In this lesson you will look more closely at important things to keep in mind as you focus on saving important files. You will think about how strong technology skills can lead to achieving your desired results in the productive way. You will understand how strong initiative skills can help you avoid stress as you work with your files.
Specifically, this lesson will cover:
- Naming and Organizing Files
- File Names
- Back Ups
- Storage Settings
1. Naming and Organizing Files
Being able to access your files when you need them is key to being productive
. It is hard to be results driven
when you cannot locate what you need to do your work in a timely manner. There are some best practices to keep in mind as you organize your files, not matter what device you are using.
- 1a. Folders
Folders are an easy way to group files together based on a variety of factors. You may decide to group files based on type of content, date created, type of file or any other number of reasons. No matter how you choose to create your folders, it is important to keep a few things in mind:
- Group files in a way that makes sense based on how you use them
- Don’t create so many folders that you only have a single file in many of them
- Regularly revisit your folder structure to make sure it still works for you
An example to consider is your school work. You could create one Sophia folder and place all of your school files there, but that may fill up quickly and it may take too much time to find what you need when you need it. This is not a very productive
system. Instead, consider adding subfolders for each term or course.
Using subfolders is an easy way to make sure you can find what you need as quickly as possible. Taking the initiative
to set up a system that works '''BEFORE''' you have a ton of files will pay off in the end. Even if you are starting later and feel overwhelmed by the process, use that same initiative
skill to get started. You will be glad you did.
- 1b. File Names
When it comes to files, it is important you use a naming convention that is meaningful. A naming convention is a set of standards or rules for naming files and folders in a particular way. Just like a solid folder system, creating file names
the right way can make you more productive
at work and at home.
Some important does and don'ts to keep in mind when you name files are:
- Use short but meaningful names
- Be consistent
- Make single digit numbers two digits (01, 02, 07 etc)
- Use version numbers if multiple drafts
- Order by year, month and date
- If used, place dates at the beginning of files name
- Replace any space with an underscore (_), but don’t overuse them
- Consider access if others will need file-does name make sense to others?
- Avoid being vague
- Avoid long names
- Avoid unnecessary words
Review the file names below. Are they good choices? If not, what would you change?
- A name that identifies each file stored on a computer; it may contain letters, numbers, and other characters.
2. Back Ups
There is nothing more scary than thinking you lost an important school paper or a file your supervisor needs at work. To avoid this stress, it is a good idea to back up your files. Backing up your files means you can access them in a second location if something goes wrong with the primary one.
Most back up systems will allow you to select which files are backed up. For example, at work you may want all files backed up while at home you are only concerned with your photos. Some common backup programs are listed below.
Most backup programs will let you set up a schedule so your back up happens at regular intervals.
Ron’s manager had an important meeting Tuesday. Ron was responsible for adding some important data to the presentation she would use that day. Understanding how important this was, Ron had completed his step Monday before he left for home. When he came in Tuesday to send the presentation to his manager, he found his computer had crashed! Luckily, Ron has been using IDrive to back up all of his files. He logged into their site, found the file and got it to his supervisor in plenty of time for the meeting.
3. Storage Settings
All computers have settings that will impact how and where your files are saved. It is important you know what the default settings are and that you can use your technology
skill to change them as needed. For example, if you download a file from a website, your computer may automatically save it to the downloads file. If you prefer one of them to be saved somewhere else, you need to set that location.
The “Save As” option you see above is where you can select the folder you want to use. You will be able to see where the computer is saving the file. You can keep this location or update it.
This is when you will also consider the naming conventions and folder organization you reviewed earlier. When you have a good system in place for each of those, you will have an easier time deciding where to save your files.
In this lesson, you considered the importance of naming and organizing files. Details like files names, folders, backing up your files and saving them in the location that makes the most sense are important elements to consider. In doing so, you are using your technology skill to make you more productive as you work to achieve your desired results. Strong initiative skills mean you can take storage settings like these items into consideration before you need to save and access items. It is never too late to put a good system into place by considering these important items.
Enjoy the next lesson!