There are many posts describing how you can use spotlight comments (or tags in Windows) to organize your files, but I wanted to highlight a few examples of why using comments/tags would be useful to faculty members–tracking course materials that are used in multiple courses and establishing a portfolio of student work.
Tracking course materials
Often you have movies, pictures, or figures that are appropriate for more than one course that you are teaching. Instead of saving a copy of these files in each course folder, by using comments/tags you can store one file but have it show up in the folders for each of the relevant courses. For example, let’s say you have a figure from a journal article that you would like to show in both PSY234 and PSY100. If you highlight the file for that figure and “Get Info” (Command+I), you can type words in the Spotlight Comments section that help identify that file.
After you have added comments/tags to a file, it is easy to search for it by using “comment: [the label you added]” in Spotlight.
Alternatively, you can also use “Find” (Command+F) and search the Spotlight Comments field. By default Spotlight Comments is not an option, but you can find it under “Other” and can add it as a default by clicking “In Menu” in the window that follows.
After you have selected “Spotlight Comments” you can once again enter your label in the search field, and Finder will show you all the files that have that word in the “Spotlight Comments” field.
If you change the search term to PSY100, notice that the same gergely figure shows up but so do files that are specific to PSY100. In addition, if you click on “Save” in the upper-right hand corner of the window, you can save the search in your folder for this class.
Then, anytime you are looking in the folder for a particular class, you can just click on the saved search and view all the media files that might also be appropriate for that course.