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nemo May 5, 2001 01:56 PM
My hard disk's a MESS!
It's become a bit like that top drawer you keep stuffing miscellaneous items you just can't decide whether to trash or not. Every now and then I have to clear this thing out and wish I were better organised. Can anyone recommend any software which might help me organise my stuff better, or a system they have developed which helps them.

C-Eye May 5, 2001 03:09 PM
I'm not familiar with any software that will help you organize, but with the Mac OS, you really don't need it. Feel free to move files around (even applications) without it causing problems.

I keep everything organized with multiple folders for the kind of files I save - Documents, Movies, MP3, Photos, Web Pages, etc...

I also create a "my name - current year" folder to keep up with miscellaneous stuff that doesn't really fit in anywhere else.

You many want to create a folder specifically for those things you're not sure you want to trash or not, and then go through it regularly.

Another thing that might help is to use labels. Label all questionable files the same way and it will be easy to sort through these later using the List view.

Hope this helps

nemo May 6, 2001 06:52 AM
cheers c-eye, thanks for your reply.
I also posted this topic on the macfixit forums were someone gave a similar reply, I then posted this:
I suppose I was hoping there was software that did say one of the following:
Gathered information on all the files on your HD and allowed you to see it in terms of it's creator type. Then allowed you to reshuffle were things were. This would also allow you to see what proportion of space was taken with what kind of file or a folder management utility which included batch labelling, dating, allowing you to see when you last opened/used stuff, or something I hadn't thought of...
I already use Dragthing, which allows you to organise your aliases and in that is a miscellaneous items folder, (260mb) my desktop has aliases along the bottom edges (so I can quickly access them without resizing windows. I think actually, it's not knowing were things are that is irritating, using sherlock to find stuff all the time leaves you feeling out of control. But yeah, common sense should do it, regular sorting, developing a strict system of naming/dating etc.. I can probably work that out - but I wondered if there was anything which would make it a bit less of a chore.
Randycat2001 May 6, 2001 05:25 PM
I keep everything that I'm unsure where to place or trash in a folder called "temporary trash". I make it a point to occasionally go through there and trash a few things that haven't shown useful for some time. I keep an alias or the folder itself on the desktop for easy access. I like this method because I can keep junk in there indefinitely if necessary (there is no pressure to have to "commit" it to the trash) and it is confined neatly to one folder. For multi-partitions, I have a temporary trash folder for each.
chris v May 7, 2001 03:39 PM
I always make a folder labeled .Files at the root level on my hard drive, then organize all my work inside of it. The period will ensure that it shows up at the top of the list, in list view (sort by name).

Once you've got your files and apps organized, try this: Make an alias of your hard drive, and put it in the Apple Menu Items folder, and turn submenus on in the Apple Menu Options control panel. If you put a period before the name of your hard drive, it'll show up at the top of your apple menu, and you can drill down through your folders from there. Any folder on your hard drive that has anything in it will appear with an arrow next to it, and if you highlight it, the items in that folder will appear to the right in a submenu.Very handy, as you don't have to open six folders to get to a file that's six folders deep on your drive.

OverclockedHomoSapien May 7, 2001 11:25 PM
I always make a folder labeled .Files at the root level on my hard drive, then organize all my work inside of it. The period will ensure that it shows up at the top of the list, in list view (sort by name).
You can also use a space to make it show up at the beginning of the list view. If you use a ¥ (opt 8), it will show up at the end of the list view.

You don't need an app to organize your files...just sort them into folders. Spend 10 minutes every day on it until they are nice and tidy. Then you get that nice warm fuzzy feeling that all of us anal retentive individuals get everytime we get everything "just so".

Everyone has their own strategy for organization. I tend to like only a few folders at the root directory, but for these folders to run "deep". So I have only four folders on "Lithium", my HD: App Installers, Applications (OS 9), Documents, System Folder. The App Installers is just a folder I use to put all the installers for new gadgets or updates I download, and I burn this onto a CD once or twice per month.
Gregg May 8, 2001 10:56 AM
I have a permanent folder that I call "Temporary" Stuff. It's like having a closet or a junk drawer in your desk. When it's closed, you can't see the mess inside. But, I tend to fall in line with OCHS's Freudian personna. Just do it.
ktz May 10, 2001 10:33 PM
There's a nifty little shareware (actually now, freeware) program that I've used for years -- Disk Wizard -- which you can download at Versiontracker or at the developer's web site

It works great with OS 9.1 (don't know about X). It's so old that the interface is quite spartan; however, it will tell you file type and creator codes, modification date and location. It will find duplicates, which I find helps a lot in cleaning out my "junk drawer." You can't move files around from within Disk Wizard, but I think this app will come close to meeting most of the other items on your wish list. And, of course, the price is right.

Also, if you have lots of web sites bookmarked, the same fellow has an app that automatically validates them periodically -- another great housekeepping tool.

Kestral May 11, 2001 05:25 PM
This is how I organize my Mac (I keep it very very simple):

My root drive on my Pismo 400 is named "s e v e n" (my middle name)

Along with this on the desktop there is:
"m p 3"
"d o w n l o a d s"
"d o c s"

The first two folders are pretty much self-explainatory. ALL downloaded files are routed to the "d o w n l o a d s" folder unless they are .mp3 in which case they are routed to the "m p 3" folder.

The "d o c s" docs contains every kind of data file I generate so basically, if I need to back up ALL my important data, it's just that one folder alone. It is catagorized inside in folders with categories such as Computer, Friends, Work, Finances, etc...

Inside "s e v e n" you have only 6 choices:
"a p p s"
"g a m e s"
"s y s t e m"
"m e d i a"
"n e t"
"u t i l s"

"m e d i a" has all my sound and music apps. Everything else is self-explainatory.

I use a program called Greg's Browser alot in lieu of the Finder.

I also use Aladdin's DragStrip, TitlePop and TaskMenuBar along with a few programmed function keys as launchers. Along with this and a file called "o u t b o x" for miscellaneous items, my desktop is clutter-free.
davi May 12, 2001 11:05 AM
To the people putting aliases of your hard drives in your Apple menus:

You can also paste a Return character at the start of the folder name to put that folder on top of the submenu INVISIBLY -- without using ¥bullets, .dots or spaces.

But be aware that putting aliases of huge hierarchies of files into the Apple menu will significantly slow down Finder launch at startup. Notice that pause at the very end of startup? Try removing huge item folders from your Apple menu.
Paul Crawford May 14, 2001 08:02 PM
Hi all,

Good advice from everyone above... I guess the general thrust is to pick a scheme that works best for you personally. However, note that Apple's recent Mac OS 9.1 update is very much in agreement with the various approaches mentioned above, in that it strongly encourages us to keep a minimal number of folders at the top-level of our disk(s), in the style of Mac OS X. ;-)

BTW, nemo, there are quite a few utilities available that can help to smooth out your disk(s). In addition to the Disk Wizard utility mentioned above by ktz, there are also popular file-maintenance offerings such as SkyTag's shareware File Buddy tool (some especially useful features are its "List" window and its "check aliases" & "find duplicates / orphans / etc." features), or Aladdin's commercial Spring Cleaning suite. As ktz also mentioned, other alternatives can be found via the standard VersionTracker website.


Hobbes May 14, 2001 08:46 PM
On my 9.1 system, in my root hard drive, here's the breakdown...

Applications - All my apps regardless of type. Inside this folder there are the Utilities and Games folders, each containing their respective application types.

Documents - Obvious

Movies - Obvious

Music - Obvious

Program Installers - All the downloaded installers I want to keep in case I have to reinstall them.

Programming - All the source files for various jobs I'm doing.

System Folder - Obvious

Web Design - All the web sites I'm working on.

This is patterned after the "Home" directory on an OS X machine. It's (in my opinion) the easiest way to keep track of everything.

Hope it helps. :-)
sek929 May 20, 2001 03:41 PM
I have a folder called Misc. on the desktop. Anything I download and/or create goes strait to there. And usually at the end of every month I delete what I don't need and move what I do need into the appropriate folders.

If only was room was as neat.

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