I’m not sure about you, but I have always struggled with keeping all of my digital files organized and readily available. Often times it feels as if sorting and organizing physical copies would be much easier, but alas! that’s not a realistic option. Instead I always end up resorting these files into a bunch of folders and into folders inside folders thinking that the complex hierarchy of folds would somehow make finding files easier and quicker. Recently I decided to rethink this concept.
Going back to basics, there are two extreme forms of sorting files with regards to folder structure:
- Each file gets divided into its own folder, which is clustered into other folders (aggregative hierarchy)
- All files are grouped into the same folder (flat hierarchy)
Since my inclination had always been to closer to the first style, aggregative hierarchy, I decided to try out the flat hierarchy for a change. Since it is not common for either extreme to work well, my hopes for the practicality of placing all my files into one folder were not high.
So I took the plunge and setup a flat hierarchy by grouping all my documents into a single folder, all my images into another, and so on forth for 5 folders in total. After working within this system for a few weeks, I am quite happy with the change. File names are much more important now than before; but besides that, I find that searching for files or images is easier, quicker, and more efficient than before. While this system is not perfect, and I suspect no system is, it does let me focus much more on what I want to do and less time of how to do it.