I am often asked if there’s an easy way to create a folder for every client. There is, assuming you have a list of your clients.

Here’s the process:

  • Create a batch file (keep reading for instructions).
  • Run the batch file.

Here’s the warning:

  • DO NOT run the batch file from your desktop (unless you want a thousand folders competing for space on your desktop).
  • After reading the instructions, experiment with a couple of clients before running a large batch.

Here are the details:

  • Arrange your client list in an Excel spreadsheet with Last Name and First Name columns.
  • Add another column and put md in every cell.

  • Using the image above as an example, add another column and insert a formula that captures column A + space + column B + underscore + column C. The underscore is not required but it separates the last name from the first name in the folder names. If you want them separated by a space you must put the names in quotes. Example: md “BROWN ADRIAN”.

  • Fill the formula down the column to the end of your list (highlight the cells all the way down, starting with the cell containing the formula, then press Ctrl + d). The column should look like this:

  • With the cells still highlighted, press Ctrl + c (for copy).
  • Open a text editor like Notepad (NOT Word).
  • Press Ctrl + v (for paste). The text file should look like this:

  • Save the file as a batch file by changing the file type from .txt to all files and adding .bat as the file extenstion:

  • The batch file should look like this:

  • Move the batch file to the folder where you want your client folders (repeat – DO NOT run this file from your desktop).
  • Double-click the batch file.
  • Delete the batch file when you are finished.

The folders don’t have to be named after clients. They can be called whatever you want.

Just make sure every row of the text file contains md, then a space, then the folder name (in quotes if there are any spaces in the names).

David Dagley, CFP®, is a software developer and Adobe javascript expert, with 15 years of financial planning experience. He is the owner and president of Forms Doctor Inc., a company specializing in workflow automation solutions and financial planning calculators for investment dealers, financial advisors, and investment firms.
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