Ask Lifehacker: How Can I Organise My Documents?

Dear Lifehacker, Help! My "My Documents" folder is very, very unorganised, with stray files everywhere. Are there any programs out there that can automate this, or make it easier for me, I'd rather not spend hours organising everything. Thinking about it, something that could edit my Send To context menu would make it much easier, e.g. I could right click a music file and click Send To>My Music. Cheers, Timtam

Dear Timtam,

There are several ways you can go about this. Many of the programs featured in our Hive Five of alternative file managers help you quickly shuffle files where you need them. We've also previously highlighted a useful hack from our colleague The How-To Geek which adds a 'Move to folder' option to the standard Windows right-click menu. You might also find it useful to sort files by type before you start the moving process, since that way all your MP3 files (for example) will be grouped together.

While having a right-click option is useful, if you're already in the habit of simply saving everything into My Documents, that may not be a behaviour that's going to change in a hurry. Consider setting up an automated system instead to move files according to specific criteria without you needing to intervene at all. For a similar up-front time investment, you won't have to worry about that problem again.

Finally, simply moving files into more relevant folders isn't necessarily the end of the process; you also want to make sure that the appropriate metadata is stored with the files. Check out our guides to cleaning up your music collection and getting your photos organised to make sure everything's properly ordered. Good luck!

Cheers Lifehacker


    Good God! That music metadata link is a thing of dreams! I just got this rediculously large torrent of 1930s music and the metadata is absolutely mulched. I've spent hours going through my library fixing things up one by one and the best I've found to streamline the process is foobar2000's quick interface.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now