This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

March 2, 2016

How, and why to use folders on your computer

As a computer trainer, the first thing I learn about my clients is if they're used to hunting around for stuff. I can see it the instant that they turn on their computer, if they have their files on the desktop. Then they start looking for stuff. Sometimes it takes them a long time, and I start to feel bad, as I charge by the hour for my training, and am anxious to keep it moving along. Sometimes I just look around and wait, sometimes I've seen it take people so long to find their files that I get up and walk around a bit, just for something to do. People will usually thank me for being so patient with them. And my main thought is "why doesn't this fry their nervous system"? I guess these people are used to it.

I'm a professional Graphic Designer and Illustrator, and I have many clients, and I charge for my time, so I can't spend it looking for stuff. Besides, my nervous system couldn't take that.

So, on my computer I use folders. Folders were invented as part of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) by Xerox in the 1970s, then the idea was "borrowed" by Apple Computers in the 1980s, and then it was called "Windows" in 1993. And it's really just a virtual reality filling cabinet system.

On the Macintosh computer, folders are part of the "finder". The term "finder" is appropriate, as it allows you to find stuff. Of course, you can just toss everything all over the place, in which case you are ignoring the function of a finder and instead just spending a lot of time looking for stuff. But really, I don't have the patience for that. I like to be able to find something right away. If you're interested in doing this, here is what I suggest:

Create a folder and call it anything you want. I have a main folder that I call Websites. And inside of that folder is a folder for all of my clients. If I get a new client, before I do anything else, I make a folder for them. Yes, you can put folders inside of folders. So, I could have a client folder, with various folders inside of that for different projects.

I just called this "file management". At the schools where I taught, I would often watch some people spend just about the entire lab session looking for stuff. What a shame. Looking for stuff is a waste of time, use folders and get to the fun stuff right away - like drawing cartoons!

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