How are your family’s computer files?
- Well organised and easy to find.
- OR, littered all over the desktop!
Computers CAN Save You Time and Energy
An outrageous claim I know – by the time you have got your computer working and all the software installed, updated all the programs, and the virus checker, and the operating system, you might find some spare time to actually do some productive things on your computer – provided you are organised.
One of the main advantages of having a computer is the ability to reuse bits of documents you have already written to help you write new ones. Standard shopping lists, emails to friends, your letterhead, your banking information, your address list, labels for school books, labels for Christmas Cards, address labels for bills, labels with you personal details to save time filling out forms, birthday lists, essays, love letters . . . plenty of things if you put your mind to it.
Try This Exercise
Think about all the things you don’t like having to write and think about a way you can get the computer to make it easier for you in the long term – a bit of preparation now could save you hours over the next few years. If you can’t think of anything, having prepared labels of your own address details can save you having to write your name and address on forms or the back of envelopes is a good place to start.
File It on Your Computer So You Can Find It – Quickly
Why go to all the trouble of making labels for Christmas cards if you can’t find them again next year?
The same rule for filing paper applies to computers – file it so you can find it.
Fortunately, the programmers who set up the operating systems of computers designed the computer’s filing system to mimic standard physical filing systems such as suspension file systems.
Become a folder expert.
Before you start saving files get someone to show you how to make and name folders for personal data. Then get them to show you how to put folders within folders, and folders within those folders. Learn how to change the names of folders.
How To File Your Computer
Make a separate folder for everyone that uses the computer – Name the folder with the person’s name. Then make some folders for things that are for the whole family like photos.
Go inside each folder and make some more folders with the main areas of each person’s life. A school child should have a folder for each subject at school, a folder for sports, other interests and so on. An adult may have folders for personal correspondence, lists, finance and bills, banking, taxation, hobbies and so on.
Sit down with the computer users one at a time and drag their files into appropriate folders, making new ones whenever necessary so there are no personal files anywhere on the computer that aren’t is personal folders.
Insist that everyone keeps their files in appropriate folders from now on. You can police this by setting up a new folder called ‘Lost and Found’ and moving every file you find that is not in the right place into that folder. People will soon get sick of having to look in the Lost and Found folder for their files and so will be more careful with their filing in the future.
Now you know how to do it – get started.
Other Ways to Improve Your Filing
Find out about clever ways to name files so you can find them more easily, as well as backing up your files here.
Learn how to save time and lower your stress levels with filing here.
High Performance Learning
I welcome your comments. You can add them below.
Marvin Cronberg says
But I would like to know how to have my files safe if my hard drive gives up or some other similar catastrophe?
Great question Marvin.
Simple answer – you need to back up your files on a regular basis. With so many computer viruses around nowadays, you could lose all of your files at any time.
You can backup to an external disk drive, or back up to the cloud (on the internet).
However you backup, having your files well named will make them easier to find.