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Don't Look for a Needle in a Haystack, *Search* for It!

Posted on November 7th, 2012

Rather than trying to navigate down multi-level hierarchical folder systems (only to find you’ve taken the wrong path), use the search capabilities built into QSToolbox.

Could you imagine trying to navigate the internet with a folder hierarchy? These internet ‘directories’ were the primary means of navigating in the early years of the internet. However, as the internet grew and grew, the vast majority of users abandoned directories in favour of search engines.

And yet, we still persist in using folder hierarchies to manage files on our desktop and network hard drives! I’ve watched clients look through more than ten (10!)

  • levels

  • of folders

  • on the filesystem

  • to find the document they need,

often after first travelling down the wrong path a few times. Talk about a needle in a haystack!

For example, in a folder hierarchy you might have forms under

Safety —> Procedures —> Forms,

and other forms under

Quality —> Procedures —> forms.

To find the form you want, you need to remember the path to get there.

This gets worse for shared network drives since different people have different ideas on which path makes more sense. e.g.,
maybe it’s Procedures —> Safety —> Forms ??
or is it Procedures —> Forms —> Safety ??

Folders/categories for documents and issues in QSToolbox are really more like ‘tags’. Tags usually have no hierarchy and you can apply more than one. With tags/categories, you can apply all three labels (safety, procedure, form) as categories and find the document under any of them, rather than having to remember the full path to the document you are looking for.

In combination with other search filters, whole-document text search, and wildcard search characters, you’ll find searching is a much more efficient way to find documents. Here’s a few tips for getting the most out of the search capabilities in QSToolbox