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Last post Author Topic: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder  (Read 36038 times)

JennyB

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2007, 05:31:13 AM »
This thread is proving very useful to me, since I've finally got a new computer!  :P

I'm surpised how little stuff I actually need to move from the old one: bbLean, Opera, DOpus, Rough Draft, NoteTab, and of course FARR. Files I'm working on regularly, but most of the stuff I squirreled away for "reference" I'll either never look at again or find quicker on the Web.  ;)

Perhaps the ultimate would be to have no local "My Documents" at all. http://zenhabits.net...t-completely-online/, but I'm not quite ready for that yet.

If you don't see how it can fail -
you haven't understood it properly.

mitzevo

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #26 on: August 27, 2007, 01:03:23 AM »
Quote
This stuff's highly dependent on the individual and relies so heavily on what mnemonics work best for that person.

That's damn right. One thing you have to get straight is.. am I sorting for myself? Or other people?  ;D

I also do what mouser does, that is try to keep my data/files seperate from stuff created from other programs.. for example a lot of programs put folders/files in "My Documents." It really is a pain in the ass, then you have to configure the damn program to put its stuff in another dir (that's if you can)..some programs are google apps, adobe apps, etc. I hate how they stick their shit where ever the want, as a matter of fact, that goes to any program that puts stuff where ever (right now I'm battling it out with MSN messenger c:\*.sqm files - WTF!!).  So I feel what mouser and superboyac are saying..
So I usually make a dir such as d:\myshit and have all my files there instead of the "my documents" rubbish.. and then I usually arrange by subject such as "work", "gaming" ,"personal", etc.



As for a C:\Programs dir, I instead use C:\Tools :) for programs, tools and utils that are small, old, etc.

P.S., I have also tried tag2find and tagg, although I don't use them a lot.
The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 01:17:44 AM by mitzevo »

urlwolf

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #27 on: August 27, 2007, 09:50:14 AM »
Now that I think of it, most of what I write now goes to onenote, and that does away with the need of folders/files!

cybernetnews

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #28 on: August 27, 2007, 10:23:33 PM »
I actually create another subfolder called "Ryan's Documents" which is where I place everything you would expect to find in My Documents. This is because a lot of applications like to create folders in My Documents, and every night I have an automated backup system scour my "Ryan's Documents" folder for backups. I would hate for it to backup the folders left behind by meaningless applications.

Within the Ryan's Documents I have a ton of subfolders that are crazily nested within eachother in hopes of maining organization between school work, work stuff, and other items that are important to me.

mouser

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #29 on: August 28, 2007, 12:17:28 AM »
Sounds like Ryan and I think alike in this area (see http://www.donationc...47.msg72764#msg72764 for my description which also extends this approach to the program files directory). 

Lashiec

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #30 on: August 28, 2007, 01:47:42 PM »
Just out of curiosity, what are those apps which creates dirs under "My Documents"? The only one I can think about it's a-squared, which insists in storing scanning logs there (not that I'm troubled by that) and Max Payne, for its savegames (a workaround for the Win9x-Win2K situation back then)

Darwin

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #31 on: August 28, 2007, 06:16:30 PM »
Well.. Let's see:

PaintShop Pro (a different folder for each version)
IdeaMason
SoftMaker Office 2006
Intervideo WinDVD
DVDFab Platinum
PaperPort
Book Collector
MP3 Collector
Music Collector
Photo Collector
Azureus
ClipMate
Endnote
FinePrint
TextNotes Pro
Do-Organizer
Datamystic software
GOMPlayer
Stuff-It
Snapfire
NetSnippets
ObjectDock
Scansoft PDF Pro
SnagIt
SpellCatcher
TrueLaunchBar
WhereIsIt
Zoner Studio

That's a rough list - I may have missed some!
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

wreckedcarzz

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2007, 06:25:28 PM »
I toss my stuff I need temporarily onto the desktop for later (a few mins to a week or so) and "Documents" doesn't get much attention anymore. Its mostly an automated stronghold of Halo, Halo 2, Test Drive Unlimited and other gamer profiles and junk that can only be read by some idiot who programmed it in ChinAmericaSpanish or something ("profsavecheckatlocxy=truefalse=nocheck=true 003,045,053,281" type stuff). ;D Anything I want to keep for an extended amount of time I throw into Documents\archived stuff, but I clean it out frequently. I don't save much anymore  :-\

stylecrime

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #33 on: August 28, 2007, 08:15:12 PM »
I'm opting for 3. Unfortunately it clashes with Microsoft's idea, as My Pictures and My Music is not sorted by project or theme.

Exactly my thinking, which is why I don't use the My Documents folder!  I (as do some others, based on the replies I'm seeing here) generally let software put whatever it wants to in there, and I've created a different "Documents" folder where I can safely organise my own hierarchy based on purpose/project without fear of installation routines and other automated stuff messing it up.  I've mapped that folder to a drive letter, so I don't have to dig through folders to find my docs.  I find the usage of all the "My ..." folders really annoying!
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 08:17:15 PM by stylecrime »

Lashiec

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2007, 09:02:22 PM »
Thanks, Darwin. The only app in that list that I'll use in the future is Azureus, and it's not exactly clear if that will be my BitTorrent client of choice. Maybe Shareaza as it accepts DC, ed2k and Gnutella protocols as well *ahem*

</offtopic>

tomos

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #35 on: August 29, 2007, 03:23:27 AM »
I'm opting for 3. Unfortunately it clashes with Microsoft's idea, as My Pictures and My Music is not sorted by project or theme.

Exactly my thinking, which is why I don't use the My Documents folder!  I (as do some others, based on the replies I'm seeing here) generally let software put whatever it wants to in there, and I've created a different "Documents" folder where I can safely organise my own hierarchy based on purpose/project without fear of installation routines and other automated stuff messing it up.  I've mapped that folder to a drive letter, so I don't have to dig through folders to find my docs.  I find the usage of all the "My ..." folders really annoying!

are you able to get rid of "My Docs" from the Explorer tree then as well?
oh yeah,
how does one give a folder a drive letter ?!?
Can you do that using windows "Disk Management"?
Tom

justice

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #36 on: August 29, 2007, 03:24:17 AM »
I've mapped that folder to a drive letter, so I don't have to dig through folders to find my docs.
Ahh that's a good tip, never considered that. There are benefits with My documents, but mostly for me they come down to explorer integration. Assigning a drive letter and maybe editing the places bar with Tweak UI should sort that out.

vixay

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #37 on: August 29, 2007, 05:36:25 AM »
Desktop\Work -> Client -> Project -> [files organized as needed]

Share -> Downloads (default download location) -> further divided according to status
         -> CD Images
         -> Categorized Appz (where installers go after installation, for reference and sharing with friends later)
         -> Uploads (for other users on network to drop files in)
         -> zTasks (z to sort to bottom of heirarchy) -> subfolders according to status

My documents -> big list of files for indexing (stuff i can safely ignore)

then use filebox extender and add those folders to the list so they are easy to access from anywhere! done and done :).

still haven't figured out a good way to deal with Reference materials though... :\

oh well...
"Drunk on the Nectar of Life!" -me

housetier

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #38 on: August 29, 2007, 03:28:16 PM »
No Strictness

I don't really have a strict concept of organizing my files, nor do I have a folder "My Documents".

My home directory only has a few subdirectories which don't change often:

desktop-and-home.jpgHow do you organise your 'My Documents' folder

  • Apps - wrapper scripts for all the programs I use
  • Bilder - avatar images only
  • Choices - contains files and scripts to configure my desktop environment and most of the programs I use
  • Desktop - files and directories that I actively work with, or plan on working with; about as messy as my real desk
  • bin - so I can locally install programs without confusing my package manager
  • lib - likewise
  • mount - I mount stuff here


The ATPBA

In my Desktop directory I sort the files my secret ATPBA (Adaptive Type/Purpose-Based Algorithm): files I need for my work for the c-base club go into "c-base"; torrent files I keep in "Torrents" until I have downloaded the files; articles for newspapers and magazines, letters, invoices are in "Texte"; movie files are in "Filme".

ATPBA can be expressed shortly as: make directories after purpose and file types.

On Capitalization

I tend to use capitalized directory names; exceptions are "bin" and "lib" for technical reasons, and "c-base" because the name is not to be capitalized.

Slippy Bastard

Applying the ATPBA is not simple due to its adaptive nature. It is like using genetic algorithms to create circuits: it works and it works well - but nobody knows how or why. Deleting files helps a lot; if I haven't touched a file or directory for a couple of weeks I put them in a directory "to burn". Once that holds enough data, they are burned to cd-rom and deleted from my harddrive. I write the date and the names of the directory on the cdrom, but I don't group them in, say, "projects", "fun" - instead there are "cbrp-homework", "Battle Programmer Shirase" (a very funny anime), and the like.

Who's On Top?

I like to put files into directories, but I don't like to create a deep hierarchy - unless there is demand, i.e. organizing my 80 GB of mp3-files.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 02:14:43 AM by housetier »

ravenlaughs

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #39 on: August 29, 2007, 07:20:16 PM »
I don't. My computer is not shared with anyone else, so I have no reason to use the #$%&@*! My fsck1ng Documents thing. I hate, loathe, and despise the whole "My" scene, Mycorot's demeaning baby-naming makes me sick.

Because the MS Office monsterware (and other things) won't stay out of it, I put in shortcuts to my real archive directories. They are in a partition far, far away, safe from random Windwoes brain-farts that might suddenly make my files inaccessible.

I once lost everything because I trusted That Folder. I'm not the only one. That's a big part of why I hate it so much. I don't want to see That Name any more than I have to. Renaming or moving IT doesn't help, because the puky label will still be all over everything. Also, it can be hard to get into from decent proggies.

One other reason I don't - I have several different accounts on this computer, for special uses, and "we" all want convenient access to the same stuff!

If I had to use IT (retching noises), I would organize pretty much the way I do now. Lots of folders, some subfolders, and no snowdrifts of unorganized files. It would vary a lot. I would back up more often than I do now. It would be a pain in the parts.

In Linux, I behave according to the norm in everyday usage, because Ubuntu doesn't force any "My Widdle Folder" BS on me. It's not the place, it's the attitude, the stupidity of the name - and the bad memories.
Happiness is a warm reboot

Metacosm

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #40 on: August 30, 2007, 04:30:09 AM »
Simple, clean and with everything I don't care about hidden away.  At one point I tried to fight the silly ms naming convention, but more recently, I decided to go with it for consistency (rather than fight it) and it has made my life easier.  Accept the convention and things get less painful.  (Microsoft did away with the convention in Vista, go them).

-My Documents
+---My Connections
|   +---Home
|   |   +---Shortcut to some connection to home (vpn / putty / etc)
|   |   +---Shortcut to some connection to home (vpn / putty / etc)
|   +---Work
|   |   +---Shortcut to some connection to work (vpn / putty / etc)
|   |   +---Shortcut to some connection to work (vpn / putty / etc)
|   \---Personal Servers
+---My Downloads
|   +---Stuff
|   |   +---Random
|   \---Things
+---My Music
|   +---iTunes
|   |   +---iTunes controlled structure
|   +---Raw
|   |   +---raw FLAC files
+---My Pictures
|   +---Friends
|   \---Family
+---My Projects
|   +---Company A
|   |   +---Project 1
|   |   |   +---Trunk 1
|   |   \---Project 2
|   +---Company B
|   |   +---Project 1
|   |   |   +---Trunk 1
|   |   \---Project 2
|   +---Personal
|   |   +---Project 1
|   |   |   +---Trunk 1
|   |   +---Project 2
|   +---Shared
|   |   +---Project 1
|   |   |   +---Trunk 1
|   |   \---Project 2
\---My Texts
    \---Company
        +---Ideas
        |   +---Idea 1
        |   \---Idea 2
        +---Networking
        \---Receipts
    \---Personal
        +---Ideas
        |   +---Idea 1
        |   \---Idea 2
        +---Networking
        \---Receipts
« Last Edit: August 30, 2007, 04:32:23 AM by Metacosm »

iphigenie

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #41 on: August 30, 2007, 07:31:27 AM »
I had a tree structure like this but you end up spending more times shuffling files than working - and a lot of things could fit in more than one category so in the end you are never sure where to look for things.

So I went to a much flatter set up and better search.

Armando

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #42 on: August 30, 2007, 09:53:05 AM »
At one point I tried to fight the silly ms naming convention, but more recently, I decided to go with it for consistency (rather than fight it) and it has made my life easier.  Accept the convention and things get less painful.

Same conclusions...


I had a tree structure like this but you end up spending more times shuffling files than working - and a lot of things could fit in more than one category so in the end you are never sure where to look for things.

So I went to a much flatter set up and better search.

Same conclusions too!
This is why I've decided to put all my energies in filenaming instead.

app103

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #43 on: August 30, 2007, 11:45:23 AM »
I could write volumes on file organizing, but here is the basics (and yes, it is just the basics, sorry it's so long):

It seems to me that the way that Microsoft thinks with the My Documents folder, they expect you to only have 1 hard drive and one huge partition on it and keep all your stuff in that single folder.

I don't use the default folder provided by Windows for anything I care about...and that would be everything that's mine. (I hate putting anything on the OS drive that isn't part of the OS)

And I don't install programs to the default folder on the system drive. And if I can move a default folder off the system drive without encountering any problems, I do it.

Almost every category of file has it's own partition and I have more than 1 hard drive, including an external drive for backups.

extended system & software
--bookmarks
----daughter's
----mine
--cursors
----type
--drivers (specific to this pc)
----device
------version
--email
--icons
----subject
--programs installed
----program name
--taskbar shortcuts (these are the folders of shortcuts that are the bars on my taskbar instead of the default quicklaunch)
----mine (I have 2 of these, unlike normal people)
------taskbar1
--------Drives
--------P1 & P3 drive folders
--------system tools
--------misc tools
--------office tools
--------web
--------p2p & chat
--------audio & video
--------programming & web design
--------art
--------misc personal stuff
------taskbar2
--------games
--------important bookmarks
--------misc programming references
--------C books I am currently reading
--------most used delphi reference books
--------desktop customization
--------misc file utilities
----daughter's (she only has 1)
------type (purpose) of application or file


media
--midi
--mp3
----artist
------year-album name
--------disk # (audio files go here)
--------art (cover scans go here)
--------lyrics (text files go here)
--phone calls (voicemail)
----sender's name
--sounds
----category
--swf
--video
----movie
----music
----shorts
--wav
--wma
--playlists
----daughter's
----mine

images
--clip art
----disk name
--collected images
----subject, type, or purpose (cats, wallpaper, siggy tags, etc)
--personal photos
----camera name
------date-subject (originals here)
--------edited (edited versions here)
--personal art
----mine
------application name (bryce, psp, axialis screensavers, etc)
--------project name
----my daughter's
------(she does her own thing in here and I do not interfere)
--received photos
----source (name of person that gave them to me)
------date-subject


projects
--programming
----ideas
----language (delphi, C, AHK, etc)
------code snips
------project name
--------version #
----------previous builds (contains zipped sources)
--screenshots (this is sort of a Snagit dump that I clean out periodically)
--web
----site name
------version #

Books
--fiction
----author
--magazines
--new (dumping ground for new unsorted books)
--nonfiction
----subject
------(I break this down much further)

Personal
--daughter
----(she does her own thing in here)
--me
----bills
------account name
--------year
----chatlogs
------application
--------year
----------month
----friends (this is a collection of misc stuff from or related to specific people)
------name of person
----poetry
----private musings (& things that may become blog posts)
----receipts
----surfulator knowledgebases
----etc (lots more folders to sort stuff only of interest to me)
--hubby (this is pretty much empty)

backups
--laptop
----(my daughter determines how this is arranged)
--P1 (entire contents of my other pc)
----drive letter
------(entire contents of that drive)
--P3 (a pc that is long dead & buried)
----drive letter
------(entire contents of that drive)
--P4 (this pc)
----system
----application settings
----registry
----etc (important files & folders)
----email
----bookmarks
--pocket pc
----cf card
----system backups

downloads (some folders get cleaned out and sorted to other locations)
--AIM
--Ares
--Email attachments
--FlashGet
--Fonts (I have over 12,000)
----A
----B
----C
--MSN
--program setup files
----9x only (things for my other pc that can't/shouldn't run on this one)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----clueless (setup files for applications I don't know what they are)
------application name
----installed (currently installed on this pc)
------application name
--------version installed
----------documentation
--------older versions
----------documentation
----linux (things meant to run on linux)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----not installed (tried, but not installed on this pc)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----obsolete (old DOS stuff & things that are so old they won't work)
------application name
----Pocket PC (things meant to run on WinCE)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
----untried (downloaded but never installed on any pc)
------application name
--------version
----------documentation
--psp
----tubes
------categories
----frames
------categories
----brushes
------categories
----textures
------categories
--Safe 2 Share (items I copied here specifically for sharing over p2p)
--torrents
--WinMX
--xchat
--Yahoo


As you can see I am pretty much an organizing freak when it comes to my files. I think my PC is the only thing in my life that is well organized.

It's not that complicated for me, because it's done to the way I think and I have been doing things this way for years. I can find everything rather quickly, and in the cases of folders I access often, there are shortcuts to them on one of my taskbars, often times right next to the shortcut of the application associated with those files (ex: xchat downloads folder next to xchat application shortcut).

I can find my files in my sleep and do not usually need to use a search utility or even the search built into windows for most things.

superboyac

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #44 on: August 30, 2007, 11:58:19 AM »
^^^
OK, app103 gets the OCD trophy this year.  Wow, I thought I was bad.

Darwin

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2007, 01:58:37 PM »
Yeah, that's the short version?! Actually, it's impressive. I shoot for simplicity in my organization, though I know that my methods are more complex than I *think*, because I do it automatically and haven't given it much thought in a long time. app, I'm also impressed that you're able to articulate and explain what you do so clearly -  :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Padlock6

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2007, 06:53:27 PM »
One thing that helps me keep track of downloaded software, is a folder labeled "downloads & Drivers".
Inside I have a folder for every program I get, including: the original file, the unzipped (if applicable), a copy of the web page explaining it, and maybe a .txt file with password or key.
Yeah, trees don't grow on money either.

Darwin

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #47 on: August 30, 2007, 06:56:44 PM »
Padlock6 - I do the same thing but wipe it out every so often, backing it up to an external harddrive. I use WhereIsIt to catalogue the external drive so always know what I've "got". ClipMate is used to save all serial and activation numbers...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

jzippo

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2007, 03:52:29 AM »
I don't put my files in the My Documents folder but into another folder (in my case, a MyDocs folder on C:). The reasons for this is, as a lot of you have mentioned, that a lot of applications create subdirectories on their own among 'My Documents' (effectively diluting the whole concept of My Documents, which for me stands for something like: don't touch, these are my private belongings).

I have taken some care to choose descriptive icons for my folders as I think that icons helps me to navigate more effectively among folders. At the first level every folder has an icon but beyond this level I only have icons on those folders that I need to navigate to often. Since these "iconized" folders stand out against the much less used folders (which will have their normal icon), my gaze will be directed to look at these before the much less navigated to folders, which makes the visual search for folders somewhat more effective.

The image below shows my organization (which, perhaps, reflects the fact that I am a PhD student):

orgPic3.jpg

The first folder (named Organization & Classification) contains information regarding the organization of My Docs and the icons for my folders in the My Docs-folder. It also contains a tiny web server that I use for accessing research texts stored in My Docs (more on that later).

The second folder (named Application Data) contains files that are application specific, such as settings and templates.

The third folder (Miscellaneous) contains random stuff.

The fourth folder (Artes Liberales) contains articles and information regarding general topics such as math and language (grammar, linguistics etc), which are topics that by their nature cannot be tied to any specific kind of activity but permeates much of what one does.

The fifth folder (Personal) contains stuff that is linked more to private and personal matters, like hobbies, pictures, plans and so forth, than any professional undertakings.

The sixth folder (University) contains information regarding my place of employment and how to manage things there. Thus, it contains things such as standard forms we use, templates for external communications, information on the organizational structure and so forth.

The seventh folder (Computing) is divided into two folders, Software and Programming. In Software, I store information that ties to the use of specific software that I have. In Programming, I store information about programming languages (every language I use has a specific folder) and also information on general topics in software engineering. Within Programming, I have a folder for the specific software projects that I am working on (that folder is a big mess, which is, perhaps, a reflection of the fact that programming projects are difficult to manage).

The eight folder (Research) contains stuff that pertains to what I do as a PhD-student. In this folder I also store information that pertains to research in my field that has been published in articles, journals, reports (these are mostly in the form of PDFs). I have indexed these in RefWorks, which is a web service for indexing that kind of stuff. Everything indexed in my RefWorks database gets a reference-id, which I then use for naming the folder on my computer in which I put the corresponding PDF. I also run a webserver on localhost so that I can retrieve and display a PDF stored on my computer with a specific reference id in my web browser. I have also customized the RefWorks-service (with GreaseMonkey) so that I can see thumbnails of my PDFs and access the PDFs stored locally from RefWorks. Thus, my local storage and the webservice function together in a seamless way. The picture below is included to give you an idea of how that looks like.

refworks.png

The ninth folder (Teaching) contains stuff that has to do with my teaching duties at my university.

And that is pretty much all there is to my organization of files and folders.


« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 03:54:57 AM by jzippo »

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Re: How do you organise your 'My Documents' folder
« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2007, 05:38:45 AM »
One thing that helps me keep track of downloaded software, is a folder labeled "downloads & Drivers".
Inside I have a folder for every program I get, including: the original file, the unzipped (if applicable), a copy of the web page explaining it, and maybe a .txt file with password or key.


Been doing that for a couple years.... :Thmbsup:

Mouser...

Quote
That means I have a MyDocuments folders, which is full of directories created by programs when they install, etc., and then I have a MyDocs folder which is all my real stuff.  I find this makes it easier for me to isolate my "real" files from files created by programs which I don't really care about.  Note that this means that the "default" folder used by programs to store stuff is not going to be the MyDocs folder so this solution is only good for people who dont mind changeing where programs you really use store there stuff, etc.  i.e. don't do this unless you know what you are doing.

If you want to take baby steps, you could insert # in front of prog. directories to force them to be listed first! That would at least seperate them visually till your ready to make a 'MyDocs' folder. :D