C-Command Software Forum

Best practice: Multiple libraries or tagging?

Newbie question: I plan to use EagleFiler for both work and personal reference. I’m wondering if I would be better served by having separate libraries, or by having a single library and tagging each document “work” or “personal.” Insights from experienced users would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

The questions I would ask are:

  • Is it difficult to decide whether a document is personal or work?
  • Would you ever want to search personal and work documents at the same time or view them intermixed?

If the answer to either question is yes, then you might be better served with a single library. Otherwise, I think separate libraries would be better. Importing would be simpler because documents would naturally go into one or the other without having to remember to tag. And it would be easier to focus on just one set of documents at a time.

See also: previous discussions about multiple libraries.

When I was a graduate student, I used EagleFiler on one machine for both work and personal projects. I choose to have multiple libraries but maybe not in the same separate work or personal way that you have been envisioning.

  • One library I named “References”. It is strictly for formal documents such as, peer reviewed journal articles, books (technical, literature, and popular), technical reports, patents, presentations, theses, user manuals, proposals, periodicals, magazines, catalogs, equipment or supply web archives (very few and very specific), purchase requests and receipts, etc. Most of these were relevant to my graduate work, but some were personal interest or resources that I found to support other projects from my advisor and fellow group members.
  • Another library I named “Archive”. This is a free for all or catch-all account of files mostly captured from Safari. Most of these are web archives, inline PDFs, and other web hosted documents. This library would pendulum back and forth from more personal to more work. If I was researching a specific work topic then I might quickly add dozens or hundreds of files and then sort through and “transfer” (or capture from source) relevant formal ones over to the “References” library. This is my largest library in terms of number of files (35,000+).
  • Another shared library is named “Software”. Here I keep install files for Mac, Linux, Windows (and other specialized equipment) applications along with installation codes/keys, etc. This is by far my largest library in terms of storage (400 GB+).
  • For strictly personal use, I keep a “Commerce” library. All of my personal receipts along with tax files, auto insurance, etc.

Now that I have taken a job that requires strict separation of work and personal files, and in fact I have been issued a work computer, I still use both References and Archive libraries. Just now I make very sure that I only save work related files to those libraries. On my personal machine I still keep the same library structure. I will sometimes find references for work, which I will then “transfer” to my work computer later.

***As a side note, I often use my iPad to surf the web. When I find web pages that I want to capture to EagleFiler, I add them to my Reading List. Once I am back on my personal machine, I open these links to tabs and then use the capture from Safari script to get them into EagleFiler.

Thanks for the helpful replies and for the detailed description of a real-use scenario. I think that multiple libraries make more sense for me.