First, let me apologize the person I'm stealing this from. I found it somewhere during an internet search. I have no idea where I found, otherwise I would give them credit.
I've been looking for a better way to organize "My Documents" (on my laptop). I had one "My Documents" folder, which is organized, like one filing cabinet. But inside that, way too much disorganization. Nothing made much sense.
Here's the new system, a five folder system.
Folder Zero: Inbox
This is the place for all new files. The key is, everything is cleared out of the inbox at the end of the day. The reason it is folder zero? It's not a real folder, not a place to store anything.
Folder One: Action
This folder is used for anything that needs something done to it: quick edit, rename, send to a friend, etc.
Folder Two: Incubate
I use this one for anything that requires more thought, or something that needs action, but I'm not going to work on it anytime soon. I have some presentations I am working on (although I don't work on them daily), some ideas for papers, projects, etc.
Folder Three: Current Projects
Self-explanatory folder. Right now, there are only 12 things in this folder. When I finish them, they'll move to Action, or folder 4.
Folder Four: Archive
Everything that doesn't fit in one of the other folders, goes here. Obviously, I still want to be able to find things in this folder. The organization of this folder is dynamic, changing often.
Now I actually have more than just five folders in "My Documents." I also have a folder named "Wendell School District." I keep all my work related documents there. I has the same folders and organization under it: Inbox, Action, Incubate, Current Projects, and Archive.
Is this the perfect system? Probably not, but it'll do for now.