This particular article really resonated with me. All of my “stuff” is digital. And it is always a nagging fear of mine that every piece of work I have done will one day be gone is one spectacular pouf of digital annihilation.
File naming: This is a huge one for me. I am dealing with a lot of different types of files as I built ads for my paper. I have found it very useful to put an obvious tag at the beginning of my file names – for instance AD(Company Name) appears at the beginning of each ad file I build, so when I am searching multiple files I can quickly disregard those files that may be pictures, or pieces of graphic art I’ve used. In my case I also stick the run date of each ad on after the company name. Just these small tweaks has saved me countless hours I’m sure.
Also I NEVER trust a computer not to crash and burn (it’s happened twice) so I’ve invested in a number of large capacity stand alone hard drives over the years, to back up all my work.
I agree in principle with the idea of fewer documents, and structuring the content but have yet to do that. I create individual files, though I do try to group similar documents in one single folder. I think it’s important to have the discipline to periodically go into the folders and delete, much as you would with a paper filing cabinet. Same goes for saving everything to your desktop. Clean it or organize it once in a while like you would your desk drawer or the top of your desk. Either physically or digital – clutter is clutter and impedes progress when you work.
Dave’s comment about digital bookmarking caught my attention (learning all kinds of useful stuff this week!) – I had no idea there were little programs to keep track of them. I tend to just jot those things down on post-its – sometimes I get to it, in which case I bookmark it, but often it is lost.
I’m not entirely comfortable with the idea of a digital home – having everything posted in a blog, as Dave does. I can see it’s usefulness as we have been using it this week, but I don’t know if I would want a clearinghouse of my thoughts and work out there being scrutinized by the general public.