File management/Directory structures

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The aim of this subpage is collecting possible directory structures for file management and archival. Feel free to add your ideas.

Archive drive[edit | edit source]

In this example, vacation photos and videos are stored in directories named by month, location, and device type. The device type could be useful to note as the user likely remembers from which device they captured a particular photo or video they might be looking for.

Numerical months are recommended over month names due to facilitated sorting and consistent character length.

  • Archive
    • Cameras[a]
      • 2018-07-Italy-GalaxyS7
      • 2019-04-London-GalaxyS9
      • 2019-04-London-FZ2000
      • 2019-08-Spain-GalaxyS9
      • 2019-08-Spain-LumixFZ2000
      • 2019-12-Christmas-GalaxyS9
      • 2019-12-Christmas-HCX1000
    • Screenshots
      • 2018-ComputerName
      • 2019-ComputerName
      • 2020-ComputerName

If necessary, arbitrary time spans can be noted as Camera-from20210523to20210706, Camera-20210523to20210706, or for alphanumerical sorting Camera-20210706-since0523.

Special cases[edit | edit source]

Note that some devices or programs that create new files may store them in multiple directories. For example, saved web pages' assets may be stored in a _files subfolder, and AVCHD video cameras store an index with metadata in a separated file path (PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/CLIPINF) than the video streams (PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/STREAM). The _files subdirectory should be kept together with the accompanying HTML document to be able to display styling, images, and multimedia. The files inside CLIPINF may be left on the memory card or backed up separately. Due to their small size, it is useful to pack them into a single-file archive.

Operating system[edit | edit source]

Folders in a user's home directory are typically already created by operating systems into generic categories like "Documents", "Pictures", "Videos", "Music", "Downloads".

Users can create categories under those, such as:

  • Documents
    • sandbox (arbitrary drafts and snippets that fit nowhere else)
    • email (email drafts to be sent)
    • script (programming code)
    • cfg (backup of software configuration, such as custom CSS code for a web browser extension)
    • sessions (exported browsing sessions moved from Download folder, if possibly necessary later)
    • cmddump (command line terminal output)
    • file lists
  • Downloads
    • unzip (extractions from archive files)
    • ProjectName (gathering files for an impending project)
    • Web (While "Downloads" is the default download location for web browsers, they can optionally be configured to store downloads into a custom folder.)
    • Saved pages (can optionally be separated from other web downloads. The file saving dialogue usually memorizes the last directory saved to and opens it against next time.)
  • Pictures
    • Screenshots (possibly already used by some operating systems)
  • Videos
    • Screencast (screen video recordings)

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Whether singular or plural does not matter much, though users typically have multiple sources for photos and videos. However, the singular form could be understood as a mass noun, i.e. "Camera archive".