  • Enhanced search function
  • Compare files (now with editor) / synchronize directories
  • Quick View panel with bitmap display
  • ZIP, ARJ, LZH, RAR, UC2, TAR, GZ, CAB, ACE archive handling + plugins
  • Built-in FTP client with FXP (server to server) and HTTP proxy support
  • Parallel port link, multi-rename tool
  • Tabbed interface, regular expressions, history+favorites buttons
  • Thumbnails view, custom columns, enhanced search
  • Compare editor, cursor in lister, separate trees, logging, enhanced overwrite dialog etc.
  • New: Unicode names almost everywhere, long names (>259 characters), password manager for ftp and plugins, synchronize empty dirs, 64 bit context menu, quick file filter (Ctrl+S)
  • And many more!

Total Commander belongs to a class of file manager known as orthodox file managers, i.e. those based on the original Norton Commander.

There are several other options other than Total Commander, but so far none are as powerful IMHO, although some are free, if that's a consideration.

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You may find that Windows Explorer allows you to work a lot more efficiently. Personally, I find that it works adequately for me.

One problem with Windows is the fact that nobody ever receives good training and so people tend to end up using one method for each operation, where alternative methods may be better: I have seen many people who always open files using an application's File -> Open menu, not knowing any other way. It seems to me that these people tend to be very slow navigating between folders (because they are using a file selection tool rather than a navigation tool) and tend to be quite slow in their methods of working.

(Your question implies that you are opening your files using the File -> Open dialogue box in each application, so if you have a client for whom you want to look at an Excel spreadsheet and a Word document you would open Excel, do File -> Open, navigate to, select and open the file and then open Word, do File -> Open, navigate to (the same folder), select and open the Word file.)

If you open Windows Explorer and navigate to your folder containing your files, double clicking on the file will open it in the correct program. In my experience, people who have one or two instances of Windows Explorer open all the time, work far more efficiently than those who don't use it at all.

You will soon find that Windows Explorer does not work quite how you would want it to; that is the time to look at alternatives (it may be that you are at this stage - sorry if I have misinterpreted your question).

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So many people don't use Windows Explorer properly, having never been taught even basic commands such as Windows Key + E to open it. I've lost count of the number of people I've seen using 'Open' view, totally unaware that 'Explore' even exists. –  raw_noob May 5 '10 at 9:38

I'm not sure that it can work in Windows, but I use Nautilus as my file browser. It is standard in many Linux distros and seems to do exactly what you are asking.

First, it allows tabbed browsing which makes it easy to switch between open folders and of course each folder has it's own history. More useful is it's ability to bookmark folders so that there is a sidebar list of the folders that I like to open. For me, that even includes some folders on remote servers. Also, if I must type in the location, the address bar uses tab completion. There are many other useful features besides.

Although it is open source, I'm not sure that Windows would be able to use it. I did find this link suggesting alternatives: http://alternativeto.net/desktop/nautilus/.

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