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There is a shared directory that is used by many different people for different purposes. Some of the files are text, xml, pdf, etc. The users are in different geographic locations as well. How should I go about organizing this directory? There are so many files it is difficult to find the one you need. These files are written by different processes, or sometimes pasted directly by the users. It is difficult training the users to do anything differently and adding subdirectories may not work as some files would fall into multiple groups. I wouldn't want the users copying the file twice, and they don't fully understand creating shortcuts to allow it to be in multiple directories.

What are my options for organizing this mess?

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What do you mean by "a shared directory" - a network share? What operating system are you using? do you have administrator access to the server? – John T Oct 6 '09 at 20:26
Yes, it's a network share on a Windows system. I do have admin access to the system. – George Oct 6 '09 at 20:42
So... you want to organize a directory, without adding any type of organizational structure (like subdirectories)?? And you have untrainable users. The only alternative I'm aware of is to create an index and make it searchable. – DaveParillo Oct 6 '09 at 21:01

This might be a need for search rather than organise. Assuming Vista or W7, the built in search (as in start, type a few letters) is pretty easy to use.

I'm a fan of Everything, and it's customisable to only search designated folders and network locations. It may also be customisable (although I can't find how) to only report certain file types.

Edit: Just noticed Dave Parillo's comment which says the same thing.

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