File Organization

Revised 2018.02.07


The purpose of file organization is to navigate files quickly, create backups reliably, and protect data securely. Fast navigation requires intuitive file/folder names, small folder depth, and the more frequently accessed files stored closer to the front. Reliable backups require chronological archive folders, files grouped by size, a regular backup schedule, and a multi-location backup strategy. Secure data requires password-protected computer access, encrypted backup files, and a safe work environment that shields logged-in activity and back-up procedures.

File Structure

Simple File Structure

Figure 1 - Simple File Structure

The most frequently accessed types of data include accounts, contacts, and schedules; these files are placed at the front for convenient access. The active folder contains documents that you are currently working on. The pending folder contains documents that you are temporarily delaying because they are low priority, waiting for external events, or uncertain based on a lack of information. The archive folders contain chronologically organized documents that are finished and not expected to be accessed frequently. The library folder contains documents with useful reference information.

The archive and library folders distinguish general files and secure files in order to keep large, unimportant data separate from compact, sensitive data. The general archive is large and slow to back up because it contains thousands of unimportant pictures and non-confidential documents as well as the general library inside; thus the general archive is scheduled for quarterly or annual backups. The secure archive, secure library, and frontal files are relatively small and fast to back up; the secure files are scheduled for daily or weekly encrypted backups. The separation of general and secure data is mainly to streamline the speed, convenience, and size constraints of the backup process.

Simple Folder Depth

Figure 2 - Simple Folder Depth