I had a chat recently with someone who advised me that he never places files in folders on his desktop or organises them in any way. He leaves all of his emails, apart from spam, in his inbox and even photos are simply scattered onto his hard drive in a random order. It sounds crazy, but it could be seen as liberating as well.
Think about it, he never worries about where files are and he has no order to how his work is stored, and from this chaos comes an efficient and easy setup which removes countless steps when using a desktop computer. He uses Finder on his Mac to find any piece of data he requires- whether that be an email, a document or anything else he will find it in seconds. This is also true of Windows- use the search facility and the files and emails will pop up.
I asked him about photos and he admitted that the naming of each photo gave no clue to what they were about so he just leaves iPhoto to organise those for him and I guess that works. His hard drive is backed up continuously and that root folder must now contained many thousands of files, but he claims it all works and that he has trained himself to not proactively organise anything on his computer.
In many ways, this mirrors what we do on smartphones and tablets. Each app knows where the files are and we rarely notice where each individual file is located. It makes for a more efficient user scenario so why not do the same on a desktop? I get what he is saying and may try it myself one day, but my brain is so attuned to organisation that I can’t see it happening anytime soon. It feels like I am giving too much control to my computer when I want to keep some for myself. This is not in a ‘Terminator’ way or anything, but my personality causes me to like order and to know where everything is.
It is likely that this comes from living in the real world. You would not expect to just dump all of your papers in a room and find the one you need quickly, but in the real world you don’t have Finder or Windows Explorer to help you find things easily. So, would you be able to dump your file structure and put your complete trust in your computer’s search facility?