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How can I organise a huge number of disorganised files in windows?
March 31, 2010 4:17 AM   Subscribe

How can I organise a huge number of disorganised files in windows?

We have a huge file system here at work, with over 1000 individual projects, and hundreds of admin, marketing and private files. We really want to be able to sort all these with some sort of external program which we can try different file configurations so we can make a new flow of file data.

Even a way to copy all the names of all the files within files into a spreadsheet, or something to help us would be fantastic!

Please help metafilter!
posted by Stuartsjaw to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You just want a file listing? Open a command prompt, go to the directory you're interested in and do this:
dir /A:-D /B /S > outputfilename
posted by beerbajay at 4:41 AM on March 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just to note, there's also an organization philosophy that says it doesn't particularly matter what directories you put your files into, and the important thing is being able to retrieve what you want through search. At the largest scale, you can consider the Internet to be a giant pile of stuff, and you find things that you want, not by going to some particular place, but by using a search engine.

You can put tags on your files facilitate your searches, and tags are more flexible than putting files into particular directories. For example, a video file may be a publicly accessible marketing asset pertaining to project XYZ. If you were trying to decide where to put this file, which directory would you use? With tags, you can attach whatever seems relevant to that file.
posted by chengjih at 5:06 AM on March 31, 2010


can you tag files in WinXP? i know you can do that in Win7 (at least I worked somewhere that had Vista and it had some sort of tag feature, so I'm guessing Win7 has a better executed version of that.)

I tried mendeley but found it too cumbersome and each person accessing the share drive would need to have it also.

the default search in WinXP is pretty lacking, IMO. i find it hard to find stuff that way, unless i already know the file name or something specific. otherwise i get a gajillion results.
posted by sio42 at 5:52 AM on March 31, 2010


I find that the philosophy that says 'it doesn't particularly matter what directories you put your files into' runs into problems with portability; esp. in corporate environments with folder access permissions.

Say your team is working on several projects which one day move into another manager's purvue. Say these projects have subprojects linked to them in other folders. If you don't have some sort of file system hierarchy, then you need to make one (or one gets imposed on you) so that the network people can ensure appropriate access for the new manager and his team.

Any time things get large (whether it's the institution, the project group size or the file system) the need for access control kicks in. Having some sort of hierarchy just makes it easier to deal with the 'access' part of your processes.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:26 AM on March 31, 2010


Try this software out:

Karen's Directory Printer

It allows you to export file names, folder names, paths, dates, directory, etc. It is also 100% Free. Import the csv file into excel, add the auto filter function. This will give you a good overview of the filing system.
posted by MechEng at 11:36 AM on March 31, 2010


please post back on what you end doing, both for trying to figure what everything is with something like Karen's Dir Printer and what you end up doing for the actual naming conventions/tagging/ etc.

this is something i've kinda given up on because most solutions that are easy are doc mgmt, which is costly for us non-profits :) (meaning the likliehood of us moving to from Win XP to Win 7 which has file tagging built in is about as likely as me hitting the lottery!)
posted by sio42 at 12:41 PM on April 2, 2010


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