Windows 7 solution to "My Documents" pollution

I have 26 folders in my My Documents folder. Do you know how many of those I intentionally created myself? Nope, lower. Okay, I'll tell you: zero. Applications dump their garbage in there like crazy, and it's annoying as hell, I thought this was where I put my documents! Windows is designed for users to save here, they've made it quite convenient. If only it wasn't so damn polluted!

I'll be honest, when I first saw Libraries in Windows 7 I thought, "Uh oh." Then after hearing Joel Spolsky talk about it on this Stack Overflow podcast I thought, "Oh no."

Well guess what? Libraries in Windows 7 might actually be quite the clever and elegant solution to User Space Pollution, and that, my friend, is a very good thing.

It's simple really, the Common Dialogs of Windows 7 (open/save file…) are designed for conveniently saving to libraries in general now, and no longer My Documents.

common dialog

So the solution is simple. Create a new folder in %UserProfile% (that's C:\Users\<Name>), and name it something like Own Documents. Now click on your Documents library, and then where it says "Includes: x locations". Add your new folder, and right click it and set it as the default save location. I strongly recommend removing My Documents from the list entirely.

Documents library as 'Own Documents'

Applications don't use the library interface, they will pollute My Documents specifically, and you no longer have to see it! Furthermore, the Documents library will now point to and hold your actual own documents. Eureka!