total newbie - where to store folders

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I just got a new macbook pro. I have been installing things and getting data gathered from my windows machine to transfer over. On my windows machines I have always just created directories on the hard drive in the main root c: for my documents. For example I had folders named word docs, excel docs, pictures, movies, etc. I am the only one that ever uses my computer and I never really used the "my documents" folder or its sub folders.

Everything is copying to a USB drive and I am looking to put it on the mac and I am wondering what the best strategy might be. Should I put these folders under the "macintosh hd" root location or would it be better to put them in my users folder along with the desktop,documents, downloads,etc folders that are already there?
 
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I would say since nobody else uses your computer, you can put them wherever you want and wherever you will think to go to to find them. You can put them on your desktop or in the Users folder or even just in the Macintosh HD with all of the other main folders. Putting these folders you want to create in the Users folder would be my recommendation just because personal documents and other items are usually found in the Users\UserName\Folder directory. Like I said, if you're not worried about someone using your computer and needing to find certain files, you can create the folders wherever is more convenient for you.

- ImageX
 
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chas_m

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You CAN put them on your desktop, but you REALLY SHOULDN'T. Problems will eventually result.

The *proper* place to put folders you create would be in your Home folder, either in one of the categories already created (such as "Documents") or in categories of your own making.
 
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Putting these folders you want to create in the Users folder would be my recommendation just because personal documents and other items are usually found in the Users\UserName\Folder directory.

I agree, but I think you meant Users\UserName\Documents Folder.
 
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I did the same thing as you under Windows, but when I switched I decided to adopt the "Apple" way (using their preinstalled root folders like Documents). By adapting to the Mac way, I think I might get better mileage out of Mac OS applications. I just copied most of the folders that were in the C:\ root in Windows to the Documents folder on the iMac, except images to the Pictures folder, videos in the Movies folder.
 
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Chas, may I beg a question regarding file management. First off, as I have posted accordingly in another thread, owning this new MacBook Pro has made me ANAL about file management, and NOTHING stays on the desktop, once I am done working with it, it is trashed or put in a neat folder/sub-folder, *all* housed "at home". I like it, it's how OSX wants it, and I am doing it. But I do wonder *WHAT* are the "problems" that may arise should one not do so? Given that though it may not be "in a folder", the OS *does* know where to locate it, seriously, not at all snarky at all, what problems are caused? I ask because I a still learning OSX, and want all of my practices to be ones that are complimentary to the OS. It still boggles my mind that I am not doing several de-frags a day, virus control, registry edits etc., thus I want to KEEP THINGS SNAPPY! :)
 
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Really, your files can go anywhere you want them, except on the Desktop. But, you can put aliases on the Desktop with no problems. Too many files kept there would slow things down. But, you're not doing that, as you've said.
 

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You can put files on your Desktop - nothing is stopping you from doing so and there is no convention that says doing so is "wrong." It is perhaps not the best place but it's not inherently a problematic place to put them.
 
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MacInWin

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I have notice one downside to having many objects on the desktop, namely, when you reboot, it takes longer for the desktop to be rebuilt with icons if you have more of them there. Once they are there, I can't see any difference, but the difference at boot is noticeable.
 
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chas_m

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We've gone over "why you shouldn't keep files on the desktop" many times before (do a search) but I'll summarize the main reasons:

1. Makes it easy to accidentally trash files you didn't intend to trash (folders/files can actually be stacked ON TOP of one another on the desktop)

2. Because the desktop is "continually polled" for changes, storing large amounts of data there (even inside folders) can cause processors slowdown.

3. Looks unprofessional, disorganized, hides lovely desktop, inevitably becomes unmanageable and inefficient.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with storing a file or folder on the desktop temporarily; that's where my downloads go by default, in fact. What's important is to have the discipline to properly file those downloads away later.

Also, you have two practical alternatives to storing files/folders on the desktop (if you really want to); you can make aliases to them and put the aliases on the desktop (no problem with #2 above), or you could put frequently accessed folders on the Dock (right side, essentially the same trick as putting aliases on the desktop) and gain the same instant access to them.

The concept that is hard for some people to grasp is that you don't need one-click access to EVERY folder on the hard drive. A little organization and housekeeping (and I do mean "a little") will give you the peace of mind of knowing where things are and how to find them, which eliminates the "need" to keep everything on the desktop.
 

vansmith

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We've gone over "why you shouldn't keep files on the desktop" many times before (do a search) but I'll summarize the main reasons:
We've never had this conversation but I'd love to have it now.

1. Makes it easy to accidentally trash files you didn't intend to trash (folders/files can actually be stacked ON TOP of one another on the desktop)
If they want to store them there, that's obviously not a problem for them. ;)

2. Because the desktop is "continually polled" for changes, storing large amounts of data there (even inside folders) can cause processors slowdown.
That takes up a few cycles at most. Now, if your computer is ten years old, you might have an issue.

3. Looks unprofessional, disorganized, hides lovely desktop, inevitably becomes unmanageable and inefficient.
For you (and me) perhaps but if they want to put files on their desktop, that's obviously not an issue. Let's also remember that for many, a computer is not an aesthetic experience so the lack of professionalism that purportedly comes with having files on the Desktop doesn't bother some. In fact, I know quite a few people who live off of the Desktop.
 
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You CAN put them on your desktop, but you REALLY SHOULDN'T. Problems will eventually result.

The *proper* place to put folders you create would be in your Home folder, either in one of the categories already created (such as "Documents") or in categories of your own making.

But chas, the Desktop folder is inside the Home folder. :p
 
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I just keep everything in folders on my desktop. Everything is all nice and labeled and neat, and always easy access. I very rarely use the "documents" or "downloads" folder that are there by default.
 

robduckyworth


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2. Because the desktop is "continually polled" for changes, storing large amounts of data there (even inside folders) can cause processors slowdown.
You CAN put them on your desktop, but you REALLY SHOULDN'T. Problems will eventually result.

not really...

3. Looks unprofessional, disorganized, hides lovely desktop, inevitably becomes unmanageable and inefficient.

That would be your opinion and has no validity - everyone works and lives differently. You aren't interviewing his desktop for a job, who cares if it looks unprofessional.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with storing a file or folder on the desktop permanently; that's where my downloads go by default, in fact. What's important to me is to remember to properly file those downloads away later.

fixed that for you.

OP - put your files where you want them. Be as messy as sin if you like, or go absolutely OCD with it. it's your computer, do what you want with it. There is no right or wrong answer.

Personally i just stick everything in my download folder, and then sort it out every month. Lazy or artistic. you decide. ;)
 
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In the end, it's just like I said. Put them wherever you want and are comfortable with.
 
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chas_m

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All I'm going to say to the naysayers is for them to drag 50 or 60GB of content out onto the desktop (in folders or not) and watch what happens.

Then put it all back where it belongs and watch what happens again.

From there on it's up to you. If you want to ignore the voice of hard experience, please be my guest. Such ignorance is my bread and butter, so please ... enjoy yourself! See you soon!
 

vansmith

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From there on it's up to you. If you want to ignore the voice of hard experience, please be my guest. Such ignorance is my bread and butter, so please ... enjoy yourself! See you soon!
My own "hard" experience tells me otherwise so I suppose we've gotten nowhere. I would suggest that you're seeing is the redrawing of previews which has more to do with the number of icons. This can be simply disabled in the folder options for the Desktop.

I think it's wise not to suggest that we are all ignorant simply because your experience doesn't correspond with more than one of ours. Such a statement can be misconstrued as arrogance and I'm fairly confident that's not how any of us want to be understood.
 
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All I'm going to say to the naysayers is for them to drag 50 or 60GB of content out onto the desktop (in folders or not) and watch what happens.

Then put it all back where it belongs and watch what happens again.

From there on it's up to you. If you want to ignore the voice of hard experience, please be my guest. Such ignorance is my bread and butter, so please ... enjoy yourself! See you soon!

I keep almost everything on my Desktop except my applications, all in folders, but I decided to try it your way and store everything in the "proper" place as you described. Then I just went about my average computer use, browsing the web in firefox, skype, etc. I even did some tests with trying to find pictures, movies, music, etc. that I wanted and I found it harder and longer to navigate through them to get what I was looking for than before.

I, personally, will be keeping everything all snug in it's folder on the desktop. I've been doing it for years now, and I've never had any problems.
 

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