File Everything Immediately, and Use Shortcuts for Your Active Projects. Cons of Cluster file organization. In other words, you’d want to create shortcuts to half the pages on the How-To Geek website! 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. If you’re on Windows 7, your Superbar will include a Windows Explorer icon. For example, everyone may want to share access to the music library, or the photos from the school play. For many businesses, the focus of a document management system is on the organization and storage of documents. Ten levels is not uncommon. 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. It makes little sense to organize your files based on the program that created them. The last thing you want to be doing is checking multiple folders to see all your current tasks and projects. i.e. When creating a backup regime, it’s easy to decide what files should be backed up – they’re all in the one folder! 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. See tip #33 below for a full description of the excellence of organizing your setup files. By using the shell command mklink, you can essentially take a folder that lives on one drive and create an alias for it on a different drive (you can do lots more than that with mklink – for a full rundown on this programs capabilities, see our dedicated article). Old photos, or files you archived off onto CD-ROM (or even worse, floppy disks!) This means that the software component files are of little importance. Note:  When you’re reorganizing your Start Menu, you may want to have two Explorer windows open at the same time – one showing the “just you” version and one showing the “all users” version. When private classes and interfaces are associated with a public class, you can put them in the same source file as the public class. Those ones you can leave where they are. These standard default folders tend to fill up with junk files and folders that are not at all important to you. Method of processing. File it in your own folder! These folders usually don’t fit within your organizational structure, so don’t use them! The Data\System folder contains the following sub-folders: These are usually themes, plug-ins and other downloadable program-specific resources. Separate Application Files from Data Files. Use the Quick Launch Bar as a Application and File Launcher. If you can’t ensure that, then you can still use a clever geeky trick to store your files on the D: drive, but still access them all via the C: drive (see tip #17, below). Choose Your Organization System Carefully. That Quick Launch bar (to the right of the Start button) is a lot more useful than people give it credit for. Tip #11. This method provisions the data element to be arranged and stored in the shorted order. For example: The following table describes the parts of a class or interface declaration, in the order that they should appear. 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. There’s nothing more pointless than going to all the trouble of creating a system and filing all your files, and then whenever you create, receive or download a new file, you simply dump it onto your Desktop. Tip #25. Some simply put a single program icon. A well-placed file needs only a brief filename! It doesn’t matter what you call it – just make sure you have one! 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. But there are many files that are important to us that can’t be saved into folders, and then searched for and double-clicked later on. File organization is a logical relationship among various records. The Desktop is probably the most abused part of a Windows computer (from an organization point of view). 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! Some programs stubbornly refuse to allow their settings files to be placed anywhere other then where they stipulate. 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. Files you have yet to open and look at live in one folder. In an ideal world, it might look like this: Tip #23. They function exactly like regular folders, except they’re physically located somewhere else. Whereas the files you have created with that software is, by definition, important. But you may be using some of the other folders to store files that are important to you. You’ll never know when you need to reinstall the software. 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. Floppy Disks. Click on the one you want to organize. And of course, you can create shortcuts to folders too, not just to files! 99% of the time it can and should be installed into C:\Program Files. One for you (the logged-in user of the computer) and one for all users of the computer. If such files never need to be opened by you, then a good idea is to simply hide them. Use synonyms for the keyword you typed, for example, try “application” instead of “software.”. Create a Folder for Files and Folders that You Regularly Open. This article throws light upon the top six models of file organisation. One way of doing this is to take all the leftover files that didn’t end up getting stored in a sub-folder and create a special “Miscellaneous” or “Other” folder for them. 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. Every time you notice an opportunity to group a set of related files into a sub-folder, do so. And you will also have some folders that contain both files and sub-folders. Create as many levels of sub-folders as you need. When You Decide on Your System, Stick to It! Once your Inbox gets beyond a certain point (around 30 files, studies have shown), then you’ll simply start to avoid it. This is another one that almost goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway:  Do not allow files to be created that have meaningless names like Document1.doc, or folders called New Folder (2). They want to be able to store documents in an organized and secure way that still allows documents to be found easily. Further to the previous tip, if you name that “Miscellaneous” or “Other” folder in such a way that its name begins with an underscore “_”, then it will appear at the top of the list of files/folders. After dealing with an excess of clutter for years, I wanted to whip my house into shape. You also get a slight speed improvement (again, only if your C: and D: drives are on separate physical disks). So where should you put this folder, which, almost by definition, lives outside the structure of the rest of your filing system? How-To Geek is where you turn when you want experts to explain technology. File organization is used to describe the way in which the records are stored in terms of blocks, and the blocks are placed on the storage medium. The name of the folder is not important, but make it a single, brief word. And others create a folder based on the name of the software manufacturer. Make it a source of pride to keep the number of files in this folder as small as possible. All other files (your “archive”, if you like) would live in a fourth folder. Shortcuts allow a file to exist in one place, and an icon that represents the file to be created and put anywhere else you please. Throw every incoming or created file into the Inbox folder as you create/receive it. Another strategy would be based on “currentness”. Assign toss-out dates to your files. If that was the case you could create C:\Files as a directory symbolic link – a link to D:, as follows: Or it may be that the only files you wish to store on the D: drive are your movie collection. If you let your “Inbox” overflow (i.e. Because they allow us to easily overcome the main limitation of hierarchical file systems, and put a file in two (or more) places at the same time. Typically such files would be located on your desktop (or even better, shortcuts to those files). Otherwise all your shortcuts, playlists and linked files will stop working! The models are: 1. Easy to File – You don’t want your system to be a huge, hierarchical maze. There are two main visual differences between the icons: You can delete the shortcut at any time without losing any actual data. Each Java source file contains a single public class or interface. A great place to create a shortcut to this program is in the Windows XP and Windows Vista “Quick Launch” bar: To get it there, locate it in your Start Menu (usually under “Accessories”) and then right-drag it down into your Quick Launch bar (and create a copy). This method defines how file records are mapped onto disk blocks. In other words, who created the files. 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. Create a Folder where Your Current Projects are Collected. Tip #39. A good example of this is the “PST” file that Outlook creates for us and uses to store all our emails, contacts, appointments and so forth. Usually, you find that a file is either underused or bulging. 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. If you delve into the program’s options, you will find a setting somewhere that controls the location of the important settings files (or “personal storage” – PST – when it comes to Outlook). File organization is very important because it determines the methods of access, efficiency, flexibility and storage devices to use. Pile Access File Organisation 2. Drafts and Revisions To more easily manage drafts and revisions, include a version number on these documents. To hide a file, simply right-click on it and choose Properties: These days most software is downloaded from the Internet. 10 File Management Tips to Keep Your Electronic Files Organized 1. Any organizational system you decide upon (see tip #1) will require that you create sub-folders for your files. A shortcut allows a file to be in two places at once. because you didn’t have enough disk space at the time? Customize the Starting Folder for Your Windows 7 Explorer Superbar Icon. Serial file organisation is the simplest file organisation method. 1. 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. Or, if you’re already organized, to get better organized. 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. ), There are also lesser rules, like “don’t move a file into your work area – create a shortcut there instead”, and “any time you find yourself frustrated with how long it takes to locate a file, create a shortcut to it and place that shortcut in a convenient location.”. And he always finds it. Create an “Inbox” (“To-Do”) Folder. A project or client-based structure is perhaps the simplest to stick to. When you finish working on a file, simply delete the shortcut. 3 - File Organization. Probably the best place to put it would be on your D: drive – if you have one. Index sequential access. The one on the left is the actual Word document, while the one on the right is a shortcut that represents the Word document. It can be a very useful idea to create yourself a folder to store all your “settings” – files that are important to you but which you never actually search for by name and double-click on to open them. 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. Even so, it would make a lot of sense to get into the guts of the Start Menu itself and give it a good once-over. 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). Records are placed in file in the same order as they are inserted. ... and creating new folders labeled by year and subject, moving files as needed. The folder can be the name of the software (plus possibly a very brief description of what it’s for – in case you can’t remember what the software does based in its name). 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). That way, all your files are always in their “correct” locations, yet you still have immediate, convenient access to your current, active files. Have you got a pile of CD-ROMs stacked on a shelf of your office? A structure based on the purpose of the application is an obvious candidate. On the face of it, why would anyone bother to take the time to organize their hard disk when such excellent search software is available? “My Documents” is the worst offender. When you let go of the mouse button at the destination folder, a menu pops up: There’s less to remember. Then, whenever you need to work on it (possibly straight away), create a shortcut to it in your “Inbox” (“to-do”) folder or your desktop. Hopefully you always have the original installation media (or downloaded set-up file) kept somewhere safe, and can thus reinstall your software at any time. Once you’ve decided where your files should go, then put all your files in there – Everything! Choose the Root Folder of Your Structure Carefully. 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. Very minimal. If you notice yourself creating a sub-folder to hold only one file, then you’ve probably become a little over-zealous. Size of the file. The aim here is twofold: Let’s start with the C: drive itself. Every time you install a new piece of software, the icons that get created will almost certainly violate your organizational structure. You could locate all your movie files in the root of your D: drive, and then link it to C:\Files\Media\Movies, as follows: (Needless to say, you must run these commands from a command prompt – click the Start button, type cmd and press Enter). It is used to determine an efficient file organization for each base relation. Tip #12. If you don’t like those extra words, you can easily rename the shortcuts after they’re created, or you can configure Windows to never insert the extra words in the first place (see our article on how to do this). This folder contains all the recently created, received or downloaded files that you have not yet had a chance to file away properly, and it also may contain files that you have yet to process. File them immediately. 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. This is one of the keys to staying organized. It’s chaos, and can make it hard to find the software you want to run. In an ideal world, your C:\ folder should look like this (on Windows 7): Note that there are some system files and folders in C:\ that are usually and deliberately “hidden” (such as the Windows virtual memory file pagefile.sys, the boot loader file bootmgr, and the System Volume Information folder). Shortcuts allow this! 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. 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. Cluster File Organization. Please share them with us in the comments. Being disorganized is simply unthinkable. Rightly or wrongly, most people do. If you have your files well organized, you will often be able to tell if a file is out of place just by glancing at the contents of a folder (for example, it should be pretty obvious if you look in a folder that contains all the MP3s from one music CD and see a Word document in there). Anyone who considers themselves serious about being organized needs instant access to this program at any time. Here’s why…. The Sorted file method is another popular method for sequential file organization in the database management system. Imagine if you lost all of the above files! On the other hand, if you simply create a structure with only two levels (for example C:\Files\Work) then you really haven’t achieved any level of organization at all (unless you own only six files!). In all the file organization methods described above, each file contains single table and are all stored in different ways in the memory. In Windows 7 your files are found in C:\Users\YourName, whilst on Windows XP it was C:\Documents and Settings\YourName\My Documents. No matter where you are, you always know where to look for your files, If you copy or synchronize files from one computer to another, then setting up the synchronization job becomes very simple, Shortcuts can be copied or moved from one computer to another with ease (assuming the original files are also copied/moved). It might be time to get your application icons off your desktop…, You may have decided that the Inbox/To-do folder on your computer (see tip #13, above) should be your Desktop. When you go to save a standard file type, it can become annoying to be automatically prompted to save it in a folder that’s not part of your own file structure. Remove your icons/links to “My Documents” and replace them with links to the folders you created and you care about! Whenever you download a piece of software, keep it. 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. Use a shortcut instead”, (this rule doesn’t apply to copies created for backup purposes, of course! Further, keep with it an Internet shortcut that links back to the website where you originally downloaded it, in case you ever need to check for updates. It’s not always possible, of course – you’ll always have some of these folders, but see if you can avoid it. 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). All you really need to decide is how you’re going to organize your applications. In Windows 7, the full list is shown below: Some of these folders you may never use nor care about (for example, the Favorites folder, if you’re not using Internet Explorer as your browser). Instead it jumps to the exact position and access the data/information. Organize your files around retrieval. You may then realize that there are overlaps. It often ends up becoming an uncontrolled mess. The data elements are stored as ascending or descending order based upon the primary key or any other key reference. 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). There are two main ways: Note that when shortcuts are created, they are often named something like Shortcut to Budget Detail.doc (windows XP) or Budget Detail – Shortcut.doc (Windows 7). Some programs do not allow you to change such locations in any easy way, but if you get into the Registry, you can sometimes find a registry key that refers to the location of the file(s). They demand to exist in two places. Join 350,000 subscribers and get a daily digest of news, geek trivia, and our feature articles. The following table suggests essential file drawers to label in an actual file cabinet or two and what must-keep information to file in each: File Drawer What To Put There File Drawer What To Put There Accounting and bookkeeping records Sales and […] Every incoming or created file into the Inbox folder as you create/receive it ” list simply files that can. ( although the concept is very important because it determines the methods of organisation... Are usually themes, plug-ins and other downloadable program-specific resources wasted searching for a full article your most files... 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