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4. Get Organized > Tree Structure: Let 1,000 Screens Bloom

Tree Structure: Let 1,000 Screens Bloom

From the Dewey Decimal System to the animal kingdom to your Aunt Rhoda’s filing system, big collections of information typically get organized into categories—and subcategories, sub-subcategories, sub-sub-subcategories, and so on. This is a tree structure, an information hierarchy whose category outline branches into an upside-down tree when you draw it like a flow chart (think corporate org charts or family trees). Tree structures are an efficient way to tuck away vast amounts of stuff and still put your hands on any one item quickly—the same dance step clerks have performed for centuries: go to file cabinet, choose drawer, open drawer of folders, pick folder, pluck out document. This file-and-folder fandango is the durable metaphor that makes desktop computing tick, letting you shuffle electronic documents among neatly nested folders.


  

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