Short story: I'm looking for a software to visually organize files. The layout should look something like a mind mapping software, only with files instead of mere text snippets. It should also be capable of previewing the contents of the file.
Long story: The files I want to organize are mostly text or image files. On a more zoomed out, file structure level it should only display perhaps the name of the file, but I'd like to be able to expand/zoom in and view the actual text in the text file and highlight/annotate relevant sections.
I work at an engineering firm where each project generally start as a text document detailing the scope of work. As work progresses this document spawns a large number of branches. Different types of drawings, models and other "input" types of files. These input files are then used in a large number of analyses, creating further branches with various types of results, or "output". Finally the findings are summarized in a series of reports.
It's a rather complex flow, and quickly getting an overview or determining cause and effect can be very time consuming. Viewing a simple file tree in e.g. windows explorer might work for looking into a small analysis. But there's no real trace of which input file spawned which output file. For a non expert it can even be hard to determine what is input and what is output. If you're lucky the engineer might have left you a readme.txt file with some brief explanations, or commented some of the code. The analysis conclusions might be detailed in a report, but there's no trace of which lines in the several thousand line output that spawned a particular conclusion. Arrows/lines connecting the files, or specific lines in the files, with input for the next analysis or conclusions in a report would greatly simplify things.
Is there any application out there capable of handling at least parts of what I'm asking for?
UPDATE: I've now tried The Brain, but it didn't do it for me. Perhaps what I'm looking for is some type of file manager/browser. I want to organize a file structure without actually moving the files (e.g symlinks). I'd like to view this new file structure in a kind of workflow/mind mapping software layout. I'd like the capability to view/preview text files and images "live", just by zooming/expanding the selected file. I'd like to add comments and annotate each step and file. Preferably also the content of each file.