We All Have Things To Do In Life, Many In Folders; But Where Do You Keep Them?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by HappyDude20, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. HappyDude20 macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #1
    So unless you have all of your folders not in order then I think this question applies to you.

    Many months ago my entire Mac was not in order; folder and documents scattered all over the computer. Then one day I organized everything and I mean everything. Piece by piece everything was put in a folder and ultimately under the Documents folder/pane. (Also everything under Music, Movies, Pictures, etc.) Everything in alphabetical order which is great. I now have over 200 folder with various things/subjects under Documents always at my disposal.

    The thing is, my life is not stagnant and i'm usually working/focusing on something in life. So if say I'm currently focusing on:

    1. Anthropology 120 Archaeolor class
    2. Getting a Job (Job Apps PDF's)
    3. An AppleCare Report
    4. History of Jazz class
    5.Purchasing new Surfboard Fins
    6. Planning a vacation to Vegas

    All these things, which if aren't new and haven't been in a folder under documents, i'll create a new folder to house the particular subject in.. would be placed out my of "documents" into another area; solely to not have to go digging in a documents folder filled with over 200 other folders of other things. What i'm saying is, with whatever i'm currently working on, I'll want to place out of my 200 folder document folder to another area for easier/better access. Am I making sense? Essentially i'm asking what you do regarding in this matter.

    My solution (so far, though am eager to hear other's techniques to wield my own) has been to create a folder titled, "@Next Action" in which i've place at the right side of the dock and also create a pane in the left of the finder and have it automatically open up to it every time I open the finder. I'll create an alias folder of the original one located under the main documents folder.
    This method i've create has been okay but not great. Iono what to say regarding that it's just been okay for me, but that's the case.

    I'm more eager to hear what you guys do. I know you guys always have things going on in your lives and unless you're not organized, you must have some sort of system that you utilizing borth mentally and on your Mac to help you inch closer to the goals you're trying to achieve.

    BTW: When I create the method of making the "Next Action" folder to be placed in the dock and in the finder pane I did it solely to not have folders on my desktop, iono, just thought i'd throw that out there.

    Check out the pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. matthewscott661 macrumors 6502

    matthewscott661

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    I keep all my folders in their respective places; documents, pictures, etc. The one's I use more often I make an alias for in my home folder. Then when I don't need something very often any more, like when a class ends, i can just delete the alias and everything is still in the right place.
     
  3. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #3
    Home Folder, as in like "yourname folder?" i.e. the icon of the house?

    If i'm correct, what good does that do, in terms of how often you actually see it and all?
     
  4. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #4
    I make archive folders and put 'em on something else. You can't possibly need to access over 200 folders frequently. "Retire" some things. If you need 'em, then put 'em back on your hard drive. And pick up those dirty socks! Unless you like clutter.
     
  5. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #5
  6. Cinder6 macrumors 6502

    Cinder6

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2009
    #6
    I'll take a look at OmniFocus, but the way I currently have my directories setup is like this:

    Each respective filetype goes into the respective directory (documents to Documents, images to Pictures, etc.). From there, I have lots of sub-folders within sub-folders. For example, instead of having ~/Documents/CSc\ 158, I'd have ~/Documens/School/CSc/158. This way, instead of having massive lists of folders, I only have ten or so at each level. You have to drill down more with this approach, but it's much more organized. And, since I keep a consistent naming scheme/organizational model, I don't have to guess at where something might be.
     
  7. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #7
    :):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

    If you only knew.

    So, I already in fact have OF.

    In fact, it's always open, opens at login and located in my 1st space (of 6) on my Mac. It's my most used application on my Mac.

    Obviously I purchased OF after reading DA's GTD book, which changed my life. I was completely lethargic, did nothing all day. After reading his book I still did nothing, but little by little the wheels began to turn and I began implementing just about everything he speaks of.

    I was moving into a new apartment at the time of reading his book and revamped my rooms according to his teachings. My room/desk/office now has inbox trays, I have a tickler file, etc.

    I didn't wanna bring up GTD or OF in the main post of this thread thinking either people wouldn't know what program I was talking about, or were just sick of hearing about GTD.

    You see, every since I got OF a few months back my Macbook comes with me everywhere. I'm always seen with my InCase backpack that has my Mac in it. Even if the night entails going to a house party with friends, as a habit i'll throw my Macbook in my backpack and chuck it in the backseat of the car; just in case. OF is always with me, as I feel in control of having my Available Actions (Custom Perspective) list with me all the time.

    Many times I'll find that a certain or project or next action steps within a project need something that will get the action done. A bad analogy would be, if I'm cleaning my house but need the windex which is stored all the way in the garage; well that doesn't help me out too much. (Wow, that was a bad example.) What I'm saying is, if I'm planning on applying for a job,(as pictured in the original post) all the job application PDF files are located in a Job folder under my documents. In the original photos i've provided you'll see the Job folder alias in a "Next Action" folder i've created just for the dock so I'll have quick access to them...

    ...But the truth is this isn't really helping me out.

    OldCorpse, i'm glad you responded to my question because it's good to hear advice from another OF/GTD'er. I'm sure you're answers would be better suited than others.

    On a side note, I'm recently began using OmniOutliner which has been great. So far i've been using it to open up morning and nightly reviews which contain a checklist of things I need to do every morning to be on top of my GTD and actions for the day. These lists have me empty my inbox at home, my email, my inbox in OF, etc. Also to look at projects that are stuck, stalled and what could be set aside or put on hold for the day, etc. The night OmniOutline checklist includes things to help me wrap up the day and prepare for the next.
     
  8. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    compost heap
    #8
    HappyDude20, I find myself very deflated and discouraged. I thought I was offering precious wisdom to raw peasants, and instead it transpires the peasants know all about the wisdom and have no use for my hard won life lessons. Score one for the peasants.

    So now I will gather my white robes, and think about the issue more deeply.

    However, as I do so, you too can be of great help. I must query you more closely so that I don't again give advice which you already are familiar with. Could you please tell me how experienced you are with smart folders and whether you use the "save search" function. Also, what exactly is the ergonomic difficulty of using those two, from the perspective of your workflow and psychology. As you know, not every method works, not based on design, but on psychology - for some it just doesn't work on a psychological reason (example: I have a friend who absolutely must have a tree structure for his folders, and absolutely hates to look for folders through spotlight - it's a psychological thing, as it takes less time to use spotlight than to break out the hideous Finder... but he feels disgusted by spotlight, "it's like pulling out a folder from a messy room - sure I get the folder, but the room feels a horrible mess").

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.4/en/mh2152.html

    http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8300945231/m/416003668831

    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/Managing_Leopards_Smart_Folders/

    http://nik.me/leopard-saved-search-irritations

    http://www.macworld.com/article/132443/2008/03/leopardsurvival1.html
     
  9. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #9
    I'm actually quite glad OF is a well used app not just by myself.

    I have a friend who is extremely lazy and i've given him the DA's GTD audiobook on CD's yet have been sitting on his desk for close to 4 months now.

    He's seen my OF when he opens my Mac up to surf the web, inquires about it, says its interesting but url's straight to some website that leads to procrastination.

    anyways...


    First of all in regards to this question; I'm not sure if you're asking me simply because you yourself are having trouble utilizing these methods, or simply to see how I would go about using them. Either way, here goes:

    About 3 months ago, after setting up OF when I 1st got it, I wanted to use something besides "folders" on my Mac. I asked around, even on these forums about Smart Folders, Saved Searches and even Duplicate & Alias Folders.

    I did not see the importance of Duplicate folders, for me at least. Perhaps if I needed that same folder on a different Mac or PC, even on a flash drive. But I don't use them at all. Saved Searches for me aren't really a big deal. If I search for something say, "Anthropology" (Sure I can go more specific like Forensic Anthropology 120 Event), well then I get everything on my Mac, or Documents. I mean, I use Spotlight when searching for something like this and i'll usually find it within 6 seconds. With Smart Folders, I have only found myself using them when I need to allocate a bunch of similar files, specific files in a large volume to give to a friend or teacher. I used it all sparingly. However regular folders and even Alias folders make up the bulk of my overall folders in OS X. Alias folders would normally only ever go on my desktop of "@Next Actions" folder (located on the right of the dock.)
    I like that with the Alias folders both the original folder and Alias are updated and stay updated, then when I'm done with a project I can get rid of the alias folder if needed.

    This is interesting: Since posting this thread i've removed everything that was located inside of the "@Next Action" folder (on the right of the dock), just cause w/e was in it wasn't being utilized or looked at enough. I've since put them on my desktop which at the behest of having a more cluttered desktop, has increased my productivity among a few projects within the past day.

    I agree that not every method works for everyone and that the psychology of each individual is what molds every step of the process; & this in turn is what i've been fiddling around with for month. I constantly on an almost daily basis find myself tweaking setting and perspective in OF & my OS X. A few months ago the manager at Staples kept noticing me visiting the store frequently and asked if I was an eager college student or something; I told him of the system and how little by little I was getting rid of the lazy me and finding ways to be productive. Since purchasing 2 100 pack's of manila file folders, inbox trays,stationary holders, writing deskpads and pencils for my desk and car, i've never looked back.

    The truth is, finding how to be personally productive is a bit of a solo journey, though along the way i've asked for a lot of help on forums and the occasional people that I notice that seem on top of their game.


    The tree structure with folders is something I do all that I can to avoid. For the longest time I did it this way and noticed that the deeper something is in a folder, the less it was looked at and in turn, utilized. But hey, that's me.

    Before I took a whole afternoon to organize everything in my Mac, I would use Spotlight to retrieve a file from wherever it was on my Mac. I hated this; mentally. I needed a file, knew it was on my Mac, but didn't know where. I knew Spotlight would get it for me, but you know?

    Well, I placed everything in a folder, then all these folders under Documents. Now my "room" was clean I can easily find it if I look under my documents, or more easily still in Spotlight. This worked so well for me that I deleted old files that weren't needed, gained extra hard drive space, etc etc etc. I loved this so much I even went to Ikea and purchased like a set of different size storage bins and organized everything at home. I now have all school/desk supplies in one box, Health stuff in another, one for my sex life (i.e. condoms, etc.), power tools, electronics, dvd movies, etc. The truth is I didn't have to do this, but once I did, whenever I needed something I had a pretty good idea of where it was located, not having to look around a room, but rather just go to a box. This habit built up quickly and now everything is organized and looks good.

    On a final note, I use Quick Look all the time, beats having to open an app for something when I just wanna view it quickly; but of course i'm assuming everyone does this.

    :c;)
     
  10. HappyDude20 thread starter macrumors 68020

    HappyDude20

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles, Ca
    #10
    Edit: I also have my entire Google Docs in folders, just like in my Documents on my Mac. (My entire life is within all Google Apps.)

    I tried to organize everything in my Gmail (the most heavily used Google app) in Labels (ala Folders) but there was so much in there (over 1000 emails) I thought it was too much of a hassle. Plus I always just search for w/e i'm looking for and sooner or later I find it.
     
  11. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #11
    I have tried the GTD system. Didn't work for me. I get overwhelmed by long lists. I now find that the most effective to-do lists for me contain a maximum of 3 items. Better is 2 items and ideally a single item. Life being what it is, my lists usually have 4 or 5 items, but that's a lot better than my old lists which were 50+ items long.

    Yes, I'm rubbish at setting and following priorities. That's something I've learned to be aware of, so now I ask these nearest me to support me with setting priorities and reducing lists to 3 items or less.

    One thing I've learned from the GTD system and may other other good guides is the benefit of reducing clutter. I've reduced the amount of things I own by roughly a half over the last few years, and thrown out lots of unfinished projects, and deleted (almost) all games from my computer & idevices. That's been a massive help in helping me to focus on what's important.

    As for folders on OSX, I'm usually mostly working on stuff from 3-5 folders at any one period. I drag these folders to the window sidebar where they become listed under favourites. A simple command+N in finder brings them up with a handy new finder window for working in. Once finished with the project or when I notice I'm not using them any more, I drag them out and the shortcut goes poof in a most satisfactory way.
     
  12. username: macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    #12
    I haven't read all the posts in full in this thread, but I will give you my own personal organisational method.

    You need a good self-awareness to use this method. You need to analyse your own life and recognise what is most important.

    For me there are 6 main areas of my life:

    1. Career
    2. Learning
    3. Family and friends
    4. Feng Shui (organisation ideas, gadgets,
    5. Finances
    6. Well-being (health, fitness, relaxation, hobbies, interests, spare time activities)

    Every single document or note or thought or file I have can fit into these six categories.

    New files will reside in the downloads folder until I have filed them away where they belong. downloads folder = inbox

    These categories I use across several programs including finder, omnifocus, safari (bookmarks), photos, and evernote.

    So far these six main categories have remained untouched and have proven a useful categorisation as well as flexible enough. Of course, within each category are often hundreds of subfolders. Surprisingly, having these six categories makes finding files much easier.

    Evernote is most useful in that if a file resides in multiple categories I can tag the file with more than one tag. I wish that Finder had a more flexible tagging system as well.

    I would suggest putting some serious thought into your life goals, and coming up with some core parts of your life that are most important, but probably no more than seven.

    Finder:

    screenshot.png

    Evernote:

    screenshot 2.png
     
  13. SanJacinto macrumors regular

    SanJacinto

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Milky Way Galaxy
    #13
    Great thread. I studied the screenshots from thread starter "HappyDude20" and thought "Hey cool another guy still using Snow Leopard (no Notification Center next to Spotlight).
    Then some advice by "OldCorpse" regarding Leopard and I thought "What the heck, Leopard in 2015? - coooool!"

    But then it dawned on me, there is something wrong. A 2009 thread brought back to life in 2015 :(
     
  14. username: macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
  15. SanJacinto macrumors regular

    SanJacinto

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Milky Way Galaxy
    #15
    No problem. I think you did the right thing.
    You had a topic on hand, then you did what everybody should do: Search the forum, pick an existing thread and write something. By doing it this way, you bring back old wisdom ("perhaps") and also there are less new threads.
     
  16. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #16
    Well, I'm still using Snow Leopard, and soon it will be 2016!
     
  17. SanJacinto macrumors regular

    SanJacinto

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    Milky Way Galaxy
    #17
    Yes, that's great (no sarcasm). Soon, I will revert back to Mavericks. I love the glossy traffic lights. Right now I am using Yosemite and while it is fast on my MacBook I still do not like the visual appearance.
    Mavericks and Snow Leopard are really "Zen" for the eyes.

    I still have a 20GB partition with Snow Leopard - ready to boot!
     

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