How to Organize Your Files and Folders

Written by

Alejandro Grover

Written by

Alejandro Grover

Disorganization can slowly destroy a company over time. We’ll teach you how to organize your files and folders so you can be super efficient. The most important thing regarding organization is being consistent. Otherwise, your efforts will be wasted! Let’s start by looking at some organization structures. 

Choose Your Structure

The most popular choices when it comes to file organization are: client/project, date, and file type-based. We’ll explain the pros and cons of each system so that you can choose the best one for you. 

Client or Project-Based

This is one of the easiest methods to stick to. You create a folder specifically for the project or client that you’re working with.

What’s nice about this method is that it’s easy. You simply place anything to do with the particular client in the assigned folder. If you have multiple projects with a particular client, you can just create folders within the client’s folder and name them accordingly. 

The issue that you run into with client and/or project-based folders is that you may end up with several files that don’t belong only to one project and/or client. Although you can create a folder called “general”, this doesn’t work for very long because it gets crammed as well. 

Another issue is that your project/client folders might become full of files, becoming a bit of a mess. However, this is a small price to pay for all the time it will save you. 


This is a great strategy if you work best with specific times when files were stored. The simplest way is to create a folder for each year and then create 12 folders to represent the months. 

The great thing about this strategy is that you can check importantly timely information from the past easily. 

If you have the kind of job where dates are extremely important such as a financial position or marketing position, this system might be ideal for you. For example, if you were in a similar position and had everything grouped by project or client, your job would become a lot harder. 

Think about the kind of work you do, and you’ll easily figure out if this system is right for you. There’s no use learning how to organize your files and folders if you can’t keep it going!

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File Type-Based

This one is fairly self-explanatory, you create folders that are marked by the type of files that will be inside. If it’s not by file-type specifically, it can still be based on the type of work to be done. For example, you might call a folder “marketing” or “financials”. 

Then, of course, you place any files that are that type in their respective folders. 

This is a convenient organization style, but it can get really overwhelming if you work for multiple clients, have multiple projects, etc. However, if you only have a few categories of work, this can be a great choice. 

As with all of these choices, be sure to examine the type of work you do before choosing a system type. 

Don’t Lose Your Stuff! 

how to organize your files and folders

All of the organizing in the world won’t save your files from a hard drive crash. One day you could sit down at your desk, press the on button and then hear a series of weird scratching sounds inside. Next thing you know, it turns out you have to replace your hard drive, and all your information is gone. 

There are many different ways to back up your files. One of the oldest and well-known ways is to store it on an external hard drive. However, since external hard drives crash as well, many people are opting for online storage. Many people use Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive to save their files. 

Using online storage systems is convenient for a few reasons:

  1. You don’t need a physical object to access your files
  2. Access to your files and folders from anywhere
  3. Sharing and collaborating on files is way easier

How to Organize Your Files and Folders Consistently

Now you know how to organize your files and folders, but how do you keep it up? Here are a few tips:

  •  Don’t Store on Desktop: It’s best not to save anything on your desktop. It just makes your desktop look cluttered which takes away the whole purpose of organization. 
  • Don’t Use Downloads Folder: You might be used to downloading items directly into your downloads folder, but this doesn’t provide you with any organization. Try to download them into their appropriate folders. 
  • Always Be Filing: As mentioned previously, there’s no point in getting organized if you’re not going to be consistent with it. 
  • Sort Weekly: Choose a day out of the week to come back and check out your computer for any messes. It’s like having clean up day on Sunday. Although you’ve been mostly doing your job, staying neat, there will be slipups. Move files to their respective folders and delete files you won’t use in the future. This is your chance to stay organized all the time. 
  • Be Descriptive: Don’t be overly general with your naming systems. Be sure to name them something specific that you will not confuse for anything else. 
  • Be Consistent: We really need to hammer this one home because this whole thing is useless without it. Commit for a few weeks and see how much better things go. 
  • Tweak: These are nice systems to give you a starting point, but at the end of the day, this needs to work best for you. So make sure you adapt your workflow into something that really works for your interests. 


Nobody likes a disorganized person, and nobody likes a disorganized computer. It just feels better to sit at a computer on which you know where everything is! Using the systems we described above, you’ll be on your way to being more productive and having way more time on your hands. 


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