If you create files on your hard
disk on a daily basis, consider using date-based folder names to help you keep
your data organized. While manually creating folders with the current date as
the name really isn’t much of a hassle, wouldn’t it be cool if you could
automate the procedure? Well you can by changing the short date format and adding
a special command to Windows XP’s context menu.

Here’s how to change the date format:

  1. Open the Control Panel and double-click Regional And Language Options. and access the Regional And Language dialog box.
  2. In the Regional And Language Options dialog box, click the Customize button on the Regional Options tab.
  3. In
    the Customize Regional Options dialog box, select the Date tab.
  4. In
    the Short Date panel, take note of the current Short Date Format setting in
    case you want to change it back.
  5. Select
    the Date Separator drop-down field and select a dash (-) because Windows
    doesn’t allow slashes in file and folder names.
  6. Click
    the Apply button.
  7. Click OK twice to close both the Customize Regional Options and Regional And Language Options dialog boxes.

You can
actually use any of the settings on the Short Date Format drop-down menu or a
custom format as long as you use a dash as the separator. Keep in mind that any
change you make to the Short Date Format setting will affect the way the date
is displayed throughout the entire operating system.

Here’s how to create the special command on the context

  1. Launch
    Windows Explorer and select Tools | Folder Options.
  2. In
    the Folder Options dialog box, select the File Types tab.
  3. In
    the Registered File Types list, select Folder, and click the Advanced
  4. In
    the Edit File Type dialog box, click the New button.
  5. In
    the New Action dialog box, type New Date-Based Folder in the Action text box
    and CMD.EXE /C MD “%1\%%DATE%%” in the Application Used To Perform
    Action text box.
  6. Click
    OK twice. Click Close to close the three dialog boxes.

Now, whenever you want to create a new date-based folder
name in Windows Explorer, simply right-click on the folder in which you want to
create the folder and select the New Date-Based Folder command from the context
menu. Keep in mind that on any given day you won’t be able to create two
identical date-based folder names within the same folder.

Note: This tip
applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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