Filing Things on Your Computer So You Can Find Them Again

A well-ordered space is a thing of beauty.With modern technology, we can have what appears to be a well-ordered space, and yet have a computer which is a welter of unorganized stuff.

computer in office

This came to mind when I was helping a client find the file for her logo. An amazing amount of delay on websites is the result of clients who don’t know where their logos (staff bios, history of the company, staff portraits, photos of the buildings…) are.

This is nothing to be embarrassed about. But having your web workers come in and poke through your computer looking for your logo can be a little like having someone poke through your kitchen cabinets or your underwear drawer. At least, I notice that clients, who usually quite enjoy chatting with me about their sites, often seem to be a little stressed at this point. They mutter things about their kids using the computer or their lack of time or tech savvy or something.

“Think of me as a doctor,” I’d like to say, but it doesn’t seem quite relevant.

If you want to avoid this feeling when you get your website built — or, indeed, if you’d just like to have a virtual workspace where you can really work without problems — you can easily organize your computer files as you gather things for your website.

  • Use the “Save As” option rather than “Save.” When you just hit “Save,” or Control+S, your file saves wherever your computer decides to save it. Not only may this not be the best spot, but you may not even know where it is. Depending on the program you’re using, your file may also be given a filename automatically. Later, when you go to find that logo, it may not occur to you to look for “photo1” in “Downloads.” When you click “Save As,” you decide where to put the file and what to name it.
  • Choose a transparent name. “Logo” is good. “Logo2011” is better.  If you might save logos for more than one company, add the name of the company. If you’re looking at multiple versions, then “LogoA2011” and “LogoB2011” or “Logo-red2011” and “Logo-orange2011” might be good. The key is to give the file a name which you will either remember or recognize when you need to find it again.
  • Put everything in a folder. This may sound obvious, but some people don’t know how to do this, and some just save things, figuring they’ll go back sometime and sort everything out.The second group are deceiving themselves. The first group will find that it’s much easier than they’d think.

save in folder

Chances are, most programs you save in will have an icon or option like the “New Folder” option shown above. Click on it, give it a transparent name you’ll understand when you see it again, and save your file in there. “Website 2011” or “Staff bios” are names you’re likely to be able to decipher. “stuffforp” or “fg61510a” are probably not.

Do these few things whenever you save something, and you’ll be able to find what you want when you want it.






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