How to organize files based on date used

Nemo is a great free utility for Windows and Linux that can help you keep track of files (even Google Docs files) based on when you last used them, which can save time and frustration for anyone with more than a handful of files.

Most of us have our own unique methods for managing our files. Some of us love careful, hierarchical folder structures, while others prefer to stick with memory and search functions to keep track of documents. All too often, though, we need to find a file based on little more than a memory of accessing it last just before school started or just after the kickoff of some big project. Nemo is a file utility that uses a calendar structure to help you keep track of your documents more easily. Here's how to get started:

  1. Install and run Nemo (for Linux or Windows XP and above).
  2. Nemo begins indexing your files as soon as it's running, but you may want to tell it where to look if your documents are spread out across your hard drive (or in the cloud). Click the plus symbol next to "Folders" on the left side of the screen, then add or exclude any folders you like.
    Step 2: Add (or remove) folders.
    Step 2: Add (or remove) folders.
  3. You can add your Google documents and calendar items to Nemo easily--just select the "Google" tab and enter your username and password. (If your calendar is as overloaded as mine, you may want to deselect it from the list at the top left.)
    Step 3: Integrate with Google Docs and Calendar.
    Step 3: Integrate with Google Docs and Calendar.
  4. When you need to find a file, just scan through the calendar until you hit on the range of dates that seem likeliest to be when you used the file last. You can select particular file types to narrow down your search, and you might find that you prefer Nemo to your old file management system, at least for certain tasks.
    Step 4: Search for files.
    Step 4: Search for files.

That's how it works. Some users love Nemo's intuitive file management, while some can't get past its eccentric Friday-Saturday weekend setup. For those of us who need to find particular files quickly with little to go on but a range of dates, it's a lifesaver.

About the author

    Rob Lightner is a tech and gaming writer based in Seattle. He has reviewed games, gadgets, and technical manuals, written copy for space travel gear, and composed horoscopes for cats.


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