File managers come in many varieties. Elyse from Silkwood Software is a free file browser and manager that can access and manage files and folders free from their default file structure. It uses tags to track and manage your stuff; the program's tag nodes replace the conventional Explorer directory structure for items Elyse tracks. It also features built-in duplicate file management. To manage your stuff, you don't need to choose a destination or file path; you simply tag the item and let Elyse keep track of it.
Elyse opened with a Quick Start Guide that serves for setting up the program as well as explaining how it works: Create a database folder and drag and drop folders into the Browsing Tree dock. Large, sharp screenshots illustrate each step. There's a sample database that does a great job of depicting the sort of data Elyse can track, such as personal, financial, or family documents. The Quick Start Guide got us up and running with Elyse, but for a comprehensive guide we opened the program's manual on the Help menu. Among the many useful entries we found instructions for running Elyse as a portable program from a USB disk. With this option, Elyse can manage data on a portable device plugged in to any Windows PC.
Managing Elyse's entries is easy, thanks to an efficient three-panel interface displaying Tags, Browsing Tree, and Metadata. Adding tags is a simple matter of clicking the New Tag icon, typing in the appropriate data, and pressing Enter. We could also drag items into any node on the program's tree view to associate it with the node and automatically tag it at the node and at all nodes above it. Elyse lets users define relationships between tags; for example, a node named "animals" might contain subnodes labeled "dogs," which could be subdivided further by breeds, and so on. Elyse automatically tracks these relationships. You aren't limited to one database, either; Elyse can manage as many as you need and switch quickly between them. We could import and export database information, too. If you're looking for a new way to track and find stuff fast, try Elyse.