I am starting this thread here, because I thought some people might be interested in talking about organizing their data. Of course, everyone probably already has their own methods, but maybe this will give you some ideas about how to improve it. Or, maybe you could give me some advice WHAT DO I DO? I organize everything I own chronologically according to three characteristics: Is it a) someone else's completed work, b) my completed work, or c) my work in progress? WHY BOTHER? First, this solves the main problem with filing, which is deciding where to put something. We dread filing because it requires us to make a decision, but this way the decisions are already made. There are no complicated folder hierarchies. Just dump everything into one of three folders. Second, it makes everything easy to find. As Noguchi Yukio (famous organizational guru in Japan) wisely recognized, we tend to remember WHEN we created something much more easily than we remember WHERE we filed it away. This way, all you have to know is roughly when you took a class, received that important paperwork, etc. GETTING STARTED 1. Make two folders in your home folder: ARCHIVED and a folder with today's date (110516). ARCHIVED is for files you will not alter. 110516 is for working files. 2. Inside of ARCHIVED, make three sub-folders: TEXTS, NOTES, and DOCUMENTS. TEXTS are for electronic texts (ebooks and PDFs) of materials written by other people. NOTES are mainly for your scanned handwritten notes, but also for receipts, pamphlets, handouts, and any other looseleaf paper you scan into PDF form. DOCUMENTS holds all of your old working files. THE RULES 1. Naming for TEXTS. Name each PDF with the author's name plus the publication date. For example, "smithjohn2011." In case there is more than one smithjohn, provide one of them with a middle name. Save that PDF into a sub-folder named after the author, "smithjohn." Yes, you could do it without a sub-folder if you want, but after generating a few thousand PDF files, I think you'll see the benefit in imposing this tiny annoyance 2. Naming for NOTES. Name each PDF with the date + a word or phrase. For example, "110516biology101." Save that PDF into a sub-folder for that year "2011." Yes, you could do it without a sub-folder if you want, but after generating a few thousand PDF files, I think you'll see the benefit in imposing this tiny annoyance 3. DOCUMENTS just holds your old working files. At the beginning of each month, retire your working file to this folder. For example, in June you'll make a new working folder in your home folder called 110601. If there are any files you are still working on from 110516, just copy those into 110601. GIVE IT A TRY OK. Let's put it to work. Select all of the files in your NOTES and drag them into VoodooPad (my notetaking software of choice). Now, arrange them however you want. Do you see the beauty of this? You can muck up the organization all you want, but the files themselves never move. If you want to have a file under the title "classes" AND under the title "university major" you can! The same thing goes for your texts. You can link to them however you want Attached are some screenshots. Most of my folder names are in Japanese, but you get the point. I've been using this system for about a decade now with great success. Any comments would be welcome!