Various Ways to Organize Files And Folders In Windows And Keep Your Efficiency In Check

If you are a regular computer user, I am sure you have plenty of personal files and folders everywhere in your computer, waiting for you to keep them organized. There are plenty of ways to keep organize your files and folders and everybody has their own preferred method. In this article, I will show you some of the tips that I am using to keep myself organized.

Like our favorite browsers, Windows also provides various methods to bookmark our favorite items. If we talk about Windows 8, it has two ways to organize the bookmarks in Windows Explorer.

Windows Explorer favorites

First, when you open Windows Explorer, you will see a Favorites menu in the left hand pane. You can drag and drop files and folders in the Favorites menu to pin them right inside the Favorites menu. You can easily add your most used folders in this menu. Just don’t make it too cluttered otherwise it will beat the purpose of organization.

Second  method is to make use of libraries which were introduced in Windows 7 and have continued on to Windows 8. It was a little tricky to use libraries in Windows 7. An easier solution to managing libraries in Windows 7 was to use Windows 7 Library Management Tool, Librarian. Although this tool can also be used on Windows 8 but Windows 8 offers a more easier and robust libraries management solution.

A library in Windows can be easily access from the task bar jump list. You can create a new library using the following steps:

  1. Open Windows Explorer
  2. Select Libraries from the left hand menu
  3. Right click on the right hand pane and select a new library from the New menu.

Whenever you want to access your library, you can right click the Windows Explorer icon in the taskbar and select the library name.

Creating a new library in Windows 8

The library can include shortcuts to folders of your choice. You can use drag and drop functionality to add folders to the library.

Library new folder

Using a download manager can ease the file organization as most advanced download managers will automatically save downloaded files according to their file types. For example, my favorite download manager is Internet Download Accelerator which will automatically create separate folders for programs, archives, documents and multimedia.

Internet Download Accelerator

Unfortunately, the downloaded files will not always have an ideal file name. The best practice is to rename the files immediately. Alternatively, you can use the download manager description feature which will let you know what type of file is it. But you will need to fill in the description at the time of downloading the file to make sure that all files have their descriptions filled in.

Another way to organize files without renaming them is to use the tagging feature. Here’s how you can assign tags to files in Windows.

Most of the people tend to avoid using Windows user folders because their data will be destroyed if ever Windows gets corrupted and they need to format the Windows drive. The Windows user folders include My Documents, My Music, My Pictures, My Videos, Saved Games, Downloads folder etc. You can make use of these folders by actually changing their locations to another drive to make sure your data is not lost in case of a disaster.

User folder location

To change the location of any user folder, go to C:\users\username, right click the user folder, go to Properties and then Location tab. Now you can either type the new location of the user folder or click on the Move button. The advantage of Move button is that it will automatically move the current folder contents to the new location.

If you are used to copying and pasting the original files at every required location, you will have several copies of just one file. This will confuse you about which file is the latest edition. The best solution to this is to use shortcuts instead of copying the original file everywhere. You can continue with the folder structure which you have created using the above mentioned tips and use the following method to create shortcuts to files and folders as per your needs.

  1. Right click any file or folder and select Copy to copy the file or folder to clipboard
    Copy file
  2. Go to the location where you want to paste it.
  3. Right click and select Paste shortcut instead of the simple Paste.

Paste shortcut

This will create a shortcut to the original file or folder. This makes sure that you have only one copy of the file which you will be able to open and edit through different shortcuts.

Here are some resources to help you better organize your files in WIndows:

1. Use FilerFrog To Organzie Your Files & Folders In Flash
2. How To Organize Windows Folders and Applications in Multiple Tabs

Image credit: Staying Organized by Big Stock Photo.