The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
A while ago I write an article and mentioned “search your hard drive for the file.” A newsletter reader wrote and and suggested, “Maybe sometime you could talk about how you organize so you find all of this.”
Good idea! In fact, I will suggest that how to organize and file documents and pictures is only the first part of “the problem.” The bigger question is: “Can you quickly find and retrieve files in the future?”
This article is the result of the reader’s suggestion. Indeed, the “problem” of organizing your files and photographs in a computer becomes even bigger as you store more and more information. However, one thought keeps popping to my mind as I ponder this “problem.”
First, a little background. Most of us who are in our forties or beyond learned about filing and organizing long before computers became available in the household. We learned a lot about organizing printed things in a logical manner so that we could easily find and retrieve filed information when needed. We often filled 3-ring notebooks and even filing cabinets with folders containing all sorts of things. When we later moved into the computer age and saw things organized in digital documents that are then saved in something called folders, our minds naturally reverted to what we already had learned about printed documents and paper file folders. I will suggest, however, that sometimes reverting to old habits can be a good thing, and at other times it might be a bad thing.
In the past, we have been taught to file everything in a logical sequence. Depending upon the documents in question, we might file alphabetically or sequentially. This works well for simple documents that are easily categorized as either alphabetical or sequential. However, that simplistic filing system tends to fall short when filing and retrieving more complex documents that serve multiple purposes.
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