Shell pro-tip: create weekly working directories

Is your home directory filled with temporary files, directories and other kinds of experiments? Mine was until I learned this tip from Christian Neukirchen’s blog almost ten years ago: every week I create a new directory to use.

The path is ~/mess/YEAR-WEEK, so this weeks path is ~/mess/2015-33. I have a small shell function called mess that cds to the current weekly directory, creating it if it does not exist. It also points the symlink ~/mess/current to the current weekly directory. I’ve also added mess to zsh’s directory hash table, so ~mess points to ~/mess/current.

Here’s the code:

hash -d mess=~/mess/current

function mess() {
    local MESSDIR=~/mess/`date +%G-%V`

    if [ ! -e $MESSDIR ]; then
        mkdir -p $MESSDIR
        ln -snf $MESSDIR ~/mess/current
    fi

    cd $MESSDIR
}

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