General Question

squirbel's avatar

How do you organize your computer?

Asked by squirbel (4277points) May 5th, 2009

I’m referring to where you keep vital documents, downloads, pictures, and videos.

Do you allow programs to manage where these items are stored? [Otherwise, if you had to find the actual file, would you be clueless as to where it was?]

Or do you tell programs where to store files? [You could pull the file up at will without the program.]

Personally, I’m very totalitarian when it comes to my files. I store all vital files on a separate partition/hard drive, and tell programs where they can find the files. I don’t like programs that create duplicates for the sake of convenience. This even extends to installs, I rarely install in the Program Files folder of windows or the Home folder of Linux. On the mac I’m pretty lax :)

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20 Answers

CMaz's avatar

First if you do not know your file structure. Drop files on your desktop. Then move them to where you want them to go. If these files are VITAL. Use an external drive. Transferring to a partitioned drive sounds nice as having a isolated place to put your data. But if the drive fails and it will due to excessive use. ( the running of your computer) all that data is lost. Unless you want to pay plenty for data recovery.
Get an external drive, move or copy files. Then put the drive in a safe secure place.

squirbel's avatar

What do you do personally? I know what I do :P

jrpowell's avatar

Everything I am working on is on the Desktop. I let iTunes manage my music.

Enjoy the insanity. Screen 1 and screen 2.

I am a slob.

gailcalled's avatar

I have two folders: “Gailstuff” and “Milo.” I use spotlight to actually find things.

dynamicduo's avatar

I don’t, pretty much. I used to be militant about it, but eventually I gave up caring. I’m horrible at backing up files too. I really rely on Google or other email copies for smaller files, and bigger ones are burned to DVD from time to time.

I do have some basic practices, such as keeping my data on another partition/hard drive than the OS is installed, so that when XP fails on me, I don’t lose all my stuff. Perhaps when I reinstall XP I shall take the time to roughly organize my files… doubtful, but you never know.

Gundark's avatar

I install everything in “Program Files” so it’s all in one place. That makes it easier to review the list of folders, and see what kinds of things didn’t get fully cleaned up when I uninstalled them.

I use the Desktop for temporary storage, and for frequently accessed stuff, and “My Documents”, with appropriate subfolders, for everything else. If a program want to store data or configuration files in some custom folder somewhere, I to force it into My Documents so I can find it, and back everything up more easily.

Finally, I keep a folder call “Other” off the root of my C: drive, with a bunch of subfolders containing stuff that I would generally move from one machine to another, but that don’t need to be backed up as frequently as regular documents. Things like all of the software installation packages, song files, stuff like that.

squirbel's avatar

@johnpowell: wow, just wow! do you use quicksilver to find stuff?!

jrpowell's avatar

JohnPowell is powered by beer.

I hate Quiksilver. I arrange by “kind” and from there it is easy. It looks like a mess but it works for me.

squirbel's avatar

:p quiksilver is the love of my life. :D

CMaz's avatar

Quicksilver is like buying a car so you can drive from the living room to the bathroom to take a crap. come on people. This is simple filing. And, it starts when you buy your PC.

squirbel's avatar

No, I don’t use quiksilver to file… I use it to find things for me.

I reassigned my eject key on the keyboard to bring up quiksilver. After the dialog is up, I just type, say, “F”, and all the programs and files that begin with “F” show up. Like Firefox and Folder-lock. Whichever one I pick, like Firefox, Quicksilver will remember that that is my first preference… and next time all I have to do is hit Eject button > F > Enter and firefox is started!.

If I am looking for a contact, I hit my eject button, and type their first name. They will pop up.

If I am looking for a file, I only need to remember the file name.

In essence, I use quiksilver instead of spotlight. I’ve never liked spotlight.

@ChazMaz: take your snark elsewhere. I don’t care for it.

CMaz's avatar

Wow, so an open forum, that you have to be careful how you express yourself. I did not say anything about crapping on you. I made a point. A creative point, but still a point. And self expression is part of what makes us individuals. This is not about what you care for. Take the advice or don’t. I tutor people on how to use computers. Most of the time the information they need or what they needed done they could have gotten from the 3rd grader next door. Too many people buy software to do something that is usually included in the operating system if you just looked for it or it is a simple process. Or, easy to figure out if you just would take a few min. to look and think.

cwilbur's avatar

I have about two dozen folders under Documents that have categories of things I do with my computer. Some of them, like Taxes, don’t see much use. Others, like Knitting, see a great deal of use. Underneath those folders, it’s usually just a big pile of documents; some of them have subfolders.

And it all gets backed up.

squirbel's avatar

I didn’t ask for advice in the first place. Your reading comprehension is poor – I asked for what you actually do. I’m looking for other people’s methods of doing things to see if I can integrate.

jrpowell's avatar

I use a hack to display my ten last used application in the Dock. It saves a lot of time. It looks like this

CMaz's avatar

You did not ask for advice? Hmmm let me see… . ” How do you organize your computer?” Who wrote that? Reading comprehension? Think with your mind for once. Friend. I answered the question completely and crystal clear biased on what you expressed. There is no integration for the ones that want to master the machine. Learn how t use your computer to its full potential. Bogus software just boggs everything down.
Pretty files of your forefather’s fruit and now to suit our great computer, You’re magnetic ink.

squirbel's avatar

How do you… pause…


How should you, or how can you…

@johnpowell: That’s hot! Linkie to the hack? or describe it? bbedit ftw. :D

DeanV's avatar

I use as many apps as possible to prevent clutter.

I am a big fan of Yojimbo, LittleSnapper, and AudioHijack, plus iPhoto, iTunes, etc. for catalogging and keeping track of just about anything.

I also have a desktop devoid of icons because i like to put processes and logs on it.

I like to avoid using spotlight, so I keep all my Documents folder in order.

I also don’t really like quicksilver. It just seems like overkill when you can accomplish most of the actions with a few clicks.

EDIT: But I really don’t have that much stuff.

DeanV's avatar

@squirbel: Here’s your recent applications trick.

Vincentt's avatar

I drop a lot of temporary files in /tmp so they get deleted when I shut down. I always install applications with Ubuntu packages so the program files are at the right locations. Personal documents in a rigid hierarchy in my home folder. I try to keep an empty desktop so I can see my awesome wallpapers unobstructed :)

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