There are over 200 new features in Mavericks, but one of them seems to have flown under the radar a bit more than I think it should have.  That feature is “tags”, which allows you to not only label files with particular colors as you could in previous versions of OS X, but it also allows you to create your own tags based on whatever grouping you want.  This might seem like a fairly minor upgrade at first, but let’s look at some examples of what you can do with this powerful new feature.

As a freelance composer for films and commercials, I have a lot of media files spread out in different folders on my computer.  It used to be that if I wanted to put together a folder of, say, just the finished commercials, I would have to create a new folder and manually copy-and-paste in all the various files.  Not only is this tedious, but it also takes up valuable space on my already capacity-challenged hard drive.  With tags, I can now simply assign the tag “commercial” to all of the finished movie files by right-clicking on the file in a Finder window, selecting “Tags”, typing in “commercial” and then selecting “Create new tag ‘commercial’”.  After adding the tag once, you’ll be able to easily select it from a list after that.

Mavericks Tags

When I want to access the files I’ve tagged, I just click on the “commercial” tag shortcut in the sidebar of any Finder window and boom, there they are.  All the files remain nice and organized in their individual project folders, but I’ve effectively created a new dynamic folder that couldn’t be easier to access.

Once you have created a tag, you can easily apply it to other files as well.  Just highlight the files you’d like to tag and drag them into the desired tag in the Finder window’s sidebar:

Mavericks Labels

This is just one example of what you can do with tagging.  Another idea would be, instead of tagging your own personal files, you could also apply tags to applications.  The benefit here would be that you could group apps into categories based on what they do without having to put them inside of new folders, which can be problematic with something like an application.  Or maybe you’re working on a presentation that uses a lot of images and media from different places on your computer.  Tag them and save yourself from headaches!