File and folder management is never fun. But you can make it so much easier to find the files you're looking for. In this video, Scott Friesen shows you a simple method to organize all of your computer files and folders so you can find things faster. So get ready to manage your digital files in just a few clicks!
How many times have you tried to find a particular file by clicking on this folder? And then I think it's in this folder, and then this folder, and then this folder, and then, ugh, no, that's not it. So you've got to go all the way back up the tree or back up your folder structure and try again to find out where you left that file. Well, in this video, I wanna show you a much simpler way to manage all of your files and folders so that you can find what you're looking for that much quicker. Hello, everyone, Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more done and enjoy less stress. Right off the bat, I wanna tell you that the fastest way to find any file is to use your search feature. Whether you're a Windows user, a Mac user, whether you're a storing your files on Google Drive or any other service, by searching for that file, you are most likely gonna find it the fastest but only if you name your files properly. Only if you are giving them descriptive names and keywords, so you can use this search field effectively. But let's be honest, we are not always so diligent in naming our files correctly and that's why we need some type of file folder structure. On the left-hand side, here you can see I have my Dropbox account. And when I expand it, you'll notice something unique. I have 26 folders, one for every single letter in the alphabet. That's right, ABC all the way down to Z, and this is the way that I've been managing all of my personal files and folders for nearly 10 years. And it allows me to find the files that I need in just two clicks. So let me show you how things work. The purpose of the ABC file folder system is in order for you to get to your files as quickly as possible without creating some type of complicated tree or branching structure. So for example, if I wanna look at my branding information, branding, well, that's under B, there is my Branding folder, and now here are my branding files and documents. There was only two steps or only two layers for me to get to this area and find the file that I'm looking for. How often have you looked at something, maybe like branding and said, well, that probably fits under marketing or does it fit under design, or maybe you have design and marketing both under some type of a graphic folder or some other tree branch structure. In this case, you're not so worried about keeping like-minded or similar folders or similar files together; the only thing that is grouping these things together is what they start with. So if I wanna update my bio, well, yeah, that's under B. If I wanna take a look at some of the backgrounds I've created in the past, or how about business cards that I want to print? Yeah, that's all going to be under B. I don't have to be thinking about, well, where do I think? Yeah, business cards, that's kind of graphics, that's kind of design, that's kind of a community or relationship building. No, business, business cards, it's under B. It allows me to get there that much quicker and that much faster. How about my marketing materials? Yeah, marketing's gonna be under M. YouTube resources, yeah, it's gonna be under You. I know exactly where to go to find these files. And if I open it up, I'm taken directly there, I'm taken it directly to those files. So you've probably already noticed that I've purposely kept this system very, very flat, meaning that I only want to go two levels down or two steps to find the file that I'm after. So the first level is the folder itself, right? We have the letter of the alphabet, and that's going to bring us to another selection of folders. You'll notice, as I click through these different categories down below and the different folders that I have here, there are no files underneath them. The second level down is always going to be another grouping of folders themselves. However, at the next stage, if we go back to Branding here, now it is entirely files. There are no folders at this level, there are no more additional steps or no more additional levels that I need to go. I want to get as quickly as I can to these particular files. Now I do wanna reiterate, I probably could get to this file that much faster if I had just used the search dialog up here. But think about all of the files which you have downloaded from someone else. And how did they name those files? Or did you take the time to rename those files? This allows you to group things together under a folder, which makes sense, in this case, it's titled Branding, which I'm easily going to find under the letter B. So, yes, search should be your first choice or your first option when it comes to speed, but that is only going to help you if you have listed and named your individual files appropriately. But there's another reason why I like the ABC file folder method. We spend an awful lot of our time uploading files from our systems. So for example, maybe I want to add a file here to my Google Drive account. I'm gonna click on New and say File Upload. And what I'm presented with is a very small dialogue, and no matter the type of system that you're using, chances are, you're often presented with a very, very small dialogue. Now, yes, I could take my cursor and start to drag things out to the bottom or to the right. It doesn't give me an option to maximize. And yes, I can certainly search for my files as well, but here, I can see an awful lot of my files here on the left-hand side. So if I wanna get back to those branding files, again, it was only two steps or two stages down to find the file that I'm looking for. Now, a couple of things to keep in mind, if you are considering converting or using the ABC folder method. Number one, this method is designed for your personal files, the files and folders that you personally manage. If you are sharing your files with an entire team or have a resource that you're sharing files with, the ABC folder method is not going to work, why? Because the way that you list and the way that you think of your headings and the labels of your folders are probably going to be a little different from other members of your team. So if you're managing your files with an entire team, you're probably going to have to resort to some more traditional categories, such as marketing, and finance, and social media and whatever pertains to your particular industry. The second caveat has to do if you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of files, such as images, video, or audio. If you're a professional photographer, for example, you're not gonna fit everything under a P for pictures or I for images. And there's many other great videos here on YouTube which will show you how to properly manage all of those thousands and thousands of image and audio and video files more appropriately. But for the rest of us who are dealing with things such as contracts and agreements and reports, for example, the ABC file folder method can be a lifesaver and allow you to access and retrieve those files and folders in just a few clicks. Of course, if you have any questions or comments about how to organize your files and folders, be sure to let me know in the comments down below. Remember, being productive does not need to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.