I’ve got a problem. I’m suffering from File Organisationalisis.
I was setting up Crashplan and it tried to backup 200gig of nonsense, which made me realise my files were too fragmented around my hard drive.
So, I thought, let’s put everything useful and backupable under one directory, and split that up into meaningful subdirectories. Eight days later and I’m no better off, and a bad case of FO has ensued.
How do people do it? Like (I imagine) most people, I work with several languages and have several clients. I also have Word & Excel documents, PDF manuals & CSV files along with various miscellaneous file formats, often gathered from impulsive downloads whilst undergoing research. And don’t get me started on all the “trials” I’ve been through and the gazillion files in my “Downloads” folder.
I’ve tried putting them into client based trees, project based trees and under subdirs of development folders.
I’ve tried using just one tree for everything physical and then creating organisational trees containing links.
The former caused location paralysis (I couldn’t decide if it should go under development or under clients or under projects, as some are general and some specific), so some ended up one place and some others. I was never happy with where I’d put it. Both ways caused symlink hell, making it compulsory to remember to create a spiders web of interlinking folders.
It goes without saying, I’m not naturally organised in any aspect of my life
I want a simple methodology which is not too hard to maintain, makes some kind of sense, and one that crashplan likes.
What do the highly organised amongst you do? Or probably what might be more useful, is how did the less naturally organised do it?
Simple is the keyword. I’m not highly organized, but I have my file structure. However, for me a file usually has only one defined place, which doesn’t work for you.
The flatter the hierarchy the better. There was a reason that Spotlight was invented. My basic differentiation for files is stuff, that I work on and collected stuff (videos, pdfs, Xojo source code). Would that also work for you?
Could you work with Tags? Tags have the benefit that you can assign as many as you want. But you have to really use those and tags are work.
For my sins, I’m on Windows (I should have said). The tags are less usable there, or so it seems to me.
I develop on Windows generally for Windows. I have a volume on my ssd drive for development that is backed up by Shadow Protect from Storage Craft every 15 mins and replicated off-site by their Image Manager (one of my company divisions does D/R and is a Storagecraft MSP). The process is painless, automated & relatively cheap. The process is block level rather than file level, so I can restore my Xojo Projects to any 15 minute increment (back 7 days per the policy I’ve set).
There is now a Linux version of this snapshot & save application, but not one I’ve seen yet for OSx.
Automated backups are the key here whether it be TimeMachine or ShadowProtect, operator intervention is a killer!
Wayne : totally agree. I’m starting to use Crashplan which is a similar thing, and it was moving to that from ad hoc USB drives which prompted my review of my drive organisation. I could, of course, just back up everything. But that’s wasteful as I don’t really need everything backed up. Tools & IDEs can be reinstalled, as can Windows (I think it’s almost compulsory from time to time, isn’t it?).
I’m sure there’s no one-size-fits-all, there never is, but for the sake of it I wanted to see if anyone else had some method that would click with me and give me a best fit “that’s what I should do!” moment.
Of course, I may just be procrastinating …