In this second installment to this three part series in data storage and organization, we will finally be talking about organizing your stored “data”. In part one we learned what data is, how it’s represented on your device(s) and storage methods, in this part we will discuss how to organize this stored data. To start, stored data or files as you are used to calling them can sometimes be overwhelm to organize and sift through to find what you are looking for. Over the years I have personally found many tips and tricks to keeping everything nice and tidy in the digital realm, a lot of these methods have carried over to how we store our data at Foose Industries.
The first thing to do is identify what type of file(s) you are storing, the primary file types are listed below,
- Media (Pictures/Video)
- Other files (files for other programs)
A typical file structure on a computer will resemble the file tree below,
This base structure is great, it provides a way to store each unique file type in a place that defines it’s root function (photos, you expect photos there!), however there is one major drawback, every other “custom” file type (files for other programs or “non standard” file types) are typically dumped under documents and in most cases (hopefully) sorted into sub directories. To remedy this you can either create sub directories (or libraries on Windows) in the file system root (fancy word for “Home folder”) this is personal preference and if you are a more savvy user you can create the directory elsewhere and link it to your user’s home.
The key to any file structure is maintaining good organization and separation of data while still being able to navigate and use your file tree. Once you have a system, use it and stick to your rules, don’t just throw files in random places. Be mindful of where your files are at all times! If you need a place to temporarily put files or stage them, put the on your “desktop”, if your files are downloads, leave them in place until you are done with them. A good rule of thumb when ingesting files is to “file” them immediately. Having a clean and easy navigable file structure will help you to work quicker and find that memory in the form of a photo or video mich faster.
In Part 3 will discuss backing up and recovering your data.