Wednesday, July 8, 2009

File Organization

With the recent announcement of Google Chrome OS, I thought it fitting talk about one particular topic that I have had problems with.

Computer organization is a tough topic, everyone has their own way and alot of times they work for them, but there is a good majority of people that just can't seem to keep their computers organized, files everywhere, just a plain old mess.

Last night I was thinking about Google and their quest to change email, I avoided the Gmail labels for the longest time because I didn't understand them, finally after reading the reason behind them I understood, it just plain makes sense. Now that I understand them I question why we don't use them for more things. Heck why not use them to organize your computer.

(Their theory is that emails can have more then one purpose so sticking them in ONE folder limits them, by allowing multiple labels on files then it's kinda like having that email in 4 folders but only one copy, easier to deal with and handle)

Here's my theory,
1. ALL files go into a single folder.
2. Keyword Label ALL files, when you create a file, simply add "keyword" options, in the dialog box.
3. Now setup that or another folder to look at all files, but give the option to sort on keywords or even search on keywords, you can have more then one file named the same and behind the scenes the system will handle which file correlates to what kind of data, based on the keywords.

This way as you get files you keyword them and can find them later.

Even better ALL your files are in one place (much like the *nix way of doing things and keeping everything in the home folder).

So lets say you search on the keyword "Cars"

Now you may have photos that have been tagged cars, you may have documents tagged cars and videos...etc, and now you see things as a group, so finding what you need as well as related material would be a breeze.

Now I have tried organizing my files in a couple manners, one was saying ALL files were either Text, Music, Movies, Pictures.

That can sort of work but I had problems having numerous files in the text folder and without creating sub folders it was hard to keep track.

Plus finding documents that correlate to the pictures/videos/etc. makes it tough.

What are some better ways to organize files/folders?

Should folders exists anymore?

What do you think? Let me know in the comments.