I prepared the screen shots a while ago and I've had minimal to no internet the last week. So I'm only now able to get around to getting this post together.
I am perhaps one of the most disorganized persons on the planet. One of the reasons that I'm undertaking this projects is to improve my organization. Being able to access information on my world is critical. If I need a reference or need to update a reference, knowing where that information is and being able to find it quickly is going to save me time.
As was discussed in previous posts, I'm both in need of a digital copy and a hard copy of my world information. The first set of instructions are how I am organizing my information for the digital copy. At the very end of the guide, I will show you how to then use this information into a program that I highly recommend to easily compile the information into a hard copy.
Before getting into the file tree that I use, on my computer I always use three folders, okay that's a lie. I TRY to use three folders and I usually just end up using two of the folders. The folders I use are docs, bak, and temp.
The docs folder is where I save everything with the exception of pictures and game saves. The bak folder is simple. Once a month or when I remember to do so, I transfer the bak folder to a CD and/or a USB jump drive. I then wipe the bak folder and copy/paste the entirety of the docs folder into the bak folder. The temp folder is where I drop download files that I either only need for a little while or before I transfer them to a permanent home.
To start off with, in my docs folder, I created an folder for worldbuilding. Because I have other worlds besides my epic fantasy, I created a folder just for this particular world. In my case, because I'm going to have information I share publicly and I'm going to have information that I'm going to keep secret, I have created three folders. The compiled folder is the combination of the two folders.
With my worldbuilding, I added folders for each of my different major categories. I have all major kingdoms in their own folder, a folder for the noble houses, a folder devoted to people and places of interest that require a more detailed entry, a category for the Fae, and finally, an entry devoted to the magic systems. This is not, at this time, a final list. I may change things as time progresses, but for now, this information is the information that I foresee needing.
Each folder will contain files for the different areas I create. For example, my entry on Salicard is saved in the folder settlements -> KoD as it is a part of the KoD kingdom. As I add new cities, I simply save them in the appropriate folder. This allows me to have a quick reference to the information on my computer instead of having a large document to scan through and find what I'm looking for.
Now, for a hard copy, my recommendation is Scrivner. I use this program for 90% of my writing. It is well worth the investment. I use maybe 20% of the features that Scrivner offers and it saves me a lot of time with my writing. For the worldbuilding compilation, I simply broke down folders in an identical way to that of my worldbuilding folders. To create a hard copy, all you need to do is update the corresponding file in Scrivner with the text in your physical file and then you can compile the information to a single document.
Setting this up took no time at all and now I have no excuse to begin organizing my information together quickly. In the future, I'll look into Scrivner more in depth and how you can use it to help you with your research and worldbuilding. For now, this will have to do.