In the paper world, I make use of document piles to organize my work. You probably do the same. This pile here is such-and-so, that pile there is the tax material, and the red file sticking out has the notes I’ve been making… But on my computer I tend to go neat and hierarchical, with a more rigid taxonomy and maybe overlapping (i.e. piles) of windows. Not so easy to have an intelligent mess, perhaps.
At least, that’s the theory behind BumpTop, a technology in the development stage that would let you make piles of files on your computer desktop in as close a way to that of the paper world as possible. In simulated 3-D, you drag files and piles around with a “pen” touching the screen and use various contextual menus to splay or gather the piles, leave a file sticking out, reorder the files, etc.
This is difficult to describe, but there’s a video of BumpTop in action. It’s only on the distant horizon, as yet, but I for one would be glad to welcome mess into my digital work life. I think.