Too Much Folders

My name is Yasir Bilgic.
I’m writing you from Turkey.

I have lots of documents in the RAID1 system. I have nearly 30.000 photos, 5.000 videos and lots of documents.

The problem is, -In my understanding- you say we pass through 3 folders to reach our files. But for example;

Archive > Education > Erciyes University > Senior > 2nd Term > Class Name > Notes

How can I recreate that folder system :’( I really feel helpless. Can you please recommend to me something about this problem?

Thank you.

Education seems like a good Area, so it could start with

10-19 Education

Next are ten categories in that area. This could be based on the source of the education or the topic of education, for example.

Example 1 (based on source)
11 University degree
12 Masters degree
13 Professional certificates
14 Learning about hobbies
15 School for my children

So, your example could be like this:

10-19 Education > 11 University degree > 11.14 Biology (Senior 2nd term)

Example 2 (based on topic)
11 Science
12 Literature
13 Car repair and DIY

10-19 Education > 11 Science > 11.05 Biology

Those are my ideas. I’m still working on my own categories. I’m interested to hear what others suggest for this case.

Hey sorry, busy weekend haven’t been able to spend much time here. There’s this and another education-related question that I’m hoping to get to tomorrow.

I like @bbfiles example. One other possibility:

10-19 Education > 10 University-Erciyes > 10.01 Freshman 1st Term

so now you have a number assigned to each term

10.02 Freshman 2nd term
10.03 Sophomore 1st term
10.04 Sophomore 2nd term

So if your university degree involved 8 terms or semesters, you would have 10.01 through 10.08

Photos and videos are tricky. I have not (as of yet) tried applying JD system to these. I have almost 100,000 photos/videos, over 250GB. Mostly I have been working on automating a file renaming scheme for the individual photo to include date and geo-location in the file names and metadata. I am also packing the metadata with keywords to be used in a smart folder system. I am using Hazel and exiftool for this.

The smart folders could, however, be potentially included in a JD system:

10-19 Photos by Date

  • 10 Family and Friends
    • 10.01 1870’s
    • 10.02 1880’s
      20-29 Photos by Location
  • 20 USA
  • 21 Mexico

I have now typed and erased and re-typed this structure. I am still not satisfied. I think I need a smart-folder-on-the-fly setup, which would mean I had re-created the Photos app. facepalm

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Hello dixonge,
Thank you for your recommendation.

I’ve made the folder structure.
And it works great.
Thank you very much.


This forum is the best. :love_letter:


Taking this example, I’m wondering whether this is a case where you should break the rules. I can’t imagine a downside to putting subfolders in 20.01 Junior 1st Term that are class 1, class 2 etc. and even within those subfolders putting folders final project, midterm notes etc. Do others agree/disagree? @johnnydecimal what do you think?

Agree, this seems like a healthy rule-breaker.

Here’s an example from last week at work which is kinda the same thing. The project is managing hardware installations. We have:

40-49 Data
   41 Quotes & purchase orders
      41.01 Project ABC
      41.02 Project XYZ

The problem is that each project has purchase orders from multiple vendors: Cisco, NetApp, Dell, whatever. We thought about this and decided a rule-breaker was totally OK:

40-49 Data
   41 Quotes & purchase orders
      41.01 Project ABC
            Cisco            // another folder - no numbers
              Quote-47.xlsx  // the files we're organising
      41.02 Project XYZ

Why? Well, think about the golden rule: the point of the system is to help you find things again. Have we violated that, or helped it? When we want to find “the Cisco quote for project ABC” will this allow us to do that? Yep. And so it’s a fine exception.

Think also about the alternative: folder 41.01 Project ABC would have been full of all sorts of random files – because the naming standards on these things are shocking – and would have been no fun to use. So are we more organised by adding that folder for the vendor? Yep.

But! be careful. It’s easy to get carried away and start creating unstructured folders-in-folders, and that’s when you’re breaking the rules.


I decided to make this rule-breaker a standard in my system. I didn’t want to get overwhelmed with PRO.AC.ID. The upside is that AC.ID gives me one more layer of categorization, which is a lot closer to the way I’ve always done things.

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