Here is my highly effective file organization methodology:
- I keep multimedia (audio, video, porn) files scattered around 37 or so different folders, each with several subfolders. The majority of these folders have 'temp' or 'download' in their names, except for porn files and folders which consist solely of simple combinations of letters and numbers, such as zzz/tt2.mpg, abc/xyz10.mpg, etc.
- Programming projects (some for work, some for hobby, none of which are finished or ever will be) get split up among folders whose names convey increasing seriousness. For example, first there was simply 'Projects', then along came 'New Projects', which begat 'Really New Projects' and eventually 'Even More New Projects'.
- Helper files (planning, documentation, spreadsheets, etc.) for each such project have strange filenames relating to whatever thoughts were racing through my mind at the time they were named.
- Then, all you have to do is remember where and what everything is.
And that's pretty much all there is to it. This system hasn't failed me yet. Plus, it will stimulate the economy in approximately 0 to 60 years, because the investigator who has the pleasure of snooping through my computers after I croak will have job security for years.