Organizing my digital life – Part II

Organizing my digital life – Part II

A while ago I talked about how I had a slight organizational freak out and began to organize my digital life. You can read about how it all started in Organizing my digital life – Part I. This is Part II of my neurotic need to keep everything just so. I know there are other people out there like me, so I thought I would continue documenting this slightly obsessive compulsive behaviour in the hopes that someone else might find it useful.

Organizing “My Documents”
Once I took inventory of all of my programs and backing everything up on DVD’s I decided that the folder structure in My Documents was just too haphazard. It just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Everything was kind of thrown in together, old and new and it was becoming unmanageable. So the logical next step was to organize my My Documents” folder so that it was not cluttered and will also lend to easier back ups.

Being a huge lifehacker fan, I decided to follow their Organizing “My Documents” post. I’ve made a few tweaks to it but this is essentially my new folder structure.

  1. Backup – This folder was a life saver for me when I reinstalled Windows XP this weekend. In here I have my Firefox and Thunderbird backups using MozBackup. All my updated drivers, my LJ archives, a backup of my fonts folder and a copy of my updated uxtheme.dll and WindowsXP themes that allows me to change the look of windows from the nasty three default colours.
  2. Docs – This folder contains all of my documents. It contains a Projects folder that holds all of my web design projects, Finance folder where I keep all of my online receipts and tax information, and a Web Design folder where I keep things like downloaded brushes, fonts, coding examples and wordpress themes and plugins.
  3. Docs-Archive – If a project is closed or I haven’t touched something in a couple of months, the folders get moved to the archive.
  4. Multimedia – This is where I keep all of my music files and pictures. I use iTunes to organize my music folder but for my pictures I organize that myself. I have everything separated by year and then within that year I have folders for Birthdays, Pets, Events, Cityscape, Landscape and People. I then use Picassa to scroll through all of my images at once. I’m not a huge fan of Picassa structure because it doesn’t keep my folder hierachy. I may just need to learn how to use it better since I just recently decided to try it.

So far organizing my documents this way has worked out really well for me. I don’t get irritated anymore when I open up my “My Documents” folder and am bombarded with random text files and things floating around in there.

External Hard Drive
I decided that I wanted to have an external hard drive in order to have regularly scheduled backups. I went out and bought a Seagate 320GB Barracuda drive on sale for $99.99 and a Cooler Master X Craft 350 eSata/USB2.0 external hard drive case. Together they ran me about $150 after tax. Not too bad at all. It was incredibly easy to mount the hard drive into the case but then I ran into a little bump. I knew I had to format the hard drive before I could use it but I wasn’t sure how.

Thankfully I found a tutorial called “DIY External Hard Drive” where they explain how to format the Hard Drive using Windows XP. A few minutes later and I was good to go.

Once I had the external up and running, I copied everything over and decided to tackle reinstalling Windows XP. That was my project for this past weekend, but I think I’ll keep that as my third and final Part of the “Organizing my digital life” series.

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