How can I file documents visually?
June 16, 2010 8:12 AM   Subscribe

How can I visually file my documents? Is there a way that I can use flowcharts and other visual tools to file documents?

I would like to be able to open this tool and see, for example, a corporate tree - I could then click on one of the corporations and it would show links to corporate documents, correspondence, invoices and then contracts with links to other companies that it had contracts with. I could click on those contracts or go straight to those companies themselves, where the same thing would happen.

I would expect this tool to simply be pointing to another place where these documents were filed in a more standard way.

What's the solution? Is it just html or something similar? Is there anything out there that's designed to do stuff like this and make it easy for someone with zero IT skills?
posted by HopStopDon'tShop to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What you are describing is a Document Management System. They do exist but they tend to be expensive large installations geared toward specific industries. Say for example, a law office.

The problem gets more complicated than it looks at first glance pretty quickly. Your viewer, or catalog, needs to be able to dynamically display, sort, and search unpredictable arrangements of documents, created by a a variety of software, usually stored in multiple locations, with varying security requirements.

It would be possible to roll your own using HTML or Visio or a custom application but it is not a trivial problem by a long shot. Lots of people would like to have the features you describe but the nature of the problem space means that your options are going to swing pretty strongly to either an expensive package or fairly serious custom development.
posted by Babblesort at 8:33 AM on June 16, 2010

I've vaguely wondered about this too, but have more geeky tools at my disposal than you'd want. A quick search turned up Tabbles which looks like it could fit your bill and at the demo price (free up to 1000 managed files) looks worth trying. There's a favorable review at PC World.

disclosure: no connection to Tabbles, not even as a user.
posted by fydfyd at 8:42 AM on June 16, 2010

Best answer: Seems like you could do that with "the brain" software. I think they have a free trial.
posted by reddot at 10:36 AM on June 16, 2010

You can do this with MindRaider. If you can figure out how to use MindRaider. Check out this review.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 11:49 AM on June 16, 2010

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