iCloud Organization Question

I use an organization system called “P.A.R.A.” from Tiago Forte, which I HIGHLY recommend. It is a universal system that applied to every organizational structure for knowledge management (evernote, icloud, dropbox, google drive, etc). Here’s the link if your interested: https://praxis.fortelabs.co/series/para/

The reason I’m writing is this: I want to have only six top layer folders in icloud inbox, projects, areas, resources, archives, and systems, but I don’t know what do I do with all the app folders that are there from legacy versions of icloud?

Do I need to organize everything note by note or can I batch move them to an “apps” folder or something like that without messing up the structure? What have you all done in terms of organizing your icloud drive and these many app folders?


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I haven’t tried moving them but I use tags “UsedByApps” and group by tag.

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Be very careful.

The iCloud Drive folder isn’t a real folder. Well, it is a real folder, but all of those sub-folders don’t appear in the regular folder, and … it’s not something to mess with, as far as moving the folders around.

My recommendation is to just ignore the folders that aren’t part of the system that you are using, but otherwise leave them alone.

Then again I’m fairly cautious.


I’d not move those folders.
I’d make a new “top level” folder and throw your system in that one.


As @memex has suggested it is probably best to make a folder in iCloud Drive and store all of your folders/files there. This is what I have done and so far I have not had a problem (touch wood).

I have created a folder called “Files” in the root of iCloud Drive.

In here I then keep the top level of my folder structure. To make access easier I have placed them in the favourites section in the files app sidebar (I have also done this on my Mac’s sidebar as well).

As @tjluoma has said the iCloud folder is a bit of a strange beast. It is really located several levels down in your user library folder. Many iOS apps create their own folder there which show up in the finder/files app. I have tried to delete some from time to time but they return after an app is opened or updated. Putting everything in my own top level folder keeps my file structure separate from the folders the apps keep adding. So far this has worked well for me and I do not spend time navigating around all of the app folders.


@memex @darranwest - this is a great suggestion. Thank you. I will try this route.

I read the link to this PARA system. It is pretty much just a copy of GTD. There is no acknowledgment or mention of GTD or David Allen, which is pretty slimy. The guy pretends he came up with this system all by himself.

That’s not actually true - I’m not sure if it comes up in that particular article but he gives Allen credit for all of it in his courses and even has endorsements from Allen himself. He sees himself as a disciple of Allen and reinterpreting him in important ways. Tiago helped me to operationalize a lot of GTD using specific apps and workflows that I use on the Mac, so for me both of these folks have been instrumental in helping me manage my workload.

Here are just a few places where these connections are made:

I agree with this approach. I use a different name because I don’t want to get confused with the Files app. The bonus is then you can apply Hazel rules your top level custom folder and any subfolder as well.

The bonus being that if you make a mistake with the Hazel rules, you can recover the files because it’s all in iCloud (or Dropbox, GDrive, etc.)


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I stand corrected. What task manager do you use with this system?

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I have been using Fantastical (for calendar), Things (tasks and action items), and Evernote (for reference). That system works very well for me. However, I have begun (in the last couple days) playing with Notion as a projects app. So far I’m really liking how I can use it as a top-level dashboard for pulling these various threads together. We’ll see if I stick to that but with upwards of 35 projects going at any given time - I teach and am an administrator at a college - I need something that can do heavy lifting.