University File Structure

İsmail Efe Top


I have a very structured file management system for my university life. I save almost everything and everything that I saved has a place. Let's start with the main folder.

Uni Folder

I have a folder called 'uni' in my icloud drive. This folder sync between my macbook and iphone. This allows me to access my PDFs and docs with ease from either of my devices. I have a shortcut to this folder on my ~(home) directory. Here is what this folder looks like on the first level.

├── citation
├── current-course -> /Users/ismailefetop/uni/first_year/02/
├── etc
├── first_year
└── prep

Semester folders

Every year houses 2 semester folders inside it. Because my classes changes every semester it is the easiest way to categorize my classes. For example:

├── 01
└── 02

Let's look at the first semester of my first year. This is the first level.

├── ceit100
├── eds200
├── fle134
├── fle137
├── fle147
├── hist2201
└── turk103

Every class has it's own folder. I will talk about them more in the next section.

This file is my semester's guidebook. It houses my class schedule, the classrooms, and shortcuts to class folders. It uses org mode, which is similar to markdown but more powerful.

I use org capture, which allow me to write quick todo items when writing stuff in Emacs. These todo bits go into this file.

Class Folders

These folders are the meat and bones of my setup. They hold everything about that particular class and they do it in style. For example let's look at my eds200 folder.

├── homeworks
├── notes
└── odtuclass

Every class folder has an org file with that classes name. It houses information such as the instructor's name, email address and their office hours. It also have quick access to folders.

homeworks folder

Every homework related thing goes into this folder and every homework has it's own folder.

notes folder

I divide homeworks by week. I write notes in org and these org files go into appropriate week folder.

odtuclass folder

My university uses it's own moodle. Our instructors communicate and give homework to us through there. It is also divided by week and the stuff our instructors upload goes into those folders.


It might seem overly complicated at first, but once you get used to it, it's very easy to operate. It's definitely better than looking for that one file you downloaded weeks ago. And you don't need to know any complicated computer stuff to use this system. Even though org files are plain text files. You can just change the org files with more common text files.


Creating this folder structure might be cumbersome, so I created this python script to ease the process.

import os

class_list = ['ba100',

year = 'first_year/'

semester = '02/'

system_path = '/Users/ismailefetop/uni/' + year + semester

# overwriting an exisiting folder might create problems, so the code doesn't do anything if the wanted semester folder exist.
if os.path.exists(system_path) == True:
    print('This directory already exists.')

os.makedirs(system_path, exist_ok=True)

with open(system_path + '', 'w') as fp:

with open(system_path + '', 'w') as fp:

for class_name in class_list:
    class_name_folder = system_path + class_name + '/'
    os.makedirs(class_name_folder, exist_ok=True)
    os.makedirs(class_name_folder + 'odtuclass/', exist_ok=True)
    os.makedirs(class_name_folder + 'odtuclass/misc/', exist_ok=True)
    os.makedirs(class_name_folder + 'notes/', exist_ok=True)
    os.makedirs(class_name_folder + 'homeworks/', exist_ok=True)

    with open(class_name_folder + f'{class_name}.org', 'w') as fp:
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