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.