capsule review

Tabbles Home

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Tabbles Home

Tabbles Home is the one of the lower-priced editions of Tabbles; it's aimed at the personal software market, as opposed to businesses. Tabbles is a program that does to the files-and-directories paradigm what that model did to the flat file storage of DOS 1.0. Tabbles doesn't rearrange or alter your directory structure; rather, it offers an alternate means to access files.

One all-too-common phenomenon is the promising but not-quite-there-yet program which arrives in ever-slower updates until eventually vanishing. It's a rare and wonderful thing when a program instead gets updated regularly, fixing flaws without shedding functionality. This is the case with Tabbles Home (formerly just Tabbles), as it has fixed a number of problems while enhancing core functionality.

Here's how Tabbles works. A "tabble" is a "tag bubble," which holds all the files or folders tagged with a combination of attributes. This document, for example, can be tagged as a "Review," "Professonal Writing," "In-Progress," and "Tabbles." If I want to find every file associated with this review, including screen-shots, web links, and the like, I might grab everything tagged with "Tabbles." If I want to find all my incomplete works, I will open the "In-Progress" tabble. If I just want to see reviews I'm still working on, I can easily combine the "In-Progress" tabble and the "Review" tabble, seeing just those files with both those tags. This is a fairly quick and painless process, and if you regularly work on projects which span multiple files which don't all logically fit into a single folder or hierarchy, Tabbles can be of great value.

There are several versions of Tabbles, from Free on up. Tabbles Home offers all the basic functionality and no limit on files. Tabbles Student is, surprisingly, slightly more full-featured at a lower price, but has restrictions on usage. The Business version of Tabbles allows the user to install Tabbles on 3 computers from a single license, and includes export/import facilities. Last, there is the Portable Free version, which can be installed on, and run from, a USB disk. (Confusing matters slightly, the Business version can also be installed on a USB disk.)

Despite the name, there's no license limit on using Tabble Home in a commercial venture. You just don't get some of the desirable features of the Business version, such as multi-system licensing and import/export of your database.

To get the most out of Tabbles you need to put time into it, breaking some old habits and using it to manage your files as much as possible. Because the Tabbles paradigm is somewhat new, it's a good idea to play with the Free version to see if it's useful, then invest in whichever commercial version best suits your needs.

--Ian Harac

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Tabbles Home

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