What Type of Digital Organizer Are You?

Semifinal01_try03-Draft_new.doc – Would you file this document in a folder titled Random or Miscellaneous, or are you someone whose document management has a hierarchical structure?

In an IDC study, office workers said that they were spending up to 4.5 hours per week searching for documents. That’s 4.5 hours that could be spent on more important tasks. We have done a little research and have identified four types of digital organizers you may know or can identify with:

digital organizer

Figure 1: Four types of digital organizers.


1. The Data Hamster or “Master of Chaos.” The data hamster loves order but hates to maintain it. The desk is overcrowded, just like the computer desktop. A folder structure doesn’t exist, with just two or three main folders being enough as more folders would just create more work. The data hamster somehow keeps track of the chaos and can magically always find the right file. This type of organizational behavior has been scientifically confirmed. Steve Whittaker distinguished the Filers and the Pilers. The Pilers accumulate lots of documents but are able to find them faster than structured Filers.

2. The Digital Mess Maker or “The One Who Tidies Less Has More of a Life.” The digital mess makers’ daily routine is determined more by luck than by organizational talent. At appointments, they appear reasonably punctually, even if they didn’t make a note, or may have forgotten the date somewhere in a dusty notebook. Their computer desktop and e-mail inbox look just like their desk in the office, completely scattered. File names range from Experiment0375 to Experiment34_final_new in a folder aptly named, Stuff. They spend a great deal of time hunting for documents. To their colleagues, the digital mess maker is a phenomenon, because they are competent and organized when dealing with customers.

3. The Minimalist or “Less is More.” The digital minimalist limits the document volume to only the most necessary. They have a talent for filtering the unimportant and letting unneeded documents go straight to the trash. This results in a small, ordered collection in which everything can be easily found. Often, there is only one folder on the desktop. During the selection process, however, it can happen that one or two important e-mail end up in the trash.

4. The Digital Pedant or “Hierarchy Lover.” With this type of order, there is never an incorrectly named file. The file structure is reminiscent of a complex organizational chart, with numerous hierarchies. Whether by alphabet, date, or topic, everything is sorted. A single, unnamed document throws the digital pedant off-course, so all documents are properly archived immediately. The digital pendant finds the way through the folder structure just like they would in their own home, but to outsiders, it looks like a cryptographic labyrinth. Most are born with this level of organizational talent or have trained hard to obtain it.

Whichever type you consider yourself, everyone can use assistance in digital organization. Parallels Toolbox for Mac and Windows can help hide the disorder on your desktop, clean your drive, or free up disk space. Duplicated documents can be easily found and deleted. With Parallels Toolbox, even the biggest digital mess maker can be organized!

Feel free to download a trial version of Parallels Toolbox for Mac or Windows and check out if you can achieve your new year’s resolutions by becoming more organized.