Let's start with folders.
Managing folders - Best tips that you can use to manage your folders:
First of all, be sure that the folder that you are going to manage contains only sub-folders and not any files. With the grouping facility (although you do not get enough facilities as in case of files) you can:
Show the folders in thumbnail view, be sure that the number of folders is small since it gets too large in thumbnail view and takes much space. (And you feel reluctant to scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the desired folder unless you have a scroll-ball in your mouse!). If any picture is stored in any of those folders you can see them as the folder template on the folder. If you have four pictures the folder will show as much as four pictures in Thumbnails view. I do not prefer this. I think showing only one picture template will make understand enough about he contents of the folder. Also it gives a cool look than that of four pictures!
Show the folders in icons view. This option is best in case you have almost 100s of folders. It allows you to see many of the folders at a time. But you will not get as much information as in case of the Tiles view. Here the Details pane comes into play! Use the Details pane, from where you can get info about folder type and the date created and more the particular folder. Also, when you pause your mouse on the folder you can see its size as well as some of the files stored in that folder.
Show the folders in Tiles view. This is the best, best and best option available if your folder contains not more than around 50 to 60 sub-folders. (Tiles view works quite fine with 80 sub-folders in my pc). It gives you great result both for a cool look as well as providing info about the folders. Perhaps the coolest file-management feature available only in Windows xp. If you are interested in the Tiles view, you are of my opinion.
The Details View, if you want details about a particular folder, you can switch to the Details view. The Details view is very helpful. It allows you to see details about the folders as well as takes minimum space to show the folders.
Make the habit of modifying the Choose Details. This one is very helpful in both cases of folders as well as of the files. The Choose Details allows you to modify how you want to arrange the icons. (The items you choose in Choose Details will be visible if your folders are in the Details view!).
Managing Files- Managing files with Windows xp has just got the best way. You have much more and more facilities when it comes to managing files with windows xp. The best way for managing them is by grouping. The kind of grouping depends on the type of files you have stored in your folder.
Does your folder contain files of more than one type? Here, it depends on the kinds of file types stored on one parent folder. You may have stored (for example) excel as well as word files. Here you should use the grouping system and arrange the icons by the file Type. The view of the files depends on the number of the files stored. Small number means you can use the Tiles view. Do not use the Thumbnails view in case of files other than images. This gives a bad look to the icons. The 24bit icons work with them but the 16 bit icons look to be exaggerated. The Tiles view is the best in this case, as I think. If you have files of the same types in the folder, you might be thinking to manage them such that they could show you the summary of the files. OK, you can do that. All you have to do is to specify its category and the comments in the Properties dialog box. You don't have to edit single file at a time. You select all the files you want to modify and then arrange the icons by their properties that you have just edited and then poof!
Make separate folder for each file type- If you are to handle a lot of file types in a single folder, I will advice you to make separate child folders in the same parent folder. You may give specific names of the file types to the folder that contains the files and may apply icons which may tell you what kind of files are stored in the folder. This is a good way I manage my files in single parent folder.
What about the pictures folder? If your folder contains pictures, I think the best is the Filmstrip view. The Filmstrip view option is only available only when you have customized the folder to be a picture or a photo album template. If you doníŽt need to work with the names of the pictures, you can omit them. This makes the folder look more 'colorful'. To remove the file names switch back to the Tiles View. Now, press the Shift key while clicking on the Filmstrip View option. You don't need to customize the My Pictures folder in My Documents, it's already customized.
What about the music folder? Usually, the My Music folder in My Documents is the default folder for storing your music files. This folder is already customized to be the default music template that allows you extra details particularly about the music that is you can group or sort them accordingly to their artists, album title, the year of release, track number and much more... This is also same as in the case of the video folder that is by default customized to be the video template.