how do you organize your hard drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by radhak, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. radhak macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2003
    NJ, USA
    OSX's default behaviour is to install every new application under 'Applications', and it leaves all other documents to the user's preference (or to individual application preferences, which could also be varied).

    I find me double-guessing myself each time I have to (a) install an application / tool etc (b) download any document from the internet (c) create my own document. This is not something any software might help, just has to do having a structure to adhere to. So I am wondering, what approach has helped you? Do you go with the default, or do you have a nice method?

    I created folders under Applications called 'Browsers', 'Graphic Apps', 'Tools', etc and install all apps appropriately. For documents I created a folder on the desktop with my name and try to organize everything under that. But all this is not very intuitive when it comes to searching for stuff. eg, if I create a JPEG file, should it be in my document folder, or in the graphic app's folder? And how do you get to all that fast?
  2. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    How I do it

    I have my Applications in the Applications folder. Documents in the Documents folder, split into which subject that are suppost to be in (Student). Have any short cuts I want in the dock, Home folder, Sites folder for my websites I make. I do have an iDisk which I use to sync my laptop and desktop, and as back up, and I just drag my documents folder to the idisk, drop, replace all. I don't go hunting in the Applications folder to much or any other because I have them right there in the Dock.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I keep all apps in the "applications" directory, at the main level. I don't make subdirectories, but I do have a folder called "other applications" (in the applications folder) where I keep aliases to all the apps that aren't on the dock, and I put the "other applications" folder on the dock as well.

    Except for the ones Panther automatically puts in special folders (Music, photos), I keep my docs in "Documents". I don't distinguish documents by type, but by project. So if I need an excel spreadsheet, some images (original in "images" folder, copy in the project folder), and some Word files for the book I'm working on, I keep them all in the same folder. I have another folder inside "Documents" called "old files," which is where I store everything I'm not currently working on.

    I back up current projects to iDisk, old projects to CD.
  4. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    well, i use folders. i find them really good for organizing stuff. :p

    seriously, i DL all stuff from the net to a seperate partition. i have my 'Documents' partiton for all my work. i also have a folder for Pictures, with about 50-100 sub-folders to keep everything organized. same goes for my Documents folder.

    i've got Panther installed on it's own partition, and i don't use that for anything at all, except apps that have to be installed on that partiton. all other apps i install in my 'Apps' folder on the 'Documents' partition. i've found that setup to be very useful. if i have to re-install Panther, i keep all my data safe on the other partitons. :)
  5. cb911 macrumors 601


    Mar 12, 2002
    BrisVegas, Australia
    Skeeball236, good to see someone else using the advantage of partitions. :D

    i dont' think 6 parts. on a 80GB drive would be an overkill, i don't think you can overload the system with partitions. :p or at least i haven't tried.

    i thought that 8GB would be enough for my Panther boot partition, but now i'm sorry, and i'm going to resize it and make it bigger. there's just alot of Apple apps (FCP, etc) and other apps that have to be installed on the boot volume. i'd say go for a 10-12GB Panther partition.

    OS X & 9 on the external HD? that should be okay, but just read up on that. i think you might have to put them on seperate partitions, i dont' really know about that.

    also, when you install OS X, i hope you're planning to turn off the extra languages and print drivers? that's about 1GB of space you'll save right there. :)
  6. gerror macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2001
    I have my apps in the Application folder and the games in a subfolder.
    Documents in the Documents folder but in a lot of different folders (pictures, mp3's,..)
    Large files like TV episodes, movies and my home made movies on an external 80 gig. I also have OSX on it. Just in case.
    I have a folder on my desktop for downloads. From there, I sort it out and put it in the correct folders.
    I'm sure there a better ways but I think everybode should do which make them comfortable
  7. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    5 gigs is way too small for Panther. I have the devtools installed as well(no fcp or GB) and after a couple of days, panther will start bothering me asking me to remove files to make room for the os.

    My favorite scheme? Hehe, I'm a partition fanatic myself.
    2 boot partitions(one obviously smaller, for emergency purposes) 10GB for one, 5 for the other.
    Users Partition, follow these instructions to get OS X to look for yours users in another location. Probably forty gigs, though it depends on what you'll be storing.
    Third Party Apps, anything that's not a system extension. 20 to 30 (or more if you have a lot of apps)
    Classic 500megs should run it fine
    An itunes partition This requires creating aliases to your new music folder and library and placing them at ~/Music/iTunes, copying over the ones you just copied from there to the new partition. Afterwards, you'll probably have to mess with permissions to get things working smoothly. This also allows all users of the computer to share the same library.

    Have fun.
  8. g30ffr3y macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    buffalo ny
    who puts anything under home-->applications ???

    i was tidying up my HD this weekend and it sort of occurred to me that i never have had anything installed there...
  9. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Well, one thing about time saving. Or, to put that a little more accurate, time-organization management.

    For one, I remember reading a tip over at that addressed how one should use the Dock...put everything in there, or almost nothing at all. And the tip was to combine: Put some of your folders and some of your applications in the Dock. I keep "the house icon," my Hard Drive, my applications folder, and at least two other folders in my Dock at nearly all times. That way, there's more than one way to get to a file.

    I think that with optimized Dock organization compared to a highly-dedicated Exposé user, Exposé is only slightly faster than using the Dock. But I don't care much for Exposé, so I couldn't be sure of that. (Hell, one doesn't take away from the other, so get both an organized Dock and Exposé going if you want.)
  10. kylos macrumors 6502a


    Nov 8, 2002
    I can't stress enough that you need to backup when doing this. If done properly (and it really isn't that hard) you won't have a problem. However, this operation involves the command
    sudo rm -r /Users
    which, if you know much about unix means you've permanently deleted yours users folder. I had a very bad experience doing this. I have yet to figure out what I did, but I ended up doing that very thing the first time I did this. My only explanation is that I was tired at the time and mistyped something. But that doesn't matter, when you're dealing with powerful commands, you need to take every precaution possible. It works great and it's fun to do, but I'll say it again

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