Please download the portable version of Listary
and try it yourself. No installation needed, and all Pro features are available for free trial (with some nag screens of course), you don't need to pay a single penny.
I'm sorry if Projects doesn't work in the way you expected, but your other judgments about Listary may be incorrect.
the "find as you type" functionality seems to be better implemented in QuickJump
Find as you type is a unique feature of Listary that is not available in any other application. It allows you to type the search term directly
(without a hotkey) in your favorite file manager. Currently Windows Explorer, open/save file dialogs, XYplorer and xplorer2 are supported. Directory Opus will be supported next week (GPSoftware is kind enough to release a new version to support Listary
Here is a screenshot of find as you type in XYplorer (open XYplorer, then type web directly
The "back to previous" functionality can be replicated by macros (storing variables)
Sorry that I don't know what this is.
(and Listary's example for "fuzzy search" is horrible, would bring thousands of false hits in real life)
In most cases, what you're looking for is ranked top. Google always brings millions if not billions of false hits, but we really don't care because we know only the first few pages are useful.
For my a little bit amateurish comparison between Listary and QuickJump, I have positive news for Listary, though. In fact, I always made the difference between search for content, and just search for file and folder names, never mixed those up. But as incredible as it seems, QuickJump only searches for folder names, not file names, too.
Listary can search all your drives
for files and folders by filename within 0.1 second literally
(it takes Listary 0.085s to search my 1,200,000 files on 4 harddisks). I believe none of the other applications you mentioned can do this. It seems that you need to add folders to QuickJump manually for indexing.
(when I didn't think the necessary ">" sign in Listary for that was elegant, especially since it's three additional key pressings, shift-< and space).
1. You only need the leading ">" if you want to search across all drives. Without it Listary will search within your current folder (which is what you need in most situations).
2. The space after ">" is not required.
3. You can change ">" in Listary Options to something like "/" to save the "Shift".
I highly recommend you try Listary yourself. Even if it's not exactly a virtual folder manager you're looking for, I'm sure you'll fall in love with it