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How to organize files and folders on a Mac

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We’ve all found ourselves in this situation at one point or another – trying to find a specific file in an over-cluttered Mac and failing to do so. A situation like this would then trigger a huge clear-up of files and folders, however, not long after we’d be back in the same situation. There is only one way to get rid of this frustration for good and it’s by organizing your files and folders properly as well as keeping them organized as you go. Here are some simple tips on how to do just that.

Start by decluttering

Before you can organize your files, you need to declutter your Mac as much as possible. Get rid of any files or folders that you do not need, delete all duplicate files, clear your cache, and so on… This will not only allow you to organize the important files effectively but it will also clear up some memory space in your hard disk, which is always a benefit.

Keep your desktop clean

Your desktop should not be the place you keep all your files and folders. It is your main workspace and it should only contain files or applications that you use regularly and need to access easily. Everything else can be stored in document folders.

Use your iCloud

The iCloud Drive on your Mac is there to help you stay on top of your files and folders. Not only will it make it easier to be organized, it will also automatically back up your files and sync them to be accessible from other devices too.

Organize folders in a hierarchical system

Just organizing your files in folders is not enough – having too many folders will create clutter too. Make sure that you group similar folders together and that way use a hierarchical system. For example, if you have organized your work files into folders, such as “/projects”, “/marketing”, “/finances”, etc., it makes sense to put all of them into a folder called “/Work”. The same goes for your personal documents, images, and so on…

Logical file names

The way you decide to name your files and folders needs to be logical and easy to remember. It may be a good idea to develop a naming system that you can follow for all of your files. For example, your document folders could be named something like “Documents/Work”, “Documents/Personal”, “Documents/Family”, etc. You may also find it easier to name documents by dates, type, or any other category. Having logical names will not let you forget what is in the folder as well as will come in handy when using the Search feature.

Organize as you go

Once you’ve gone through the effort of organizing all of your files and folders, you don’t want to undo all of your hard work by cluttering your Mac again. It is always a good practice to organize any new files into their correct places straight away. If that doesn’t work for you, you can also dedicate 15 minutes every week to look through all of your new files and organize them.

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