[Libs-Or] Tech-Talk: WINDOWS - Can You Find a Document When You Need It?

Darci Hanning darci.hanning at state.or.us
Tue Apr 24 13:10:04 PDT 2018


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 This Week's Tech-Talk: WINDOWS

1. VIDEO ... Can You Find a Document When You Need It?
2. ARTICLE ... Can You Find a Document When You Need It?
3. COMMUNICATING ... Always get an opening by offering an "Idea"

NOTE: To view the VIDEO, click here<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001ugVOt5-wRC39qhXcQ8_eCqU3pAkAsVkrH3-k7A-AIbcFvJUjIyi_H9stRptABivsJ-i6F7WJbgA5hqLH-HCBUV_aGCpR5rBs7cDZbcxhPVE2zb4AqBcdcOgmOVAhZ8Dikr6zOwFRYWsz_d3pL6GDLup0_CTibOqFj1kYiyf4ebxAmF_pMnZ0613XfqmUVtzH0GXlTCBUU5uXZ9VXqJZnVF0j97u3EO7r&c=oiJJk0Wb17dRiyeL4Td252Og-OaeBaQQcLCsfglNOt9FKCLoFRoP0w==&ch=szEirX6c2eUtuiN73m0rwhitOyvXyrCKgqnBMiQLlnVdOE08oht7DA==>. Enter the Username and Password!

Tech-Talk: WINDOWS - Can You Find a Document When You Need It?

Picture this: You're doing a screen-share with a colleague and find yourself saying ...

"Let me show you the survey we created. It's here on my computer ... [a minute later]… "Why don't I get back to you on that. I need to find it."

How frustrating! I bet you had hoped to find that file quickly!

[find a document]

Every once in a while we need to spend a bit of time organizing our file folder structure, especially if:

·     File icons are scattered all over.
·     Everything is tossed into one folder.
·     You have to use "Search" to find files.
·     The file you're looking for could be in one of many different folders.

If your files are a mess and you have trouble finding the documents that you need quickly -- we'll show you some basic concepts that can simplify your digital filing system.

What if you already have a great system that works for you? Read on as you may discover some golden nuggets to make it even better!

Create the Perfect Digital File Structure for You

Now, it's important to recognize that there is no one "perfect" way to set up your file hierarchy. Each person has their favorite way of how things should be organized.

For example, think about your personal files. You undoubtedly have many types of insurance that you pay in your life. You could create one main folder for "Insurance" and have sub-folders for medical, dental, homeowners, auto, etc…

Or your main folder could be "Medical" and all sub-folders (including medical and dental insurance) folders are in that one. Then you'd have an "Automobile" file, with vehicle insurance inside.

So even though it's a personal preference, the general concepts below will help you to create a digital system. We're using our business structure as an example. In this case, Shared Results International is the company; Tech-Talk is a product.

1. The Big Picture


When you're planning your file organization you may wish to picture Russian stacking dolls, with one inside the other ... and think in Categories. That's the secret!

Start with your highest-level folders. We have found that setting a foundation with the main functions of your organization works well.

[file folders]

So we start with a company folder name, followed by the main functions of a business: Asset Management, Bookkeeping, Graphics, and so on.

TIP: Aim for no more than 17 folders. Why 17? It's the number of folders you can see in File Explorer without scrolling down. This simple item will save you a lot of time because you're retrieving documents all day long.

2. Sub-Folders


Once you have your list of main categories, it's time to think about your hierarchy ... your groupings or sub-folders. These "stack" inside each other so you can drill down.

For instance, in our hierarchy, under the main folder of Products, we have four sub-folders: Assessments, Facilitation, Tech-Talk LMS and Tech-Talk Weekly.

This structure makes it crystal clear where files should be saved for each type of product.


Taking it another step, inside the Products sub-folder, Tech-Talk Weekly, we have sub-folders for each category or article… Internet, Mobile, MS Office, etc…

TIP: Again, inside each file folder there are roughly 17 or fewer files/documents so that you can see them all without scrolling. If there are more, divide that overflowing folder into sub-folders.


Now, to find a survey document for Florida, I can drill down a few folder levels to find what I need, instantly.

   Shared Results International ...
   ... Tech-Talk
      ... Operations
         ... Surveys
            ... Florida
               ... 2017

More Ideas For You


Do create your highest level (top category) under "Documents" or "My Documents" in your computer's file structure.

Do move priority folders to the top of the list. The File Explorer automatically lists your folders (and files) alphabetically. A trick we use frequently when we want a particular folder to appear at the top of the list is to name it starting with an underscore (_) ... putting it before the first letter. This pops it to the top of the list.

Do create depth in your sub-folders. You could have levels 5, 6 or even 7 folders deep. When there are too many documents in one folder, create another grouping so that you can zero in on the file you need to open in a few clicks.

Do save all documents in a Category folder or sub-folder -- not in the generic main "Documents" folder.


Don't organize by file type, but by category. You may be tempted to put all of your PowerPoint files in one folder because they are "alike." But a presentation that you created for an event belongs in that named event folder with other documents you created for it -- such as handouts or flyers.

Don't save files on your desktop just because you need them all of the time. Many back-up platforms like Carbonite or Mozy will create copies of the files in "My Documents" -- but not capture what's saved on your desktop. Instead, create shortcuts to these files by using the Jumplist for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc... to "Pin" recently used files and folders<http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?f=001ugVOt5-wRC39qhXcQ8_eCqU3pAkAsVkrH3-k7A-AIbcFvJUjIyi_H9stRptABivsQr60ntfyUkTi1nNVm7DwsjmTmFRGNEAbJEcWiG9EGdpqLF7MXEqe22cO4XoZIATqpYqjgy2WKGKcjG9BWnnEAFlAn1X93Y5c_Yi_mqnl6mlBkRcNVHn_tbO89hpdn6dXt3P7GRyUDHY=&c=oiJJk0Wb17dRiyeL4Td252Og-OaeBaQQcLCsfglNOt9FKCLoFRoP0w==&ch=szEirX6c2eUtuiN73m0rwhitOyvXyrCKgqnBMiQLlnVdOE08oht7DA==>.

Use This Approach With Other Filing Systems

File Drawers. Now that you have your digital file hierarchy established, you can apply this method to your physical file folders. If your digital and physical file structures match, you'll know where to find items you need in both places.

Online Storage. And most likely you have digital files saved in multiple locations online -- such as Microsoft Exchange, Google Drive or Dropbox. To be consistent, you could create the same type of file structure so that at least the main level folders match.


Communications: Email / Voicemail
Always get an opening by offering an "Idea"

There's a secret word that works (most) every time if you want to get someone to pay attention to what you have to say.

It works especially well with email or voicemail when you need to talk with someone and you're asking for time with them.

That word is idea. Everyone likes getting ideas. They don't want to pass them up. They are not threatening. They do arouse curiosity.

So if you have a situation where you need a meeting or a call, rather than explaining what you want, tell them you have an idea for them.

True Story Example

We offer to create a survey for Tech-Talk subscribers each year so that we know what software versions to write to ... and our clients can find out how their readers feel about the subscription.

Email Subject: An idea for you

Email Body: [Keep it short. Resist the urge to explain.]

I'd like to run an idea by you, when can we talk?

I have an idea for you about Tech-Talk. Are you available tomorrow sometime?

TIP: This is also a great way to get face to face when you have an unpleasant message you need to convey, as well as a request, you want someone to support.


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Just contact us and we'll get the answer for you right away.


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Darci Hanning, MLIS
Technology Development Consultant
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