How I organize my digital documents
I’ve put much thought into how I organize my home directory. This is what I love most about using a lightweight, highly customizable, geeky and elitist operating system. You won’t be able to reproduce this system with a mainstream OS without figuring out how to tell your applications to let go of the default (and sub-optimal) directories. The system is planned for fast to typing on the command line and is also quite french/english bilingual. The most important innovation is the elimination of a “documents” folder in favor of a resources and a production directories. Also, the pictures library is future proofed, relying strictly on the filesystem for it’s structure.
######## Utilities tmp/ Downloads, inbox, short lived files bak/ Backup of configuration files, useful to have during software updates to allow rollbacks. This is not my actual full system backup. bin/ Scripts, binaries. ######## Work prod/ Production, things I created or worked on. art/ Things I made for myself, sorted by media, then by date and title. blog/ drawing/ 2010-04.Something/ photography/ and_so_on/ */ Other directories are named after companies and people's names for whon I did work. res/ Resources, work from other people, downloads to keep, collections, manuals, source codes, ebooks, databases. wip/ Work in progress. This directory allows quick access to projects I'm currently working on. It can also act as a task list. Projects can move to and from prod/. ######## Multimedia mm/ m/ Music Artist/ Albums/ p/ Pictures (see next section) v/ Video (movies). I delete them or burn them on a DVD to keep the directory small enough. ######## Multimedia/Pictures Much inspiration from www.organizepictures.com All entertainment/nostalgia pictures go in ~/mm/p. This directory is split in categories such as events, collection, outbox, wallpaper. The camera is emptied in the tmp/ directory then images are processed and organized. When a category gets larger, it is split in years subdirectory. The personnal library is the most important so years directory for this one are directly on the ~/mm/p/ level. Events directories start with an ISO9660 date and the format is uniform for easy parsing and scripting. 0/ Undated/old pictues from childhood 2010/ yyyy-mm[-dd].location.event_description/*.jpg previews 1/*.NEF raw originals 4x6/*.tiff exports web/*.jpg compressed wallpaper/*.png conversions outbox/ Hard links to images in above subdirectories wallpapers/ Hard links to images in above subdirectories collection/ Cool/interesting downloads to keep tmp/ Temporary directory for camera dump
Other resources on the subject
- Organizing “My Documents”, a good start.
- organizepictures.com, brilliant and very complete.
- Your brain’s natural ability to categorize things. Just give it time to process how your files can be grouped and divided.