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Author Topic: zen and the art of file and folder organisation  (Read 3198 times)
Target
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« on: May 13, 2010, 06:19:28 PM »

this is probably nothing new to you guys here, but many (most?) probably support more than their fair share of technically challenged users

saw this yesterday at how to geek - Zen and the art of file and folder organisation

The article basically describes a set of guidelines for managing data that may be useful for showing people the 'right' way to do things (hands up all of you who know someone that just dumps everything to my documents or the desktop, or even worse, c:\)

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Innuendo
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 07:55:56 PM »

I'll give this a read later. I'm a packrat in rehab so maybe I'll pick up some tips/ideas on how to improve on keeping everything sorted.
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ewemoa
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 10:53:21 PM »

Many files and folders I create or obtain start off on my Desktop.
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Target
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2010, 11:30:35 PM »

Many files and folders I create or obtain start off on my Desktop.

nothing wrong with that, like i said I think this is more aimed at those people that have nil or very rudimentary organisational skills.

I provide a lot of support to my colleagues and it horrifies me to see how many just dump all their files into a single directory (they don't even use any sort of consistent naming convention ohmy), and to know that they don't see a problem with that.

or maybe I'm just a bit OCD Grin

and thanks to whoever added the screenie to my original post
 
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ewemoa
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2010, 06:03:50 PM »

I haven't finished reading the article yet, but I am finding some good bits along the way.

As an example, I think tip #34 on Settings touches on an area that I wish more applications would take into consideration.

Thanks for sharing this post  Thmbsup
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Nod5
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2010, 03:44:00 PM »

A lot of good advice in that post!

These are great:
Quote
Tip #3.  Choose the Root Folder of Your Structure Carefully ...
“My Documents” is the worst offender.  Every second piece of software you install, it seems, likes to create its own folder in the “My Documents” folder.  These folders usually don’t fit within your organizational structure, so don’t use them!  In fact, don’t even use the “My Documents” folder at all.  Allow it to fill up with junk, and then simply ignore it.

Tip #13.  Create an “Inbox” Folder
Tip #23.  Move Permanent Items on Your Desktop Away from the Top-Left Corner
My addition: keep at least the four leftmost desktop columns blank for temp inbox use.

Tip #37.  Use the Quick Launch Bar as a Application and File Launcher
My tip: I try to limit the number applications I have installed (discounting AHK scripts and the like) to as many icons fit into one column in the quick launch bar popup menu. When the column is full and I install something new then I try to prune an old one. Very often there's one there that I don't use anymore.

These I disagree with:

Tip #25.  Hide Files You Never Need to See
My objection: hiding files is not worth the time. They may also take longer to find when you do need them.

“Only ever have one copy of a file – never have two copies of the same file.  Use a shortcut instead”
For files you work on/manipulate it can make sense with many copies. You have a fallback if you accidentally delete or mess up the file. Make a habit of adding dates to the filename to quickly keep them apart.

Some additional tips:

a) keep in mind from the start that you will change and improve your sorting system over time. Do NOT stick to a system that does not fit your needs. If you get a new job or a new hobby that permanently involves new types of (sets of) files or new computer use patterns then your sorting system likely needs to evolve.

b) schedule cleanups/checkup for your file system.

c) write notes to yourself (in plain textfiles). For example, if you do manual backups for some part of the file system, write a txt file with your actionable backup plan and place it somewhere obvious. If you make a habit of such notes you will come to trust them and no longer feel the need to keep the actual details in memory (just don't forget the note! cheesy)

d) design the system both in a well planned Hierarchy AND optimized for search.

For good search, first add tags to filenames. Try to tag consistently (consider using an application) but know that your tagset will evolve over time. Second, use good search tools. I recommend the combination of Find And Run Robot (very customizeable, lots of plugins) and Everything (blazing speed).

e) like in real life, throw away a lot of more stuff! Hoarding temptations can be strong on the computer too. Large files are especially useful prune as they take up space and slows down backups. For example, I kept old linux iso files from different versions of different distros, well over 30GB of data. I didn't use them, I just kept them. Then it struck me: they are forever archived online already, just clicks away. I deleted them and kept only a txt list of distros I've tried. It is 30kB in size.
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