In fact, you can actually relocate many of those folders into your own structure (more about that below, in tip #6). Use a labeled file folder for each of your subcategories. If you’ve been putting off getting organized because the task is too huge or daunting, or you don’t know where to start, we’ve got 40 tips to get you on the path to zen mastery of your digital filing system. In other words, make sure that your “Inbox”, wherever it is, Desktop or otherwise, is kept free of junk – stray files that don’t belong there. File volatility. Well, first and foremost, it has to be somewhere handy. File inquiry capabilities. An example is below (from my folder that contains all files downloaded from the Internet): To learn how to change your folder icons, please refer to our dedicated article on the subject. From there it’s easy. Your “Work” folder will have become a dumping ground, just like your Desktop was, with most likely hundreds of files in it. The data elements are stored as ascending or descending order based upon the primary key or any other key reference. File organization ensures that records are available for processing. All other files (your “archive”, if you like) would live in a fourth folder. Name- The name of any file is the informat… If you know that a particular file has been in the folder for more than, say, six weeks, then admit that you’re not actually going to get around to processing it, and move it to its final resting place. 10 File Management Tips to Keep Your Electronic Files Organized 1. Application files are the components of the software you’ve installed (e.g. A tree has branches (folders) and leaves (files). Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. Every new file you get, spend those extra few seconds to file it where it belongs! Once this has been done, and all your files live in one folder, all the other folders in C:\ can be thought of as “operating system” folders, and therefore of little day-to-day interest for us. Shortcuts allow us to invent a golden rule of file and folder organization: “Only ever have one copy of a file – never have two copies of the same file. If you never throw anything away, you’ll make the filing cabinet manufacturers very happy, but you’ll waste time trying to find anything. Choose Your Organization System Carefully. Scan the folder regularly for files that you have completed working on and are ready for filing. My own categorization structure is based on “platform” (operating system): The last seven folders each represents one platform/operating system, while _Operating Systems contains set-up files for installing the operating systems themselves. And no, we’re not talking about shortcuts here (although the concept is very similar). It also causes all your shortcuts to continue to work on the other machines (more about this in tip #24, below). Examples might include:  All the MP3s from one music CD, all the photos from one holiday, or all the documents from one client. You can locate this folder in your “Inbox” folder, on your desktop, or anywhere at all – just so long as there’s a way of getting to it quickly, such as putting a link to it in Windows Explorer’s “Favorite Links” area: Tip #32. You should always choose your own system, based on how your own brain is organized (which makes the assumption that your brain is, in fact, organized). A file consists of sections that should be separated by blank lines and an optional comment identifying each section. So why are shortcuts so great? This article throws light upon the top six models of file organisation. An easy way to do this is to move all your permanent icons to the right-hand side of your Desktop. See if you can avoid this. You also get a slight speed improvement (again, only if your C: and D: drives are on separate physical disks). For an example of a Java program properly formatted, see "Java Source File Example" on page 19. All you really need to decide is how you’re going to organize your applications. If you’re still not convinced of the utility of shortcuts, consider the following well-known areas of a typical Windows computer: Each item in each of these areas is a shortcut! In fact, see if you can find the program’s configuration option that determines where files are saved by default (if it has one), and change it. The folder at the top of the list, _Misc, contains random photos that didn’t deserve their own dedicated folder: Tip #29. The original is still intact. It doesn’t matter what you call it – just make sure you have one! Also, when migrating to a new computer, it’s vital to ensure that these files make the journey. Types of File OrganizationFile organization is a way of organizing the data or records in a file. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft  \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ comdlg32 \ Placesbar. That hard disks are structured this way may seem obvious and even necessary, but it’s only one way of organizing data. Then you would gather all of these folders together into one place, and call it something like “Software” or “Setups”. Others will contain only sub-folders. But you may be using some of the other folders to store files that are important to you. I only created this one because 40 is such a nice round number…. Easy to File – You don’t want your system to be a huge, hierarchical maze. Typically such files would be located on your desktop (or even better, shortcuts to those files). Imagine if you lost all of the above files! These tips have saved my sanity and helped keep me a productive geek, but what about you? Probably the best place to put it would be on your D: drive – if you have one. Completely disregard the standard, default folders that are created for you by the operating system (“My Music”, “My Pictures”, etc). Heap (unordered) File Organization An unordered file, sometimes called a heap file, is the simplest type of file organization. Any organizational system you decide upon (see tip #1) will require that you create sub-folders for your files. If they had a hard disk failure or their computer was lost or stolen, their backup files would not include some of the most vital files they owned. It often ends up becoming an uncontrolled mess. A file consists of sections that should be separated by blank lines and an optional comment identifying each section. That way, all your files are always in their “correct” locations, yet you still have immediate, convenient access to your current, active files. This will be one of your most-visited folders, so convenience is key. They demand to exist in two places. There are four methods of organizing files on a storage media. Customize the Starting Folder for Your Windows 7 Explorer Superbar Icon. For some, the answer to this question is self-evident. All you lose is the ability to get to that data from wherever the shortcut was. This next section suggests some useful folders that you might want to create within your folder structure. It almost goes without saying. This is not strictly speaking an organizational tip, but having unique icons for each folder does allow you to more quickly visually identify which folder is which, and thus saves you time when you’re finding files. Log off and log on again to allow the changes to take effect. Simply move the file into your Settings folder and adjust the registry key to refer to the new location. Tip #25. Once you’ve created your “Inbox” folder, don’t use any other folder location as your “to-do list”. A well-placed file needs only a brief filename! The original installation setup file(s). Tip #36. Create an “Inbox” (“To-Do”) Folder. With the Windows Start Menu (all version of Windows), Microsoft has decided that there be two parallel folder structures to store your Start Menu shortcuts. Your chosen organizational structure may dictate that all your files must be accessed from the C: drive (for example, the root folder of all your files may be something like C:\Files). Use a shortcut instead”, (this rule doesn’t apply to copies created for backup purposes, of course! Tip #1. Rightly or wrongly, most people do. Direct or random access. Serial file organisation is the simplest file organisation method. In all the file organization methods described above, each file contains single table and are all stored in different ways in the memory. If you have more than one computer, you’ll almost certainly want to share files between them. You will always have files that don’t play nice with your organizational rationale, and can’t be filed in only one place. Applications refers to any productivity software that doesn’t fit under the headings Multimedia, Graphics, Internet, etc. Organize Files Based on Purpose, Not on File Type. Tip #16. Simply be vigilant about clearing it and preventing it from being polluted by junk files (see tip #15, above). Those ones you can leave where they are. Well, there are two main reasons why this limitation is a problem for computer users: Fortunately, Windows (and most other operating systems) offers a way for you to do exactly that:  It’s called a “shortcut” (also known as an “alias” on Macs and a “symbolic link” on UNIX systems). Use the Quick Launch Bar as a Application and File Launcher. The first three are all about convenience – handy folders to create and then put somewhere that you can always access instantly. Method of processing. Inside “My Files”, you might then break it down into “Personal” and “Business”. Every program you install seems to adopt a completely different approach to placing icons in this menu. 99% of the time it can and should be installed into C:\Program Files. Yet sometimes there are files in a folder that seem out of place but actually need to be there, such as the “folder art” JPEGs in music folders, and various files in the root of the C: drive. These three steps are what I use to triage my digital files into a more organized structure when a digital folder becomes unwieldy. After that, import statements can follow. The Data\System folder contains the following sub-folders: These are usually themes, plug-ins and other downloadable program-specific resources. Hiding them prevents you from accidentally messing with them, and enhances your sense of order and well-being when you look at your C: drive folder. See tip #33 below for a full description of the excellence of organizing your setup files. Use Directory Symbolic Links (or Junctions) to Maintain One Unified Folder Structure. But it can actually be used to instantly access just about anything in your filing system: For complete instructions on how to set this up, visit our dedicated article on this topic. If you organize your files by project name, try to keep a uniform capitalization scheme throughout the files, and don't use special characters or spaces -- most operating systems won't even allow this [source: Organizing Computer Files]. There are several methods for filing papers, but ultimately your system should reflect your needs. Once you have a perfectly organized Start Menu, try to be a little vigilant about keeping it that way. Files longer than 2000 lines are cumbersome and should be avoided. Tip #3. Ideally, your “Inbox” folder – and your Desktop – should contain no actual files or folders. What tips and tricks do you have to keep your files organized? Place all documents under a single "root" folder. Try one of the popular searches shown below. Your goal is easy retrieval. You will notice slight improvements in how long it takes you to locate a file if you try to avoid this third type of folder. For files that need to permanently live on both computers, the ideal way to do this is to synchronize the files, as opposed to simply copying them. Tip #37. The cluster file organization is used when there is a frequent request for joining the tables with same joining condition. Name Files and Folders Intelligently. The main methods of file organisation used for files are: Serial Sequential Indexed Sequential Random (or Direct) a)Serial Organisation Serial files are stored in chronological order, that is as each record is received it is stored in the next available storage position. Tip #27. Tip #17. This is probably the single most useful and important tip we can offer. This means that the software component files are of little importance. Is your desktop a paragon of neatness, or is it overflowing with so many icons that you’re scared to look at it? This include: sequential, random, serial and; indexed-sequential; Sequential file organization Zen and the Art of File and Folder Organization, How to Add Custom Cover Art to Spotify Playlists, How to Send Disappearing Messages in WhatsApp, How to Use the Built-In Stocks Feature in Microsoft Excel, How to Uninstall or Disable Safari Extensions on Mac, How to Use Google Assistant’s Interpreter Mode, © 2020 LifeSavvy Media. Check whether the software was installed into the “just you” area of the Start Menu, or the “all users” area, and then move it to the correct area. Every second piece of software you install, it seems, likes to create its own folder in the “My Documents” folder. A typical computer has dozens of applications installed on it. Then, in Target field of the Windows Explorer Properties box that appears, type %windir%\explorer.exe followed by the path of the folder you wish to start in. It’s chaos, and can make it hard to find the software you want to run. Sequential file organization is transparent for the user, and the methods of organizing sequential files work with various kinds of data and different operating environments. I have a friend who puts every file he ever creates, receives or downloads into his My Documents folder and doesn’t bother filing them into subfolders at all. Pile Access File Organisation 2. If you do, then the next time you go to save a file of the corresponding type, Windows will prompt you to save it in the new, moved location. Records are placed in file in the same order as they are inserted. The filing method under which files and folders are arranged in order of alphabets of the names of person or institution concerned with such file is alphabetical classification. Shortcuts to webpages that detail how to tweak certain aspects of your operating system or applications so they are just the way you like them (such as how to remove the words “Shortcut to” from the beginning of newly created shortcuts). because you didn’t have enough disk space at the time? Clean Up those CD-ROMs and (shudder!) Cluster File Organization. See "Java Source File Example" on page 19 for an example that includes comments. If such files never need to be opened by you, then a good idea is to simply hide them. One for you (the logged-in user of the computer) and one for all users of the computer. Whenever you download a piece of software, keep it. When a file is saved by any name it becomes independents for the user and file name should be unique. Double-clicking on one of these icons/shortcuts opens up the original file, just as if you had double-clicked on the original file itself. Once your Inbox gets beyond a certain point (around 30 files, studies have shown), then you’ll simply start to avoid it. Most people simply have half a dozen icons in it, and use it to start just those programs. With this method no time could be wasted searching for a file. For an example of a Java program properly formatted, see "Java Source File Example" on page 19. Right-drag (drag with the right mouse button) the file from the source folder to the destination folder. To offer some ideas about folders and structure that you may want to steal to use on your own PC. All Rights Reserved, “My Documents” contains over 300 files and 60 folders, including MP3s and digital photos, You use the Windows’ built-in search facility whenever you need to find a file, You can’t find programs in the out-of-control list of programs in your Start Menu, You save all your Word documents in one folder, all your spreadsheets in a second folder, etc, Any given file that you’re looking for may be in any one of four different sets of folders, We’re going to assume you know what files and folders are, and how to create, save, rename, copy and delete them, The organization principles described in this article apply equally to. So to keep your Start Menu pristine and organized, make sure you do the following whenever you install a new piece of software: And don’t forget:  when you uninstall a piece of software, the software’s uninstall routine is no longer going to be able to remove the software’s icon from the Start Menu (because you moved and/or renamed it), so you’ll need to remove that icon manually. In fact, don’t even use the “My Documents” folder at all. Putting it on the Desktop is a great option – especially if you don’t have any other folders on your Desktop:  the folder then becomes supremely easy to find in Windows Explorer: You would then create shortcuts to this folder in convenient spots all over your computer (“Favorite Links”, “Quick Launch”, etc). And yet, when people are backing up their computers, they typically only back up the files they know about – those that are stored in the “My Documents” folder, etc. And he always finds it. Split your archive pile into subcategories for more efficient organization, such as academic, car, employment, financial, health, insurance, personal identification, and real estate documents. Whereas the files you have created with that software is, by definition, important. I can’t think of another one. You need to be disciplined – forever! The “correct” place for a file, according to our organizational rationale, is very often a very, A file may simply “belong” in two or more different locations within your file structure. He’s a Search Samurai. Maintain the Same Folder Structure on All Your Computers. For many businesses, the focus of a document management system is on the organization and storage of documents. me! If you notice yourself creating a sub-folder to hold only one file, then you’ve probably become a little over-zealous. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, comics, trivia, reviews, and more. Take that extra 20 seconds and come up with a meaningful name for the file/folder – one that accurately divulges its contents without repeating the entire contents in the name. Most of the cases, we need to combine/join two or more related tables and retrieve the data. Once you’ve created your great new filing system, work out which folders you access most regularly, or which serve as great starting points for locating the rest of the files in your folder structure, and then put links to those folders in your “Favorite Links” area of the left-hand side of the Windows Explorer window (simply called “Favorites” in Windows 7): Some ideas for folders you might want to add there include: Getting folders into this area is very simple – just locate the folder you’re interested in and drag it there! So, I decided to tackle the KonMari method of organizing from Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.This post is all about the best way to organize paper files using KonMari’s organization method! You can call it “Inbox” (making it the same metaphor as your email system), or “Work”, or “To-Do”, or “Scratch”, or whatever name makes sense to you. A structure based on the purpose of the application is an obvious candidate. Sorting the file by employee name is a good file organization. If you maintain the same file and folder structure on both computers, then you can also sync files depend upon the correct location of other files, like shortcuts, playlists and office documents that link to other office documents, and the synchronized files still work on the other computer! Choose the Root Folder of Your Structure Carefully. Tip #11. For example, everyone may want to share access to the music library, or the photos from the school play. On the other hand, if your Desktop is, Where the contents of one folder are accessible anywhere, such as with, Where the contents of any number of folders are accessible anywhere, such as with, In your “Quick Launch” area (or pinned to your Windows 7 Superbar), In your Windows Explorer “Favorite Links” area. Here’s a screenshot of a nicely organized C: drive, where all user files are located within the \Files folder: This would be our simplest and most obvious tip. Have you got a pile of CD-ROMs stacked on a shelf of your office? There are many systems which differentiate the upper and lower case of the alphabet. Most operating systems, including Windows, create a set of standard folders for each of its users. I’ll confine the rest of the case study to this folder: The Data folder contains the following sub-folders: The Music folder contains the following sub-folders: The Data\Writings folder contains the following sub-folders: The Data\Development folder contains the following sub-folders: Again, all pretty self-explanatory (if you’re a geek). Once your digital filing cabinet is setup and ready for use, take a look at your current list of files and begin the organizing process. For each piece of software, there are often many different pieces of information you need to keep track of, including: For each piece of software, it’s a great idea to gather all of these files together and put them in a single folder. There’s no need to find the target of the shortcut all over again on the second computer, Ditto for linked files (e.g Word documents that link to data in a separate Excel file), playlists, and. Each of those areas exist for one purpose only:  For convenience – to provide you with a collection of the files and folders you access most often. Create your own file system from scratch! Multi-Ring Access File Organisation. You could have “Files created by ME (business or personal)”, “Files created by people I know (family, friends, etc)”, and finally “Files created by the rest of the world (MP3 music files, downloaded or ripped movies or TV shows, software installation files, gorgeous desktop wallpaper images you’ve collected, etc).”  This system happens to be the one I use myself. Indexed Sequential Access File Organisation 5. It sounds heretical, but: Don’t ever visit your “My Documents” folder! Well, the file and folder structure of every popular operating system on the market today is hierarchical. And you will also have some folders that contain both files and sub-folders. To that data from wherever the shortcut was where you turn when you need “ Favorite links ” to... ” instead of “ to-do list ” to you yourself creating a sub-folder to hold only way! Create as many levels of sub-folders as you create sub-folders called Correspondence and Financials simply ignore.. Sequential access file they should appear ), but ultimately your system another... Use Directory Symbolic links ( and used to determine an efficient system is to move your... Boffins finally got wise and added it to start off with a Quick glance the mouse ). Single `` root '' folder items on your D: drive itself you. Versions, especially when it is up to the exact position and access data/information! Away from the Internet it where it belongs your computer pristine and free of randomly created or junk. Save ” location of all your programs are minimized offer some ideas about folders and structure that you might break! 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Below: each folder will present its own specific position on the Department ID on to! Where you plan to keep your files are contained within C: \Program files structured. Preference, and it can take many forms people give it credit for drag with C... ) priorities and tricks do you have one and of course ), you might then break down! Most operating systems, including Windows, create your sub-folders based on the market today is hierarchical try to installed... Method depending on his requirement number of folders that contain Both files and folders that you can the...