Saturday, July 3, 2010

How do you organize your files on the computer?

FM Tristan, a first mate on the TOS Crew, asked this question on her blog on Thursday. Here is the link to her post followed by a quote from that post with the question she was asking.
Today before I back things up to CD I really want to go through and re-organize files a bit.  I have all my lapbooks in one file that is then broken down by company.  I am considering breaking them down by subject instead.  I have many PDF files that are just sitting in My Documents folder instead of organized in some way. 

How do you organize your files?  Do you stick with topics, age groups, companies, or some other way all together?  Do you regularly back up your files or would a computer crash today make you cry at the thought of all the files you would have lost?
I keep all my things together by topic. I put lapbooks in the folders by topic so I can find them when I plan our units. I don't like keeping things sorted by company. It does help you to know, for instance, what HOAC Lapbooks you may have, but you won't be able to find all the stuff you have to teach the Middle Ages, for instance, without looking in a lot of folders. I keep notebooking pages sorted by topic too, but I also keep all the notebooking pages in a folder in the language arts section. I don't keep any files in My Documents. When I get a new file I put it in the correct folder in the "New" folder For Instance New/Science. When I am ready to back stuff up I open three files: the "New" file, the "Backup" file on my D drive (a section of my hard drive that my husband divided up just for saving my files) and the external drive. I take each of the items and move them from the "New" file into the "Backup" files on the D drive and into the "Backup" files with the same names on my external drive. That way I have each file saved in two places.  I was trying to back up my files weekly but lately it seems more like monthly. In fact it needs to be done now.

In the New Folder, the Backup folder and the External Drive's folders I have the following folders: Administration, Audio Files, Curriculum 01 Other Subjects, Curriculum 02 Science, Curriculum 03 History, Curriculum 04 Other School Stuff, Personal. I have a lot of History and Science stuff so that is why I gave them their own folder.

In the "Backup" files on the D drive and the "Backup" files on my external drive the folders are more detailed. There are folders in folders in folders. I will describe my system below.

In the Administration folder I have folders for: calendars, documents I use for school, goal sheets, High School documents,  school want lists and documents I have made for school

In the Curriculum 01 Other Subjects folder I have folders for: Bible, Building Life Relationships (study of sibling relationships, courtship and character training) Computer, Educational Foundations (study of how to homeschool), Fine Arts, Foreign Language, Home & Life Management (housekeeping, chores, car maintenance, gardening, cooking, shopping, construction, plumbing, etc.), Language Arts, Math and Physical Education.

The Science folder has the following folders in it: Biology, Chemistry, Creation, Earth Science, Mom Made, Multi-subject, and Physical Science. Each of the topics above has folders that further break things down. For example in the Biology folder there are folders for Animals, Biomes, Human Body, Microbiology, Plants and Multi-Subject. In the Animals folder there are folders for: Birds, Dinosaurs, Fish, Insects and Spiders, Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Microscopic Animals.

The History folder is set up by time period. In order to keep the folders in order by time period and not in alphabetical order I have the folders numbered and then the name. These are my folder names there: 01 General World, 01 Geography, 01 O.T, 01 Timelines, 02 Ancient Egypt, 03 Ancient Greece, 04 Ancient China, 05 Ancient Japan, 06 Ancient Rome, 07 Ancient South America, 07 Ancient Central America, 08 Dark Ages/ Early Middle Ages (395-1050 AD) 08 Vikings, 09 Middle Age, 10 Renaissance/ Reformation/ Explorers, 11 United States History - General, 12 Civics/ American Government, 13 Pilgrims/ Revolutionary War, 14 Expansion/ Early 1800's/ Pioneers, 15 Civil War and Reconstruction Up to 1900, 16 World War I and Early 1900's, 17 World War II and Mid 1900's, 18 Modern Times/ Korean War/ Vietnam War/ Up to Present Day

The Curriculum 04 Other School Stuff folder has folders for: Articles and Tips, Field Trips, High School, Holidays and Seasons, Kindergarten, Library Lists, Preschool and Multi-Topic. In the Multi-topic folder are folders for Clip Art, e-book magazines, Games, Activity/ Coloring/ Assorted school stuff, Charlotte Mason, and a few other things.

That is how I organize my files on my computer.How do you organize your files? Post the answer on your blog and then post a link on Tristan's blog post or post a comment right on Tristan's blog if you answer is short. Here is the link to her post.


Tristan said...

Thanks for both linking back to me and answering my question so well! I ran into the same problem keeping things for one company in a folder - I would forget to look in that folder for a topic we were getting ready to study and miss using a resource.

Kristi said...

Wow Debbie. Thanks for posting all of this. I am just figuring this stuff out. My oldest is only 6 and so his pre-k consisted of only one book and haphazard activities. Kindergarten was like 3 books and nothing on the computer. 1st grade is going to be more involved and this year I add in a preschooler.

Right now I have folders ON my desktop so I can remember where they are. Right now I have these: Preschool, Ebooks, Pictures, TOS Crew, TOS Pictures, Homeschool forms (my organizational sheets), and MP3's (all homeschool conference sessions).

I like your breakdowns and will file them in my head for later as our schooling gets more complicated.

Ruby said...

Thanks for sharing this, Debbie! Keeping an organized folder is very important since it will make segregation easier. You can easily determine which documents are inside just by the title of the folder, thus saving you time and effort. Your back-up system is admirable too. :)

Ruby Badcoe @ Williams Data Management


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