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Home » The Best Way to Manage Files and Folders (ABC Method)

The Best Way to Manage Files and Folders (ABC Method)

Organizing all of your files and documents can be a major pain. You may have started out with a simple folder structure. But over time, the addition of many sub-folders can make it difficult to find what you’re looking for. In this video, Scott Friesen shows you an incredibly easy but powerful way to manage all of your files. Say goodbye to folder frustration and say hello to the ABC method.

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Scott Friesen is a productivity specialist and founder of Simpletivity training and consulting. He is also a prolific public speaker, workshop leader, and time management coach.

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50 thoughts on “The Best Way to Manage Files and Folders (ABC Method)”

  1. I always love finding out new ways to organize digital files. Usually people underestimate the importance of having an easy to understand (and organized) system so that their files don't get lost in the black hole that is our computers. Though I never really considered anything like this method. I might need to sit down one Sunday afternoon and give this a try.

  2. GREAT VIDEO, I have been looking for over an hour and all I get is jargon of messy desktops BUT HERE I jump forward to where you bring up the ABC method of organizing and THAT IS WHAT I AM LOOKING FOR THANK YOU SO MUCH

  3. This is great! i love the simplicity. I have had migrations of old computers and operating systems combine into a mess of data. Time has finally come for putting reigns on this. is it safe to assume that reorganizing like this won't confuse any of my apps when they are looking for component files for something like a Cad model assembly?

  4. What I would be doing is will either create ABC folders or random ones based on subject, will create a VBA code to update my folder & file list in a single excel sheet. So, before I jump into searching folders will search it on excel sheet with keyword, it will be a more reasonable way to store files.

  5. folders and sub folders exist in our brains. Try to remember the last car you were in. your brain just clicked on a folder to remember what car it was. The color and details of the car are sub folders. make sense?

  6. I think ddmmyy is the best way or using project names is better. Relevant files always stay together instead of counting on the alphabet is much easier to remember.
    Also, I'm using this tool called Eagle to manage and organize my files, its tag, rating and annotation feature is really helpful in finding the files without making a complete mess on your PC. better than the original folder management.

  7. Sorting like this is literally useless. You could just type the letter ‘C’ in the search bar instead for the same result. It relies on 100% accuracy in the file name. It’s creative but a system that doesn’t consider category is not sustainable.

  8. This is a good idea to share, but certainly not a general method that works for most people or situations. There are many flaws in this, but maybe there is more too this than I know from the video.

  9. Thank you for this video, I have been looking for ways to organize my Google Drive Folders and if I understood correctly it is best to add files to the folders by alphabetical order so car repairs will go on the C folder not the R folder for repairs and Medical Insurance will go in the M folder, not the I folder for insurances. I like this method but may take me a little while to start using it. Also, I am trying to separate files by year so it is easier to separate the information, and I may start fresh and create a 2022 folder, then the ABC folders. Thanks again

  10. I have ADHD, i have files within files, within categories, quick file search files, within drives duplicated, triplicated all different names for quick searching, going back 20 years, what a mess – i will give your ABC method a try – thanks

  11. This looks like a good way to start, but I would quickly come to the point where I don't know how I have named things… "Is it under O for Outlines or C for Content…?"

  12. Tags are better than folders. If you can break them down to their barest essence and apply a lot of them, then when it's time to search for a file, you can begin to narrow things down.

    If you had a vacation in Mexico in 2015 and you want to organize your photos, you have three tags right off the bat: vacation, Mexico, and 2015. Say this is a yearly thing for you, and you can't remember which year you went swimming in a cenote. You can leave out the year, and include other descriptive tags, such as "swimming" and "cenote". And boom, you found your photos.

    And this approach is very powerful. Let's say you want all photos, videos, and documents that involve you and your family swimming, regardless of context. You don't have to sift through some arbitrary folder structure. You just search for all files tagged with 'swimming' and you have it.

    The only caveat is that you have to be good about labelling. It's time consuming at first, but once your tags are set up, they should be quick to reuse.

    And it assumes you have a file system or cloud storage service that supports tags. If you don't, you're out of luck.

  13. personally, I just took the file type categorization on macOS and then put each category it categorized into its folder. its probably not the best, but its just how I do it.

  14. Makes sense. Only thing I'd say in response is that there is no way in hell It will take any less than 80 hours of straight work to convert my current "file system" (or lack there of). So "a few minutes or a little longer" game me a good laugh. Happy for those for whom that is the case.

  15. I never used the ABC method. I sort all my files by month and day and year. So 2022 has 12 folders 📂 for every month. And in each of those folders has 31 folders for each day.
    I also have a disorganized folder for files that aren't extremely important or files that need to be sorted into the appropriate place.

  16. Great video I'm wondering if you can help me?

    I’ve tried everything!

    I have 1000 folders, inside they contain JPEGs

    If I select the JPEGs inside the folders and add to archive, I can then read them with any good comic viewer.

    However if I wanted to save an astronomical amount of time and select all 1000 of those folders (which contain the JPEGs)

    and add them to 1000 separate archives… they are unreadable

    as each of those 1000s just created contain the actual folder with images inside

    What I need is a archive with JUST THE JPGs NOT THE FOLDER that contains them.

    I know such a .bat file exist as I had it myself but I've since lost it and unable to find it online

    Folder 1 –

    Files 1.jpg

    3.jpg and so on.

    Folder 2

    Files 1.jpg

    3.jpg and so on.

    So in short I need a .bat file that can let me select multiple folders with images inside zip them up into multiple archives without the folder that actually contained the images. It’s the folders I don’t need.

  17. That method works for some, I'm sure. But for most people organizing files by project/subject or context. Your example "courses": it's less intuitive than you think. Is the ppt presentation for the course under "courses" or did I name the main folder "teaching" or the name of the course or "presentations" etc

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