frustrated you get, and the more likely you are to just leave everything in one big pile on your desktop. Some sample folder
names include FAMILY, TRAVEL, BUSINESS, KIDS, SCHOOL,
HOME, MONEY, and LEGAL.
To see how the 5 Folder Fix works in the real world, we
are going to explore it using iCloud Drive, email, and photos.
Once you understand how the system works, you can use it
in a myriad of other places and programs as well.
On your Mac, the Finder is your computer’s default file
manager and is a place that requires good organization. I
recommend putting your five folders in your Desktop or Documents folder; that way you can access your folders on your
iPhone and iPad using a fairly new iCloud Drive syncing
feature. To make this possible, all you have to do is click the
Apple menu on your Mac, select System Preferences, and
navigate to your iCloud settings. From there, toggle on iCloud
Drive and click Options next to it and select Desktop & Documents Folders. Now you’ll be able to access everything in
those folders via the Files app on your iPhone or iPad logged
in with the same Apple ID. If you aren’t familiar with the Files
app, it is made by Apple and preinstalled on all iOS devices.
The first step is to eliminate the junk that you don’t need
and decide which five folders you want. Don’t overthink it, you
can always refine it later. If you have a lot of different work
files and folders just create a WORK folder or a FAMILY folder
for all the kids’ files. Other examples include a MEDICAL or
You can create a folder one of three ways:
1. From Finder, click the File menu at the top of your
screen and choose “New Folder.”
2. Right click your mouse (or control click your trackpad)
on the desktop and choose new folder.
3. Use the keyboard shortcut “Command + N.”
Once you’ve created your folders you can start to drop
things into them. Anything loose should find its way into a
folder. Once you have moved everything into a folder, open it
and create sub-folders as necessary so you don’t have a big
clutter of files inside the main folder.
Getting organized takes time—staying organized is easy.
Now when you go looking for something from your iPhone or
iPad, you will be amazed and delighted by how easy it is to
Email is a funny thing. We receive so many emails, so rapidly, that most people give up on trying to keep up completely.
Many of the clients I work with have 100,000 emails and
30,000 or more unread ones. Most people are not even aware
of how many emails they have. And yet people think that they
can still find every email easily, but it’s just not true, especially
when you try searching on a mobile device. That’s where the
5 Folders Fix comes into play.
Just like in the Finder, start on your Mac (using Apple Mail)
and pick five basic folders (known as mailboxes in Mail) that
you can use to easily sort and categorize your mail. Less is
definitely more here, as you want to be able to easily scroll
through your mail and find the right mailbox.
To create a new mailbox, click Mailbox and then New Mailbox in the top menu or right click in the sidebar and select
New Mailbox. Make sure to create the mailboxes in one of
your mail accounts rather than in “On My Mac,” so that they
can synchronize with your other devices.
Give your folder a title, and then go through your mail and
drag emails in, either one at a time or in chunks. You can select a bunch at a time by clicking on the first email, holding
down the shift key and clicking on the last email, then dragging them all in together. Create subfolders as needed to help
you stay organized, but strive for as few master mailboxes as
possible to keep it easy to find what you are looking for.
It can take some time to get your email organized, but once
your inbox is cleaner it will instantly become easier to keep