Organization – part 1

Having trouble finding anything on your computer?  Are you a “file dumper” into My Documents?  Consider that today’s hard drives have space to hold a room full of filing cabinet information.  Too many people don’t treat their hard drive like the filing system it is.  Many of those that do, start out with good intentions and then for some reason, over time, “just save it” with the intention of moving it later.  At best, this makes the file hard to find, at worst it results in different versions of the “same” files or even exact duplicate files (taking up usable space).

First thing to do when deciding on how your filing system should work is decide what level you (and others using the computer)  are at.  Realize that different types of software programs produce different types of computer files.  Can you look at an “open” directory and see the files you want to open and ignore the rest?  Example:  A novice is working in Word (word processor) and wishes to open a photo.  They will generally try File, Open – resulting in “gobilty gook”.  If this is your problem, I suggest start out segregating your types of files – in “My Documents” have a file for each type of program you use, i.e. Word, Works, Adobe Acrobat, Publisher, Draw, Family Tree Maker, Quark, Photoshop, etc.  From then on, never save a particular format file in a different programs area.  This cuts down on trying to open files the wrong way, but adds to your organization structure. 

One way to make all purpose files: click Start, from menu go to My Documents – this will open a window. From the left column you may choose “make a new folder”. If selection is not available, click in blank area to deselect any folders.  (If column is not there , click File, slide down to new, slide over and click Folder)  Name your folder next, and repeat as necessary.  When you are ready to build folders in any one of the folders you have made, double click it and begin.

More next month…

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