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File Management for Dummies

When the novice approaches a computer, the concept of finding seemingly "lost" files leads to violence, tears, and curses towards some hardware at times. However, if computer users would approach an electronic file manager much like they should approach a hard copy manager, they could find a document in a matter of seconds without needing crisis management counseling, a Kleenex, or a priest. Electronic file managers mimic hard copy managers, sans the extra pieces of paper floating around the office. A computer can literally hold thousands of documents, and yet the office can look completely empty except for the machine on the desk. When you set up your file system, set it up like you would a filing cabinet. Name your files categorically according to what you will put in them. You may want subfolders in your main folders as well to keep your documents straight and your desktop clean. For example, let's say you have several business accounts to keep track of, and those accounts require several documents. Instead of creating ten different files for each account on your desktop, create one file that says, "Business Accounts" and then create your business account files in those. If you struggle with conceptualizing how to file within files, use some manipulations to help. Break out your sticky notes, and then write down a file name on each sticky note. Then arrange those sticky notes on a flat surface, like your desk or a table, and group the like files together. Group your files in a way that makes sense to you. File management does not have to cause frustration. If you can find a way to organize your files in a way that makes sense to you, you will find yourself using your computer on a regular basis without the aforementioned curse words.
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