Most of our systems are stateful. This means that they are big blob of information.
- Your hard drive
- Your web browser (tabs/windows/history)
- A codebase
- A Smalltalk image
The problem with these systems is that their contents grow and get more complex over time. The other problem is that software developers focus is on filling up these systems, not organizing them. I suppose that makes sense, since it usually takes a long time for a user to fill it up.
Here are some standard desktop features that could help users to clean up their messes.
Like YouTube, being able to prioritize files.
Selecting things in a semi-permanent way, so that you can navigate around and then come back, then apply something to the checked files.
The three-pane sorter
Naming the category
Naming is difficult -- a name has to properly describe all the entities in the category. A name is even harder to come up with when the category doesn't have anything in it yet!
To bootstrap a category, I believe it would be easier to pick a representative or archetypical entity and make that the category (eg: a type of movie, a type of shirt). Then, similar entities could be attached to that category.
The archetypical entity also serves as an easy to recognize label (eg: the ugly sweater category has the ugliest sweater icon).