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Organizing System (for paper files, computer files, etc)





gandalfthegrey
Hey everyone,

I was just curious to what kind of organizing systems people have established at their home or office for organizing:
- Your files/file cabinet
- Your computer files
- Your MP3 collection
- Website bookmarks
- Emails
- If you keep an agenda or daily diary of what you did that day
- purchases
- groceries/what to buy
- anything else?

A friend recommend this system:
- Post-It notes in your agenda
- Put the post it notes onto paper in a binder, to create a daily record of what you did

What do people think of this system?

I'd personally be worried about post-it notes that don't stick anymore.

I'm hoping to see if there is a better system out there than what I use.


Helios' note: don't double post. Read the rules, it's stated there. Remove this note after reading using the 'Edit' button on the top right corner of the post box.
Helios
A problem for me, I don't have any organizing system Laughing
Even my bookmarks are all over the place, I don't bother saving them in specific folders or something.
My desktop is usually filled with icons which I sometimes go through and delete whatever I don't need.

Regarding real life notes, on very busy working periods my work room is a complete mess, papers all over the place...
however for a strange reason I remember what lies where and have no problems finding stuff I need when I need them.
deanhills
I'm quite well organized with my e-mails at work. Since I get an avalanche of those on a daily basis, I tend to deal with each e-mail immediately, deleting those that look like spam first, and then filing the e-mails in folders as I deal with them. For my personal e-mail accounts I do more or less the same, and depending on time available try and deal with them as soon as I can so that I don't have to go back to them again.

I tend to make lists for items I need to purchase, and then may or may not take the lists with me when I do my shopping, as soon as I have written the items down, I seem to remember them. I also memorize them, as a fun exercise. I do the same with frequently used phone numbers.

I use post-it notes for names and phone numbers. I can't see that post-its would work for me for putting a daily record together. I tend to prepare a list of things to do last thing at night, and check through the list first thing in the morning, without really needing to, as I tend to remember them when I wake up in the morning and mentally plan my day ahead. And then without referring to the list, keep it in the back of my mind as I work through the day, and at the end of the day, check through what I have accomplished, and/or add new items for the next day.

I don't have a daily record of what I have done for the day, although that would probably be really efficient, as well as a really good way to do a job description later on. I don't like to get too technical about stuff like this, unless I am really forced to. However, with the to-do lists I make, if I really needed to, I would be able to sit down down with my diary and pretty much recall everything I did on a day to day basis. But only if I have to.
Helios
For people with bad memory I'd recommend watching the film Memento, which shows a cool system of sticky notes and even tattoos to organize things you'd like to remember.

deanhills, it looks like you're quite the organized person.
I do wonder if children can be educated to be organized or has it something to do with genetics? Maybe both? Would be cool to hear an opinion from somebody who has studied this, and what about grown ups? For example, can I teach myself to be organized?

I've got a friend who's extremely organized, everything has to be organized: papers held in folders ordered by category, pens and pencils ordered by color in their special holder and it all has to be straight, clean and neat. That kind of thing will drive me crazy, but he says the opposite - he'll go mad if something is not where it should be!
adri
gandalfthegrey wrote:

- Your files/file cabinet

Just one giant pile, which is for me pretty organised but for someone else, I think it can be hard to find something in that pile.

gandalfthegrey wrote:

- Your computer files

Everything is neatly ordered in maps and such. Smile

gandalfthegrey wrote:

- Your MP3 collection

All in 1 directory with all filenames like: Artist - Song Title.mp3 , So also organised

gandalfthegrey wrote:

- Website bookmarks

Totally not organised, just hundreds of bookmarks...

Adri
Radar
Everything kind of has it's own impromptu organizational system.

Essential computer files are organised, but there's the inevitable Junk folder that is created when I'm justing cleaning up my desktop.

MP3 collection organisation system is called iTunes Smile

E-mails...they just stay in their accounts in Mail (can you tell I'm a mac user?) and I search whenever I want something specific.

What to buy is usually just a temporary list on a piece of paper somewhere.
Denvis
I'm still at High School and most high school kids aren't organized however I'm very organized. All my digital files are backed up with a hard copy; all my hard copy files are backed up digitally.

When it comes to the files on my computer, I have folders within folders, within folders.

- All files with proper spelling
- All files have their place

My music collection (although I only have 13.6GB) is stored according to artist then stored according to album and sorted in alphabetically. To top that off I have a relational database to correctly record all the mp3/mpeg4 files I have. That database is printed out and stored in a folder somewhere in my room.

My video collection (300GB+) is stored according to type. Movies/TV Shows. Each movie has their own folder and that folder has the quality type, year it was published and title, this applies with TV shows. The videos are then recorded in a relational database.

Because I'm still in school and I'm studying 5 subjects (information processing technology, software develop and design, biology, english, hospitality) I have separate storage areas for each subject (which gets really complicated). All the digitally stored school files are printed and stored in it's separate folder.

I have 5 folders for each subject, each folder for each topic within a subject + one more for all my test results. Each folder is stored in separate draws and all the work I do in class is recorded digitally (scanned or typed manually) and stored in its own database and folder within my computer.

Also, I have everything backed up in 2 external storage devices. Small files in my flash drive and larger files in a hdd. All my databases are stored according to use, database within a folder, within a folder. I have so many databases Im considering of making a database for a collection databases.
I could go on but... yeah.
paul_indo
My computer isbasically organised by categories.

All my programs and shortcuts are grouped in folders like
Audio: audio file creation and editing tools
CD-DVD: cd and DVD authoring and burning tools
Computer: maintenance and tuning tools
Graphics: Photo and graphics editor, viewers etc
Internet: Browsers and internet related programs
Multimedia: media players and general media software
Office: office suites and educational stuff
Utilities: fiole compression and file management tools
Video: editing and capture software.
Web: HTML and web tools

I have a partition for OS, Data, Sound, Graphics, Video and Web
the partitions are divided into sub categories.

I have used this system for years and it makes it easy to find files and their related programs and info
deanhills
paul_indo wrote:
My computer isbasically organised by categories.

All my programs and shortcuts are grouped in folders like
Audio: audio file creation and editing tools
CD-DVD: cd and DVD authoring and burning tools
Computer: maintenance and tuning tools
Graphics: Photo and graphics editor, viewers etc
Internet: Browsers and internet related programs
Multimedia: media players and general media software
Office: office suites and educational stuff
Utilities: fiole compression and file management tools
Video: editing and capture software.
Web: HTML and web tools

I have a partition for OS, Data, Sound, Graphics, Video and Web
the partitions are divided into sub categories.

I have used this system for years and it makes it easy to find files and their related programs and info
Wow! That is super organized. I imagine after a while some of those programs and shortcuts get to be dated. Do you clean them out from time to time, and how do you do it?

Every two years or so, I put all of my stuff on a flash disk, then completely reformat my hard disk, and just add in files I really need. Amazing how very little I need to refer back to the Flash disk files.
Hogwarts
deanhills wrote:
paul_indo wrote:
My computer isbasically organised by categories.

All my programs and shortcuts are grouped in folders like
Audio: audio file creation and editing tools
CD-DVD: cd and DVD authoring and burning tools
Computer: maintenance and tuning tools
Graphics: Photo and graphics editor, viewers etc
Internet: Browsers and internet related programs
Multimedia: media players and general media software
Office: office suites and educational stuff
Utilities: fiole compression and file management tools
Video: editing and capture software.
Web: HTML and web tools

I have a partition for OS, Data, Sound, Graphics, Video and Web
the partitions are divided into sub categories.

I have used this system for years and it makes it easy to find files and their related programs and info
Wow! That is super organized. I imagine after a while some of those programs and shortcuts get to be dated. Do you clean them out from time to time, and how do you do it?

Most of what's done there would be done by default in Linux. For example, all of my programs in my start menu equivalent are organised into Accessories, Games, Graphics, Internet, Office, Programming, Sound & Video, System Tools and Wine.

That aside, what do you people do when downloading files? As organised as I keep my media collections; MP3's, videos, images, etc., my Downloads folder is always an absoloute mess, because I've simply set Firefox to save exclusively there. This thread's made me look around for a FF addon to organise things as I download them, and yet I can't seem to find any. What do you guys do to organise your downloads?
adri
Well when I download something, I try to edit the name immediately (if it's a music, video, etc. file) and move it to the appropriate directory but actually my downloaddirectory is still an absolute mess (dozens of .pdf, winrar-files, directories of unpacking data, etc.).

Adri
Crinoid
- Paper files:
File cabinet, file box, dead files box (dust proof, sold under that name), accordion file holder for smaller files.
- Computer files:
In folders by topic, then subtopic, sub sub topic and so on. Doubled if files are frequently accesses in connection with other topic. Back-ups. Tried various file organizing software, ended up with most reliable and recoverable way. Works for me Smile .
- Website bookmarks:
Same as computer files, only in Bookmarks: folder, subfolder. Exported and stored, but never accessed again once-twice an year, and after that current bookmarks are cleaned for faster loading.
- Emails:
Dealing with them and erasing after that.
- Agenda or daily diary of what you did that day:
Computer based, collapsible tree form like Treepad.
- purchases:
Paper journal as recommended for people with debt problems, if you have time or life necessity for that, time eater.
- groceries/what to buy:
"To do" long narrow paper pad from dollar store. Throw away after use Wink
soljarag
- Your files/file cabinet
I have 1 drawer with some folders in it... its pretty much a big mess... i am moving in 2 weeks so i'll probally organize it then

- Your computer files
This is the one place where i have organized! I have a NAS (network attached storage) where I keep all of my backed up files for my 3 computers. and the NAS is 2 harddrives RAIDed so they are fully backed up

- Your MP3 collection
Everything is tagged and backed up... and trust me, I have ALOT

- Website bookmarks
A big mess

- Emails
somewhat organized

- If you keep an agenda or daily diary of what you did that day

nope
- purchases
- groceries/what to buy
i have a sticky note by the frridge
- anything else?
goutha
I try to get every thing organized virtually and online. Not easy, few weeks ago I lost all the content of my google agenda. Frustrating. I'm looking for new solutions. Any suggestions?
deanhills
goutha wrote:
I try to get every thing organized virtually and online. Not easy, few weeks ago I lost all the content of my google agenda. Frustrating. I'm looking for new solutions. Any suggestions?
What is Google Agenda? I tried to "Google" it, and landed with this movie, Google Evil Agenda Smile

Is it the one that is connected with the Calendar? I have not been using the Calendar, but I had problems with my e-mail account, and in the end after puzzling over it many hours and Googling it in Google, discovered it had been an issue with viewing options in the Google e-mail account and the browser version I was using. There are some links at the very bottom of the Google e-mail page, or at the top that gives you options for Standard/HTML viewing. Click on it, and see whether that may make a difference. I set mine to "Standard" viewing, and that solved the problem for me.
airh3ad
I have bookmarks on ie or Mozilla, i have save some links on notepad save, my files are safe in other hardisk i organized also my computer tools my installers.
standready
I am not highly organized but enough
- Your files/file cabinet - yes I have, though most paperwork has been scanned and transferred to CDs
- Your computer files - 2nd hard drive and CD backup of data
- Your MP3 collection - CD backup
- Website bookmarks - not sorted
- Emails - not sorted
- If you keep an agenda or daily diary of what you did that day - Nope
- purchases - Credit card receipts go in envelope until bill comes in then household item receipts go in firebox for record in case something happens.
- groceries/what to buy - nope no list here. Although sometimes forget an item.

Sticky notes: 3M has a free electronic version. My old computer had a few plastered on screen.
Insanity
MP3 are just all jammed into one folder and opened with foobar... not very organized, but it works fo me and it allows me to get things easily.
Arty
I just have everything on my desktop with a search system to find my files. It's a lot more convenient than worrying about organizing. Smile
[FuN]goku
I usually, save everything to my desktop til it gets full, then make a new folder, and drag my entire desktop into it. And for whatever reason, I just know where everything is. My coding projects, start menu, and games are a different story. My start menu is pretty damn organized, and my games and coding stuff have their own dedicated folder.
deanhills
[FuN]goku wrote:
And for whatever reason, I just know where everything is.
I'm in the same category. My desk is sometimes groaning under papers, but somehow I know where everything is. It starts usually with folders for different subjects, and then there are additional papers that follow. I try to keep some semblance of being organized, but even when there are layers of papers, I have a very good memory where everything is.
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