What are Smart Folders?
They are super helpful, is what!
On the Mac, Smart Folders in Finder (also Smart Playlists in iTunes, Smart Albums in iPhoto, Smart Mailboxes in Mail, Smart Groups in Address Book, etc.) are containers for files or folders that meet a certain criteria. Think of them as a permanent search.
For example, you could make a Smart Folder that shows you all the documents you’ve opened in the last 3 days, or one for all your PDFs that are bigger than 2 megabytes.
In iTunes, you could have a Smart Playlist that always has the jazz songs you’ve added this week. In iPhoto, I created a Smart Album for all the photos I’ve rated above 3 stars, and I sync that to my iPhone.
You can create a smart container in the File menu of any of these programs. You’ll immediately be presented with a dialog box that lets you pick your search criteria, stacking them with “any” (if this OR that) or “all” (if this AND that AND that).
Smart containers appear in the same list with their manual counterparts, but have a gear icon on them.
Try ’em out. They can really speed up your workflow!