The both/and solution to tagging vs. sorting – Google docs update

I’ve posted before about Google Docs and Spreadsheets, and also about the “lookup” feature, which I believe has the potential to revolutionize how we think about data representation by feeding real time searches into spreadsheets.

Now Google has added folders to their main Docs interface, which is very helpful once you get past more than a handful of documents. It is a nice way to organize docs by student, teams, professional vs. classroom docs, or any other organization scheme. Google docs did have a tagging scheme, but apparently people want to sort by dragging, not tagging, and Google listened. Interesting — is this just people hanging onto an outdated metaphor? Or are folders simply a personal folksonomy in visual form?

But Google is a “both/and” kind of company, so they didn’t draw a line in the sand and say, “you will use tags and you will like them!” They simply changed the interface, so that when you drag docs into folders, it automatically tags them. Plus, you can have the same doc in several folders, which is essentially the same as having multiple tags on the same document. And they made it pretty too!

The latest update is explained nicely in TechCrunch, but if you want it straight from Google, their announcement is here.

Google docs interface

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