If you search online for opinions on folders vs tags, you will get a fairly unbalanced view. Many people are of the viewpoint that tags are the way to go when it comes to storing and filing your digital content. But there are some who still fly the flag for folders.
Read on for the differences between folders and tags and discover why one comes out on top.
A folder is a space on your computer that is used to store digital content. Documents, images, videos, spreadsheets – any type of file can be separated and stored in a folder. Subfolders can be created by making another folder inside the original one to store more detailed information.
If all your files were in the same place, each of them would need a separate file name. But folders enable you to have more than one file with the same name. They can also store shortcuts to programs.
Folders can be found on your hard drive, and you can search through all of your computer's files and folders using a file manager, such as Windows Explorer for Microsoft users.
Tags are keywords that you use to search for files on your network. A file can have an unlimited number of tags attached to it, so when searching, you don’t have to remember a particular phrase or word. For example, if you were looking for a spreadsheet file, your tags could be ‘invoice,’ ‘finances,’ ‘wages,’ etc.
You can also make tags relating to the status of your files, helping you identify what emails, documents or files are ‘ready,’ ‘completed,’ ‘pending,’ ‘high-priority,’ etc.
When it comes to deciding which is best, there is an argument for a combined approach to categorising your content – by using folders to generally classify your files and then adding tags to find what you’re looking for quickly and easily.
However, it has to be noted that tags are the most straightforward way to add searchability to files without having to browse through folders.
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