43 Folders

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What is the best way to organize folders on my computer?

I think this counts as a "productivity" question, because I find myself getting bogged down rummaging through my files trying to find what I need.

In the past I have set a directory structure under My Documents like so:

My Documents

This has changed over the years and I've added to it and have so much stuff in certain places that I can't combine similar items. I don't know what I am really trying to ask. What do you think is the proper, most efficient, way to organize your personal files on a computer? Keep in mind that I don't care about where things are installed. This is strictly about data. So in the example above, my software folder keeps backup disc images of software, games, etc. It also contains downloaded software such as drivers, install files, etc. The audio and video keep mp3s, movies, tv shows and various clips.

If you know of a better way, I'm all ears. How do you organize your files?


jason.mcbrayer's picture

I'm pretty much with Duus...

I'm pretty much with Duus on this one. When I was in college and grad school, I had a chronological filing system: organized by semester, then by class or other topic. This lasted until I was no longer in classes in graduate school, then began to become ineffective as I had to pull more and more projects across from semester to semester. Then, of course, when I was no longer in graduate school, it became unreasonable entirely. One could still have annual or quarterly chronological folders, but I don't recommend it. My chronological folders now live in a .tar.bz2 archive in my Archive folder. My Archive folder is very much like Duus's x_basement.

Everything since then is topical, with the top level topics being areas of my life: work, hobbies, volunteer, free software (which is sort of hobbies, sort of volunteer), etc. Below that, it's less well organized --- mostly a folder per project, but without any hard and fast rules.

I am trying to learn to love indexing systems (Beagle at home, Windows Desktop Search at work), but I don't fully trust them yet.




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