In the 70’s and 80’s there was a public service announcement (PSA) that would come on each night at 10 pm, right before the news. It would ask, in a serious voice, if you knew where your children were.
The goal was to remind parents to keep their kids at home rather than let them wander the streets. I don’t know if it was effective or not, but the phrase has become part of our social history. And it got me thinking…it’s 10 pm, do you know where your documents are?
No, we’re not trying to keep your forms and letters off the street, but one of the first steps in organizing is figuring out where everything lives. For some people, it’s an easy question to answer – all their documents live on their computer. But for others, the question is more complex.
I held on to some old 3.5 ‘floppy’ discs for a long time before I was able to transfer the data. Right now I know there are used external hard drives and USB drives with files on them collecting dust in my closet. And that doesn’t even get into cloud storage. How many different services are you using to store, share, and access your documents?
When you organize your files, documenting where everything is helps you figure out where everything is going. It’s great to want everything in one place, but that only works if there is room there. And what about those documents that need to be shared? Those usually have to stay in cloud storage until the sharing is done (if it ever is!)
If you’re ready to organize your files, take a moment to think about where everything is. When it’s time to move your documents, we often suggest using the same file structure regardless of what platform/computer you are on – same file setup in Dropbox as on your computer. This makes it easier to file things when you’re in a rush.
Don’t forget, once you’ve got everything organized, it’s time to make sure your backup plan is in place to keep all your files safe! I recommend using an online backup system like Carbonite or BackBlaze.
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