Procrastination is linked to disorganization. Most procrastinators tend to do and finish the easier tasks regardless of their immediate importance, and the more difficult and urgent tasks are put off. Pushing the harder ones aside can eventually result in them piling up. And once piled up, it can get messy and hard to organize. This situation can also be applied to how you manage your online documents.
Most people have been in the position of not being able to locate a file immediately. Needing to scramble around and open every folder only to find a file is equally annoying and time-consuming.
Wherever you store your files, it is important to keep them up-to-date and organized. Neatly arranged digital documents can make a lot of things easier. Proper organization of the electronic file is also essential, especially in a shared environment. Looking for the right file, even the one created years before, can be done within a short period when properly managed.
These are efficient ways to manage and to keep your online documents organized:
- Categorize And File As You Go.
Your files can be sectioned into their respective types of formats; like files in the Portable Document Format (PDF) can be put with other PDF files, or DOCs can be in the same folder as other DOCs for DOCXs.
There are cases where some PDF documents occupy too much space, and you may be unable to group them with other PDFs. In this situation, you can use free third-party sites to lessen address the mishap. You can split your file, compress, convert it into word, or convert your PDF to JPG high quality; it will take up less storage space.
The best time for you to file a document and put it in a proper folder is when you first create it. Make it a habit to use the “Save As” option and directly file your document. Do it as soon as you are done with your paperwork and name it accordingly.
- Have One Place For All Files.
Use a single “root” folder to put all your files in. Windows devices have the My Documents folder as their default location; this can serve as an area where you can place all of your files. You always have the option to make a new one on your own.
- Create Folders.
The folder you create to act as your filing cabinet. You can make as many as necessary but be mindful of how you label it.
- Nest Folders Within Folders.
Make other folders within your main folders. For instance, your “Contracts” folder can contain folders for each month or year. Or your “First Semester” folder might have folders named after each of your subject courses. With this, every file of yours will be in a corresponding folder rather than having a cluster of orphan documents listed. It makes managing your files simpler.
- Be Specific In Labeling Your Documents.
Use plain language in labeling your files. Make sure the labels you put are convenient to understand and remember. You can use abbreviations but be certain that these are easily identifiable. Common abbreviations such as those of the months and days of the week are recommended. There are operating systems that do not allow space in folder or file names. Make use of other characters like underscores as a delimiter. Characters of a kind like a question mark, colons, and quotation marks are prohibited as well. Avoid the use of these.
- Put The Files In An Order Convenient To You.
Files or folders that you frequently use can be named with an exclamation point (!) or AA in their beginnings. In this way, it would be at the top. Now, locating it will be quicker and more convenient.
As much as it is important to store document records, it is also essential to get rid of the ones you no longer need. Old invoices, bills from months ago, financial statements, and owner manuals are some of the ones you can remove. Keeping unnecessary files will only add clutter. Note that they also take up space in your memory storage.
There are, however, instances that we cannot avoid. If you have documents that you think can be used again, create a folder solely for them; label it as “old” or “inactive” files. Do not delete personal and business-related documents unless you deem it necessary.
- Regularly Backup Your Documents.
It is critical to have backups of your files because it prevents the loss of files. The principal reason for it is to save documents if a hard drive failure or system crash occurs. It is best done via the cloud. But there are other options such as Google Drive, Dropbox, EaseUS Todo, and other free backup software.
Importance of organizing
Being organized can and will lead to productivity. Keeping your documents neat and organized can save you a lot of time. More time on your hands means less stress. When you have extra time, you can use them for more things and do other activities. You will not have to worry about not meeting deadlines and due dates on time.
Organizational skills were never directly taught to us in schools, and for some, it can be daunting. But once you start practicing it, it may come just like second nature to you. Whether or not it is one of the things you are great at doing, organizing is a habit everyone should get into.