Office.About.com Munday: Harness the power of the mundane with one little Monday maintenance chore.
Saved files are docile enough in five’s or ten’s.
But once your productivity stacks up to about 50 files which need to be accessed on your computer or device. . .eeek.
It’s really a strategic necessity to name your files so you can find them as quickly as possible. Incidentally, it is also a great precursor to creating a backup system (last Munday’s topic).
This file name makeover is therefore just as exciting as new clothes, a paint job for your spare Maserati, house-flipping, planting new trees or shrubs, or whatever kind of makeovers you’re into:
1. Keep all your files in one place.
For years, I ‘hid’ files all around my computer because I felt it would diversify risk. In my mind, if one section of the computer went down, at least I would have files in some other place.
So goofy! That’s what the backup process is for.
Keep all your documents in My Documents, for Windows users, for example. Why? It makes it a cinch to search for any document. I’ll show you details next Munday.
2. Rename all your files according to a set pattern, usually the document’s main subject, and stick with it.
This is essential for searchability, and avoids you naming a cookie recipe “deliciousness.doc” on Tuesday and not being able to find it on Friday. Your pattern should describe the main topic as if to a stranger!
No need to include the file or program type (spreadsheet, slide show) or date in that file name. Your operating system was built to assign and then sort file extensions, date, and other parameters.
For example, oatmealcookies.docx is much more streamlined than cindyoatmealcookierecipedocument07022012.docx and quarterlyreport.pptx is better than companynamejuly2012quarterlyreportslideshow.pptx.
3. Learn to search for files rather than memorizing a saved folder or location.
Look for details in next Munday’s post.
You are half-way to a streamlined productivity file system. Not bad for a Monday!