Everyone writes about writing things down and how important it is to file and organize papers. But what do you do with everything you write or find online and want to save on your computer?
Do you print out information from your computer on a daily basis? Is your file cabinet stuffed and overflowing with files?
I’m finding that I already have too many papers to file in my physical filing cabinets, and now my computer is making more of a paper trail than ever. This paper trail monster is eating me alive!
If you and I are using our computers that much, then we should at least use files directly on the computer to lessen the paper trail.
Start by making folders on your computer’s desktop, each folder again holding as many folders inside as you choose. (Look in your computer’s user manual for the directions on making folders in your operating system — I have attached a sample set of directions at the end of this article for Windows.) Think of everything under the sun that you will be filing, and what folder you would look inside to find it. Do give yourself a limit on how many folders deep you will go — I put only one folder inside another folder, as I find I lose my files if I go too deep. You can also create, rename and delete folders later as you sort out files and figure out what you need.
Now you have folders to file all of those papers you have written or received and saved. Next, what do you do with all that saved information? You can either save it directly on your hard drive, or on CD’s, or both places if you can’t afford to lose that particular information.
If you’re like me, you have many discs — some labeled and some not. Some discs have tons of different things that you can’t sort through, and others have specific files.
Start by making a list of contents on a separate piece of paper.
* Have a sticky label for EACH CD cover.
* Next, start copying the files to the CD.
* As you do this, CROSS OUT that file on your paper list and write it on the sticky label.
* This way, you’ll be able to see what goes where and what you’ve already saved to the CD. For example, I put my business QuickBooks on one disc and my personal Quicken on another.
* I actually have my database on one whole disc, leaving room for it to grow.
* I also have a disc for each day of the week because I back up each night.
* Other things that don’t get used every day will go on another clearly labeled disc as to what’s there.
Making labels and lists of contents for each disc may sound so easy that you think it’s no big deal. But once you start copying and transferring files here and there, it quickly becomes overwhelming if you haven’t written each item down and crossed it off as you go along. If you keep your discs orderly, you’ll have everything you need at your fingertips. Then all you have to do is pop the disc in and print out what you need, when you need it!
Computer folders make more sense than than trying to print and file hard copies and remember everything you might want off the computer ahead of time!
Making folders In Windows:
1. Click on start, go to “programs.” Find Windows Explorer in the menu and click on it.
2. Click on the hard drive letter on the left side. Usually this will be a “C.” Go to the top left and click on “File,” then click on “new,” and then on “folder.”
3. Look to the right screen. At the bottom there should be a folder icon and the words “new folder” Type in the name you want the folder to be called. For example we’ll call it “recipes.”
4. Now to add folders within the original folder called recipes, double click on the folder “Recipes.” Go back and click “file ” again on the top left and then on “new “and then “folder.” Name the new folder what you’d like.
Adding Desktop folders:
If you want to put your folders directly on your desktop as well as your hard drive do this:
1. Holding your curser over your windows wallpaper on the desktop right click your mouse.
2. Then click on “new”, then “new folder” This will cause a folder icon to appear on your desktop and you can name it and add folders within it.
©2001 Susie Glennan