One click-way to make your folder icons tell what’s inside
Majority of those whose
work involves the computer can tell that many folders in one directory can be a
problem, especially when it comes to searching for a particular folder in a
hurry. Why? The answer is simple – you cannot tell the folders apart because
they all look same yellow. In many cases, having customized folders (color-coded
or folders with some image on) makes it much easier to find the needed one and tell
what’s in the folder.
If you have
Microsoft Windows, you already have a way to change a folder icon with
the one from the default set that comes with Windows but there are two "buts"
here. The first is that as it is with any default set of something, there is
not much choice. The second "but" is the time you are going to spend to change a folder icon. Basically it’ll take you 8 steps to change one folder icon.
To change an icon of a folder, you need to do the following:
You start here
> right click the folder > select Properties > click Customize tab >
click Change Icon… > select an icon from the list of default ones > click
OK > click Apply > OK again…
Whew! At last we got it: changed the folder icon.
As a technical
writer, I create lots of documents and lots more folders. Over the years my
computer has accumulated thousands of them and for a long time I wished I could
customize folders to tell them apart. So, I used the default set of folder
icons to customize specific folders and that "change-folder-icon-in-eight-steps"
method I described above.
However not long
ago I found a better solution. It’s named Folder Marker and it tackles the too-many-folders
problem in a more elegant manner than Windows tools.
A better solution
As the name
implies, Folder Marker uses a marker metaphor to make some folders easier to
find. After installing it, you work as you normally do. When you want to customize
some folder to make it more prominent than the others, you simply right click
on it, select Folder Marker and select an icon that may be a folder icon of
some specific color (red, blue, green, etc) or a folder icon with some image on
it that symbolizes its purpose. On selecting, the icon is applied to a folder instantly.
Instead of 8 operations to customize a folder, you make 2 – that’s a big
difference because you can apply the icon of a folder almost without
interrupting your computation.
I find Folder
Marker very useful in many ways. Mostly it helps me to prioritize project
folders. Depending on the working status and project completeness, I can customize
folders as ‘Half-Done Work’, ‘Done Work’, ‘Approved’ and ‘Pending’. Besides, I
often use ‘Normal Priority’ icon to mark folders that do not require my
immediate attention, ‘High Priority’ icon to customize folders that need to be
done soon because the deadline is coming. For projects that can wait for a
longer time, I use ‘Low Priority’ icon.
labeled folders help me get organized and deliver projects on time.
In addition to applying
Priority icons to folders, I often use color-coded folder icons. They
also help me customize folders to make them easier to find and see what’s
inside. The logic behind the colors can be anything you want. For example, I
share my computer with a colleague and in the past, we often deleted each
other’s documents by mistake. Now I mark my folders red, she marks her own folders
green and we can conveniently share one computer because we know that this folder
belongs to me and that one belongs to my colleague.
can help you organize work on a computer you share with somebody else.
provides me with a great choice of folder icons to choose from. The default set
can be expanded and I can add my own icons I found on the Web.
There is another
lovely feature in the program that I often use. Sometimes I have to move
documents onto my laptop when I am going away. I save customized folders to my
USB drive and the wonderful thing is that they do not change their look. That’s
because Folder Marker can make customized folder icons portable. So when
I start my laptop, I see the same folders with the same icons as if it were my
Folder Marker is a
little cute application that’s worth its virtual weight in the agony and
frustration when you are looking for a particular folder and cannot find it
because you see literally a jungle of yellow folders. I found myself changing
folder icons for more meaningful and prominent ones just because Folder
Marker made it such fun.
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