This post is the fourth in a series designed to help newcomers to the world of Mac laptops and computer to navigate around their devices more easily.
How you organize your files is a personal decision, and everyone thinks their system is best! You must decide for yourself. Click on the link at the end of the post to download some explanations that should be helpful in your decision making process. Also included is some personal commentary which you can take or leave.
1. Choices of places to store your files—desktop or documents (or both).
When saving and organizing your files, think of your computer or laptop as a two drawer file cabinet. One drawer is your Desktop screen and the other one is your Documents folder.
The Desktop is the screen you see when you open your computer or laptop. Your Documents folder can be found by clicking on the Finder icon in your dock (Click here to learn about the Finder), or if you have the hard drive icon (see image to left) on your Desktop, you can click there to find Documents.
2. How do I choose Documents or Desktop?
This section is all personal commentary because there is not a hard and fast rule. Some folks like a pristine Desktop screen and save everything to Documents, often insisting this procedure is the correct one. On the other hand, I liken the Desktop and Documents to short and long term memory. When I am working on a project, I keep all the files related to that project on my Desktop screen—that’s my short term memory. Sometimes, it gets messy. But then you should see my real desk top—it’s always a bit cluttered. When I am done with the project, I move everything into Documents (long term memory).
You know, even long term users of Macs sometimes lose track of their files! Just to make things a bit more complicated, there is a third drawer to consider—iCloud. Apple provides storage in the Cloud which means the files are stored not on your computer but on a server (computer + software) owned by Apple. When files are stored in iCloud Drive they can be accessed by you from anywhere on the planet with any Apple device (and sometimes with a PC). You need your Apple ID and password.
This post just gives you the big picture of your choices of where you can store your files. Download our PDF that contains multiple illustrations and more detailed explanations. With this guide you will build the confidence to save your files in multiple places on your laptop or computer and in the Cloud. Click here: DesktopvsDocument
Tomorrow’s post: How do you create a folder?