How do you organize all of your files?

github logo ・1 min read

How do you organize your files in your computer? In what directories you put your files? How the directory tree looks? How the directories are structured? Do you use any additional software for example for photos and music?

My whole storage is messed up and I will soon have to organize about 1.5TB of my files and I though that it would be a nice idea to exchange some know-how about this. Also, if you're proud with your structure, you can run tree -d and share the result.

twitter logo DISCUSS (2)
markdown guide

This is my setup.


Home is where the heart is! You'll probably notice the lack of normal spaces. I don't have a desktop implemented, so no need for a Desktop folder. No Downloads folder either, ~/tmp is usually fine.


For documents. I've got things like my taxes, job applications, university applications, bills, life-related documents in here. It's kind of boring.


Pretty self-explanatory. Contains all the sound!


This is where my research papers go. These are a bit different than the documents in ~/Documents since they are more for working environments rather than personal, so I like to keep the separate.


Contains my slides for various presentations. Usually have a corresponding subdirectory in the ~/Research and ~/Papers directories for each one.


Where magic actually happens. This is where my new ideas are developed before a project can be turned into a paper. This is where I actually work most of the time.


This is basically just a symbolic link to /tmp. It's just a dumping ground for downloads and such. Just junk. It's also kind of like my garbage bin too. Instead of always using rm, sometimes I'll move it to /tmp. Since I don't reboot often (sometimes as often as every 32 days, usually longer), I do more work here than I really should.


This is where pictures go. Pretty self-explanatory. There are some pretty things.


This is where my side work goes. Some of these might be for school, but it's usually for side projects. Lately, it's just been a lot of experimentation and things that I want to keep around to reference later.


This is where I do a lot of the experimentation. Things here are rarely functioning, or at the very least, useful. It's a place where I go when I want to experiment or learn stuff, which usually involves breaking things or making messes.


Most of my research involves combing through software repositories (the field is literally called Mining Software Repositories). This is where I keep those. It probably could go in the ~/Research directory but I like it right at home more. These are the clean versions that are kept in sync with the respective origins before I've gone in and done anything to them.

This directory actually is about 15 Gb, and my entire home directory comes out to 37 Gb, so it takes up a lot of space.

I've got clang, cpython, git, go, linux, llvm, nginx, nodejs, ocaml, rails, ruby, and the swift repositories in here. It can be a fun place to hang out.


This is where I keep my configurations. There used to be an installer script that would essentially create a bunch of symbolic links to the correct places. I'm not sure if that still works. I've got configurations for git, cmus, i3, nvim, rofi, termite, tmux, zsh, and xorg in here. This room gets a lot of use.

Wrapping up the tour

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my home. Hopefully your remodel goes well. If you're working, you could probably throw in a ~/Work directory too, but these are all I have needed for my time in university.

My setup is super stripped down, git is used for many things, ssh is everywhere, cmus for music, and feh for pictures. feh can actually draw "desktop" backgrounds. I've got a script in my i3 configurations that will update my background image in a slideshow, but it's more impressive than that, it uses the time of day to select from images that are good for a given time of the day. It's great because my desktop background will never blind me in the night. emacs is pretty good too, but I don't have a good structure for emacs configurations. That space is just a total disaster. I would recommend not going in that room.


I wrote on how I organize my files here. Feel free to check it out.

Classic DEV Post from Aug 6 '19

What to put in your portfolio as a beginner web dev

omobo profile image