Logically Organizing Your Files

files How Should I Organize My Files? 

It takes some planning to set up a system that allows you to access your files, avoid duplication, and ensure that your data can be backed up, whether you’re working on a stand-alone computer or on a networked drive. Creating a logical folder structure is a good place to start: 


Use folders to organize files so that information on a specific topic is all in one place. 


Folders should be named after the areas of work to which they pertain, rather than individual researchers or students. This helps new team members joining the workspace navigate the file system and avoids confusion in shared workspaces if a member of staff leaves.


Stick to your naming scheme. Once you’ve decided on a naming nomenclature for your folders, it’s critical that you stick to it. Try to agree on a naming scheme from the start of your research project if at all possible. 


Create a hierarchical structure for folders by starting with a small number of folders for broad topics and then adding more specific folders within these. 


Separate ongoing and completed work. As you begin to accumulate a large number of folders and files, it’s a good idea to consider separating your older documents from the ones you’re currently working on. 

Ensure that your files are backed up, whether they are on your local drive or on a network drive.