I have 13,102 Word, Excel, PowerPoint, text, etc., files at the time I’m writing this.
Fortunately, I have a system for keeping them organized.
I know people who would have them all in their My Documents folder, or worse on their Desktop. Imagine scrolling through 10,000+ files in a file open dialog!
When I was a rep, I had a folder for each factory we represented. I also had a folder for customers. Inside that folder I had a half dozen folders labeled A-F,G-J,K-N,O-R,S-T,U-Z. In those folders were folders for each customer. Then inside each factory or customer folder I had a folder for each year.
Now I have a folder for each client. And a folder for the company, one for my personal files, one for each of the various associations I am a member of. Again each folder had folders for each year. Then within the year I may have folders for major projects.
A friend started me on creating a folder for each major meeting I was attending. In that folder I would put any agendas, background documents, etc., I receive before the meeting. After the meeting I put any notes, etc. It’s a handy tool for people who attend a lot of meetings.
The key to your filing system is to have enough folders to keep any folder from getting too many files (more than say 100). But you don’t want so many folders that you have to think about which folder a file should be saved in.