For many months, I used NERDTree to view my project directory within Vim.
During my introduction to Rails application development, it was valuable to see
the Rails tree structure in my left sidebar. Two weeks ago, I un-installed
NERDTree from my
.vimrc because I realized that I could improve my workflow
With NERDTree, the visual tree structure fixed to your left sidebar is valuable because it tells you how your project is organized. However, I realized that I was using NERDTree as a crutch to lean on whenever I needed to locate and open an existing file. By depending so much on this tool, I never questioned how I could optimize my Vim workflow in other ways.
Replacing NERDTree with Ctrl-P
I discovered that I could develop a more efficient workflow by
eliminating NERDTree completely and using Ctrl-P to navigate through my project
Ctrl-P, you search using a “fuzzy”
file finder. Therefore,
Ctrl-P forces you to be familiar with your project
structure. Additionally, the search finder shows you only information
relevant to your search keyword, so you save screen space by not seeing all of your files at
Now that I don’t use NERDTree, I have greater incentives to enforce strict
naming conventions throughout my applications. If I don’t use best practices to
name and organize my files, I will have trouble locating them using
be less efficient. Because my files are more properly organized, other team
members will also locate them more efficiently.
If you have our dotfiles installed on your machine, you should already have
Ctrl-P. If you are not already using
Ctrl-P, install the Vim
plugin to enhance your workflow. Review
our style guides to
see how we organize our projects.