In Evernote I've been good about limiting my folders and relying on tags more and more. The search feature in Evernote is very powerful and finding what I need has not been a problem with this method. I did however start to notice redundancy and even unnecessary folders that I'm working to eliminate.
Once I started looking at my windows folder system I realized my job there was much larger. I had originally started with a folder for each surname then a folder within the surname for each type of record. One of my record types is Deaths. When I search for Deaths I get 229 folders called Deaths. I don't think I need 229 folders with the same label.
The more time I've spent looking at this, the more I'm inclined to flip-flop my thinking. Wouldn't it make more sense to have one folder labeled Deaths with all my surnames in that folder? Better yet, just a folder labeled Deaths with no sub-folders. Then each death record would be tagged with the surname and I could search for the surname tag. Do I even need a Deaths folder? I could tag all my documents: Death; Surname; Year; Location.
Some may also wonder why I have two systems, so to speak. Evernote is how I capture my information. If you are familiar with GTD you will know what I'm talking about. Based on the way I research, I capture first then process. While it may seem redundant to have a copy of something in Evernote and in my windows system, that is the one part of this that I know works well for me. And to clarify just because a document is captured in Evernote it doesn't necessarily make it to my windows system.
I'm afraid my minor OCD is not going to let me go completely folder-less but I do like that idea. This is going to be a fairly big job to switch my entire digital filing system. Also I am only talking about my digital filing system. Any thoughts on where I might run into problems with this line of thinking in going heavy on tags and very light on folders?