Computer File-Folder Organization

If you're like me, I work on computers day and night. I would have numerous computers with files spread across each of them. I continue to run into the same problems over and over again. Problems with organization, clutter, not having the files I needed, having to re-download files, lug cd binders and hard drives with me wherever I would go. This is what I have found that works for me and have yet to find a better system. The first thing is your folder layout. The following layout works so well because of the following reasons:

-almost every file you come across has a place to go
-the numbering system at the front of the folder names keeps the folders in the same order
-the underscores prevent future issues when working with the internet (spaces can sometimes cause problems)
-the numbering system also organizes the file types in ascending order by "complexity/size/importance"

So without further word, here is my system....

Step 1: In [My Documents] I create the following folders


Step 2: Once I do that, I create shortcuts to all of these folders and move them to my desktop (making sure to rename them without the "Shortcut to" in the name)

NOTE... because you created shortcuts on your desktop, anytime you move files to your numbered folders, whether it's your desktop or you [My Documents] folder, the files all go to the same place

Step 3: Anytime you create/modify/download/save/"get a different or new file"....make sure you add the date and time to the end of the file name. Even though the computer keeps track of the date and time, that time can be changed and when working with files, it's so much quicker to just glance at the name.

Step 4: If you use this system on multiple systems, you will start to see that the 00_Backups folder seems to not make sense because you have multiple locations of files you want to save/be safe. To fix that, the ONE AND ONLY place you will actually backup your files, I name that folder "00_Locked". Any files that are stored there are compressed and archived so that I'm not tempted to modify or continue to make duplicates.

Step 5: If you are tech savvy and really want to put icing on the cake of your computer file-folder organization, you can look into software like AllwaySync which has the capability of syncing any computers/removeable storage/network locations all into one location with tons of different options.

I hope you benefit from what took me over 4 years to perfect (IMO)...which honestly I continue to try and find better ways. Enjoi

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Why didn't I think of that?


Thanks for the post. I found step number 3 to be a no-brainer, although I'm ashamed I didn't think of it myself. I usually hover over the name of the file to see when last it was modified.

Numbering the files is a great idea but best, I imagine, if you have a short list of folders or only specific ones that you prefer to keep in a set order. I do have some folders that I wish were always at the top, and it never crossed my mind to number them.

Are the underscores really necessary? What about just omitting the space?

Thanks again.