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I have a folder called c:\temp\delete. The idea is that I can delete anything in that folder at any moment. Then I delete all the contents in it periodically without thought. Anything I actually need doesn't live in that folder.


You might want to try Hazel, which I use very often to automate a lot of repetitive stuff. You can use it to rename files, delete files that haven't been opened since a certain time, delete duplicates, and so on. It's up to your ingenuity in terms of what it can accomplish for you.


Make it a habit that at the end of the day you will spend at least 5 minutes transferring the files in your downloads folder to the appropriate folder in your drive. When you do this, you will maintain a clean downloads folder. You will also not forget the files you download (even if they have weird filenames).


I think from your question that you are a Windows user (i.e. mentioning .exe). For document organization, I recommend a nice tool: DEVONthink Pro Office, but believe it works on Mac devices only.


I use OSX, where you can sort files by "added on date". I use that to sort my downloads folder. From time to time I review all items in the folder (oldest items first) and then force myself to either move the file to another location or delete it. An important component in that system is that I rename every file as soon as I download it to make review ...


Why do they end up in the downloads folder in the first place? Many (most?) browsers have an option to ask you where to download the file to, instead of automatically putting them in the 'downloads' folder. That way you immediately decide where to put them when downloading and you no longer waste time cleaning up. For all those files that you only need ...


I would simply arrange them in subdirectories with a descriptive name: ..\Disposable files\ This would contain things you only need once and can safely delete later without checking. ..\Pictures\Pics from an event\ ..\Pictures\Recipe pictures\ Just store all pictures in their respective context, so it will be easy to find. Arrange them by date when looking ...

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