03 November 2006

The great file cleanup

Back in late August, one of my stated goals was to "organize electronic files."

I'm at least halfway through cleaning up all the files on my hard drive now; all the non-physics stuff has been organized. During this process, I have been thinking about a good file naming convention. There were some suggestions I found on a previous post.

For articles, I try to use the convention author_name-article_title-publication_name-year. If the title is vague or unhelpful, I'll rename it. I prefer using dashes as opposed to underscores because they are easier to read and because they are easier to type (no shift key).

I also tend to create a lot of folders. The folder names can be quite descriptive and serve as a poor alternative to tagging. I'm trying a nested file directory structure. For instance, I use a small number of super-folders called "culture", "work", "computing", "lifehacking", etc. Each of these super-folders contains more directories.

Folders and long file names seem a bit archaic and tedious, but at least you can count on them being robust and dependable for years to come. Also, they are OS-independent which is nice if you use more than one OS.

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