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July 8, 2011

Boring Old File Management

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

It’s one of the most dreadful topics in all computerdom, but when you understand file management, you’ll find yourself getting a lot more done with your computers — and other electronics. You’ll also find that many things are a lot easier and less frustrating.

What is file management?

Well, it’s boring. That’s probably why no one bothers. It’s also part of “computer science,” and with computers and smartphones being marketed as “simple to use,” no one believes they need to spend time learning the basics.

I would say that file management is knowing how to do the following tasks:

  • Create a folder.
  • Copy a file from one folder to another.
  • Move a file from one folder to another.
  • Rename a file or folder.
  • Delete a file or folder.
  • Undelete a file for folder.

If you want to get all fancy, you can add backup, archiving, pruning, grafting, and other tasks, but the core duties for file management are shown above.

But it’s just all so boring! Silly, even.

Yes, the silly thing is that these tasks aren’t that difficult to understand or use. Even so, people ignore them, much to their own peril.

For example, people who don’t organize files are more apt to lose them. All. The. Time.

The reason that Windows and the Mac OS X come with powerful file-finding commands is that people don’t organize their files so they can’t find them them. Of course, the file-finding commands are handy to have, but they wouldn’t be touted as top features if people would understand basic file management.

One of the key things people with file organization skills can do is synchronize. For example, recently I got a new cell phone. It was no big deal to move my contacts, music, pictures, and videos from the old phone to the new one. That’s because the process is basically just file management: Copy and paste the files. Duh.

Now I don’t cover the file management synch procedure in my For Dummies books on cell phones. That’s because I’d spend most of my time explaining the topic of file management, which isn’t really relevant to the book. And I don’t bother putting file management information in other books because, after doing this for 20 years or so, I recognize that people won’t read it.

At their own peril!

I suppose I could make file management exciting, but seriously: With all the “easy to use” malarkey out there selling electronics, it’s kind of a futile battle.

That’s just sad.


  1. Back in the days of DOS, if you couldn’t manage your files you were S-C-R-E-W-E-D. There was no drive indexing or Spotlight search. If you didn’t know where things were it took forever to find stuff.

    Comment by gamerguy473 — July 8, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

  2. That’s one reason the shells were so popular. And the most popular shell of all was Windows.

    Comment by admin — July 8, 2011 @ 4:12 pm

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