Nowadays, everything is electronic. File folders on our computers act like file folders we used to have in actual cabinets. But just like our filing cabinets of old used to get messy with paper documents, our computers can get cluttered with electronic documents. It’s time to clean up so we can find things easier.
Here are some tips to consider when filing documents:
Use/Label Folders. Think of organizing folders on your drive like you would organize folders in an old cabinet or file box. For example, create a folder for each year by simply naming it 2019 or 2018. Work within the current year’s folder, but files from previous years will be easy to find when needed.
Use Special Characters. Your computer will sort file names alphabetically, but if you want to beat that system and sort a file or a folder above the rest, consider using special characters (i.e. ! @ # $) or numbers to your advantage. By placing ! in front of your folder name, such as, !Holiday_Party, you’ve now bumped it up ahead of the folder titled, Employee_Policies. Use this filing strategy when you’ll want easy access to a file or folder that would otherwise be pushed down the list. Also note that your computer will categorize folders with special characters in the order the symbols appear on your keyboard, so 1)! 2)@ 3)# and so on.
Tag Files. Certain software programs like Microsoft Office will let you add information to your file, beyond what you name it. From the file menu, if you view properties you’ll see where you can add a title, tags (keywords), and comments. Adding these elements to your document will make it easier to find when using the advanced search feature.
A cluttered desktop can result in frustration and time wasted more than anything. Start the New Year fresh with some new strategies for naming your folders and filing your documents.