Searching for the other sock in a mound of haphazard clothes has always been one of the leading causes of everyday frustrations. Many express how hard it is to get the lid off a jar of pickles, but looking for that piece of sock beneath a pile of clothes, clutter, and other things makes opening a lid a walk in the park.
So, the moral of the story: don’t wear socks—just kidding.
Organize your stuff. Put belongings back where you got them. Nothing beats a clean, properly arranged, and clutter-free room, especially when you’re about to be late because you’re still missing the other pair of your socks. And you know where you can further apply this habit? Your files.
Managing your files can range from dumping everything on your desktop to creating a designated folder for a specific set of documents. Maintaining the habit of cataloging your files often eventually becomes neglected, particularly when you’re swamped with work.
So, to help you out, here are four tips for managing your electronic files so they, too, can spark joy.
When it comes to electronic file management systems, folder hierarchies are essential. They serve as the backbone of these systems, and second, leveraging them increases their effectiveness.
Furthermore, maximizing the utility of folder hierarchies helps productivity for work, school, and most computer-related tasks. This is because it’s easier to access files when you know where they are (remember the socks?).
For instance, you can create parent folders that correspond to the significant areas of your life, such as work, school, family, and personal. You can then generate child folders within each parent directory and up your overall file management game.
Child folders can cover anything, depending on how you categorize your files. You can store your PDF files together, image files in one folder, or even create a child folder intended for your deliverables. And speaking of deliverables, check out jSign for your submittals that require electronic signatures.
Creating folder hierarchies is already half the battle. The remaining half requires devising an effective naming system. Adopting a naming system in your folder hierarchy can help you sort your folders better, and it also helps in searching through a sea of files (again, the socks).
Moreover, having a naming system in place can guide you in segregating your files more effectively to help your productivity. For instance, you can add a to-be-submitted or “TBS” prefix to your files that you still haven’t finished.
This can give you a bird’s eye view of all the tasks you need to submit and give you a vantage point to monitor your production rate for the day.
As you continue the habit of managing and organizing your electronic files, they might end up overcrowding your system, which can do more harm than good. Aside from consuming storage space, navigating becomes tedious and overwhelming.
You can set regular intervals to declutter your system. It could be every month or every quarter, depending on the demand and influx of your work. It can also help you consider if your job requires backtracking documents, in which case you need to set a longer interval between each declutter schedule.
If it’s hard to let go of files, you can always opt to create backups for your files, given the nature of your work. Local backup can work, but selecting cloud backup is the wiser choice considering how fast and accessible the cloud is. In line with this, you can also subscribe to a cloud storage service with backup functionality to help you further manage your electronic files.
Staying on top of maintaining organized files can sometimes become overlooked, especially when you’re overwhelmed with work. There are also times when you’re too tired to stay diligent in following your naming system, let alone follow the entire management system you’ve put in place.
However, no matter how challenging it is, continue doing it. Over time, it’ll eventually become easy, but you need to get used to doing the nitty-gritty work at first. Properly managing your electronic files brings a lot to the table, and you don’t want to be missing out.
Managing your electronic files can help you boost your productivity and efficiency at work and school and even with life, in general. Organizing your room is akin to managing your electronic files, after all. So, what are you waiting for? Organize those files now!