Yesterday I spent what felt like forever looking for a file I’d worked on just a few days earlier. It was probably only minutes, but my boss was right there,
seeing me fail to find it (he left me to it after a couple minutes, it was pretty bad).
It wasn’t in my recent files because I’d opened so many other files since. Even that might not have helped because I wasn’t sure what I’d named the file. Or if I’d even saved the last changes I made!
The folder names weren’t much help either, names I had chosen myself What the heck was I thinking naming a folder ad-hoc?
Basically, it was a balls-up.
However, this reminded me how important it is to have a consistent and logical naming convention for files and folders. And structure for folders!
First things first, that ad-hoc folder had to go. I went through the files, determined what they were actually related to and put them in a folder named after that. The files that were living in the ad-hoc folder moved out into the sub-folders of 6 other folders, split by month. Still not amazing, but screw that ad-hoc folder.
Doing the same with a folder I’d very intelligently named “projects” was next, almost everything that isn’t ad-hoc was a project.
My files were the next target. Naming a file after the data source you started with is dumb, don’t do that (like I did). Making copies and renaming them after the expected use/output of the file made much more sense.
Immediate action had to be taken against my (file naming) crimes, so I don’t know what better options are out there for organising your files. Maybe I should tag them and search? Where do I even start with something like that? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I need to keep on top of it, I don’t want it to replace Inbox Zero (which I am currently winning at) as my new nemesis!