Macs and OS X are perfect for storing any type of a digital media library. During those first years of mainstream success, Macs were presented as computers made for a family who can use them out of the box to create interesting documents, store photos and music, and do some kind of fun and creative stuff. This remained up to this day, even though Macs are now very serious machines and OS X is extremely capable operating system.
As you know, every new Mac comes with pre-installed iLife suite which brings applications used to import and edit photos, music, and videos. What’s in common for these apps is the way they work. Well, Apple decided that the best way to create a digital library is to let an application create its own library which will hold all your items and let you play with them. For example, this is how iPhoto works and this is the main reason why some people are in love with it, while others can’t stand to be fully emerged and controlled by an app. In order words, you can use your photos only by using iPhoto, since you can’t find them as files in the Finder (at least, not without some workarounds).
Since you’ve got all those Apple-designed apps for different kinds of digital libraries, there’s only one thing left uncovered and those are documents. OS X offers Documents folder where you can create a hierarchy and organize them, but now there’s iDocument, an app which takes care of those files.
In order to explain how iDocument works, the best would be to say that it’s the same as iPhoto for photos. This means that by adding your own documents, iDocument will create its own library and hold all your files within that database. That’s going to work for many people, but some would still like to have the option to easily access them via Finder, so keep that in mind.
iDocument actually comes with an interface which resembles iPhoto in many ways. There a sidebar on the left which holds different folders and collections, shared files, recently imported files and a trash. On the bottom you’ll find a toolbar with some tools like info, tag, label, quick look and similar. So you’ve got all the tools you need right under your fingers. When you add a bunch of new documents, they will be stored into iDocument’s library, so in order to organize them you can create folders and drag-and-drop documents into those folders. This means that a document will be available in a specific folder and iDocument’s main library, but that’s one (the same) file.
iDocument makes it easier to organize documents by creating collections and smart rules. Collections work identical to smart folders in OS X, which means that you set up some rules so this app can automatically add new files. Smart rules are the same as collections, but besides those basic rules it can perform an action like labeling or tagging a file. Both of these options are helpful and work well.
Speaking of security, iDocument can be protected with a master password, while only PDFs can be individually locked.
Even though this app worked well for me, I’ve noticed that many long-time users are having a few complaints. Apparently, sometimes a file might get corrupted or even lost. This seems like a very big deal, so I just wanted to warn you before any permanent damage happens.