Yep! Find and organize those PDFs

At the beginning of the year, it's nice to think that we're all starting off with a clean slate. I hear regularly that people are interested in going "paperless," so this entry is for those folks who are interested in this goal, or who just have too many PDF documents to keep straight.

For many years, I've kept most of my paper in my computer, scanned in and maintained using various programs. To say that I've got a lot of "paper" stored this way is a bit of an understatement. At last count, we're looking at at least 20,000 pages and 10,000 documents (some much larger than others, but most with but one page).

With this volume of documents, a key issue is being able to put your hands on the right ones. Spotlight is really nice for searching PDFs (especially if you've been able to either receive them as PDFs originally, like your bank statements; or if you've been able to use an OCR--Optical Character Recognition-- program to turn the little pixels into words again). Unfortunately, the results of a spotlight query are hard to navigate and it's difficult to do much with the files without starting up some other program.

This leaves us with the need for some kind of program that can understand or use Spotlight, allows for additional notations to be made, is simple to use, and can handle huge numbers of files. And, these days, since we've gotten rather used to looking at high-quality thumbnails in the Finder and QuickView, we would like to see thumbnails of our files while we're searching or annotating them.

Enter YEP! (from Ironic Software). I'm not going to say that it outclasses every other program ever created for this purpose, but it does do everything listed above, is fast, inexpensive, and very simple to use. These attributes make it much more of a contender than the larger, more expensive programs that require more training to use.

The focus of YEP! is on the simple presentation and fast searching and it does this delightfully. I have used it as my primary interface into my large document repository for the last 6 months and have been very happy with it. If you have these needs, give it a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.