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Folder systemOf all the time and labour-saving devices available today, computers should rank amongst the most useful. For some people, however, the time that it takes to locate a file actually creates work rather than reducing it.

Computer files are a bit like wire coat hangers – they seem to have a habit of breeding when we’re not looking. One minute we have a handful of documents and can find what we need in just seconds, and the next we’re presented with a list of hundreds or even thousands. By creating an organized and logical structure or hierarchy of folders, however, locating a file needn’t be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Let’s use a professional freelance writer as an example of someone who might have countless documents on numerous different topics produced for a large number of clients. If the writer wants to refer back to a particular article, it could take literally hours to find. By creating separate folders for each client, however, and then sub-folders for say, project briefs and individual project numbers, locating specific documents is quick and simple, especially if the files are named in such a way that they are easily recognizable.

Of course, there are numerous ways to arrange files and folders and which way suits you best will depend on how you naturally remember things. If you remember dates more easily than names, for example, then creating a folder for each week or month might work better.