Save New Smart Folder Mac

The Smart Folders feature on Mac gives you a great way to collect items that match specific criteria. You can use Smart Folders for business or pleasure and instead of searching for files, images, or documents.

We have a basic tutorial for how to use Smart Folders on Mac if you’re just getting started. But if you’ve used Smart Folders before, you might be interested in additional ways these handy folders can be even more useful.

To keep up with your work or school projects, here are several creative ways to use dates as conditions for Smart Folders on your Mac.

Smart Folders with dates on Mac

Create a Smart Folder

Each of the suggestions below will start the same way; creating a Smart Folder. With Finder active or open, click File > New Smart Folder from the menu bar.

You’ll then start entering the conditions we explain below. Again, you can review our Smart Folders tutorial for more detail on how it all works.

Save the date

You can find many items pertaining to dates to help you keep up with work, school, and home. Whether it’s items you created, modified, or last opened, you can use a Smart Folder to track them down.

The date attributes range from Content modified to Date received to Used date. So, you may have to click the Other option in the first drop-down box for a condition to add the Attributes for the dates we’ll use.

Tip: Pop the word Date into the search box for the list of attributes to see all those related to dates.

Smart Folders Date Attribute List

For selecting the date or range, you have a ton of flexibility. You can select from several quick options like today, yesterday, this week, this month, or this year.

But you can also use options like “within last” X number of days/weeks/months/years, “exactly” for a specific date, or “before” or “after” a certain date.

Created date

So if you want to find a certain type of item that you created within a date range, this is easy.

For the first condition, in the Name drop-down, pick Created date. (You can also pick Created which applies to when a file was created whereas Created date refers to when the contents were created.)

Let’s say you want to see all of the PDFs created this year. You would use these criteria:

  • Created date is this year
  • Kind is PDF

Smart Folders This Year PDF

Or maybe what you need is all of the PDFs created this year for press kits or press releases. You would use these criteria:

  • Created date is this year
  • Kind is PDF
  • Name contains “press” which will find PDFs with “press” in the name for press kits and press releases

Smart Folders This Year PDF Name

Last modified date

Sometimes using the date that an item was last modified is the way to go.

For the first condition, in the Name drop-down, pick Last modified date.

Say you want to see the JPEG images modified in the last few days. You would use these criteria:

  • Last modified date is within last 3 days
  • Kind is Image JPEG

Smart Folders Modified Jpeg Days

But then you need to narrow it down further because you only want those with a certain word in the name, for our example, “Mac”. You would use these criteria:

  • Last modified date is within last 3 days
  • Kind is Image JPEG
  • Name contains Mac

Smart Folders Modified Jpeg Days Name

Last opened date

The last opened date can be useful for many situations.

One scenario is if you’re trying to do some cleanup on your Mac. Maybe you spotted an application or two you forgot about. If you have opened it in ages, it might just be the time to get rid of it.

For the first condition, in the Name drop-down, pick Last opened date.

You might want to see the apps you opened in the last month. You would use these criteria:

  • Last opened date is this month
  • Kind is Application

Smart Folders Opened App This Month

On the other hand, maybe you just need to see all of the folders you opened yesterday because you can’t recall the name of a folder you need today. You would use these criteria:

  • Last opened date is yesterday
  • Kind is Folder

Smart Folders Opened Folder Yesterday

Save or simply search

Smart Folders are everchanging, and that’s important to remember. So if you create a Smart Folder and save it, any time something happens with an item on your Mac that matches those conditions, it will appear in the folder.

This is a terrific way to keep up to date on items you find yourself searching for regularly and items that continue to match criteria you need over time.

Just remember to hit the Save button on the top right and name your Smart Folder to save it.

Save New Smart Folder Mac

At the same time, you can just use the Smart Folders feature to search without saving. As you’ll notice, when you enter the criteria, you see the matching results immediately. So if you just want to do a simple search for something using the conditions to narrow down the results, this feature is quite useful.

You can then close the Finder window when you find what you’re looking for, without saving the Smart Folder.

Wrapping it up

Smart Folders are convenient whether you save them to use again and again or just to find what you need in a hurry. Hopefully these suggestions for creating Smart Folders with just a few of the date options available will be useful to you!

Do you have any tips or suggestions of your own to share for using Smart Folders on Mac? Let us know in the comments below or message us on Twitter!