If you do not have a good file organization strategy, you can lose minutes or even hours of valuable time trying to locate files when you need them. As a student, every minute of your learning time matters, so you need to ensure you organize your documents so that they are simple to find. Here are some excellent tips you can use to ensure your file management is as efficient as possible.
Use File Conversion Software
You are sure to have a lot of files in different formats, from documents you have created yourself to downloaded files and content given to you by your tutor. When you have files in PDF and you need to copy or edit the content, it will take a lot of time to copy and paste. So, instead, make use of PDF editor software. A PDF conversion tool can save you lots of time. You may even like to standardize all of your files in one format, which you can simply and quickly do with PDF editing tools.
Put All Your Files in One Place
Once you have decided how to organize the format of your files, you need to place all of your documents under a single root folder. This will be your first port-of-call for accessing all of your files, and it will make life a lot easier when it comes to finding specific content.
Create Folders in a Logical Hierarchy
If the root folder is your filing cabinet, the folders within it are your cabinet drawers. Create folders for specific uses. For example, you could create folders for study materials, completed essays, and course information. Name the folders appropriately, so it is easy to find what you want, and then order them in a hierarchy that makes sense.
Place Folders Within Folders
Within your main folders, place other subcategory folders. For example, a folder named Completed Essays could contain folders by date, so that each one is labeled something like 2020 and 2021, or folders by category, such as Math folders and Science folders. Alternatively, you could use a system like an alphabetical listing.
Follow Standard File and Folder Naming Conventions
For every file and folder that you create, ensure it has a relevant name so you can easily locate it. Never give your documents abbreviated names that could cause you to forget what they mean. For instance, you might be tempted to name a folder FTE and forget that it stands for First Term Essays. Also, avoid characters like / and <, because they are often prohibited in file names for certain operating systems, such as Windows.
Some operating systems, like Unix, do not allow spaces in file or folder names too. Instead, use simple and descriptive file and folder names so you can easily retrieve them. It can be very useful to include dates in the names of your files as well. Whatever exact wording you use for file and folder names, the aim is to use names that allow you to tell what the file or folder contains without having to open it to find out.
File as You Go
If you use the above excellent tactics to ensure your files are highly organized, your system can become useless if you do not file as you go. The best time of filing a document in the right place is when you first create it. So, get into the habit of using the “Save As” function as soon as you create a file. Otherwise, you could end up with various files that are out of place, and if you keep putting off putting them in the right places, your filing system will soon become as challenging to use as not having a filing management system at all.