Monday, November 16, 2009


Today I took some time to reorganize my (computer) files, which were in a terrible state.

Back when I was in graduate school, I dumped all notes, drafts, etc., for a particular course into a folder labeled with that course's name. This system broke down a bit once I got to the dissertation research, when virtually everything got dumped into a folder titled "Diss." Eventually this acquired some subfolders ("Drafts" and "Comments", for example). All the research, writing and note-taking I've done since then have not been organized systematically. Sometimes I made new folders, sometimes I shoved files into pre-existing folders, sometimes I left files in the main "Research" folder. 

The result of all this is that it has gotten increasingly difficult to find stuff, and every time I look for some particular notes, I end up searching in half a dozen places on the hard drive to find what I'm looking for.

I hope that I've licked that problem going forward. The Research folder now has subfolders for Writing, Research Materials, and Secondary materials, among others, with appropriate further subdivisions. I sincerely hope that making it easier to find research materials will make the time I have for research more productive, and that clarity in organization reflects clarity in thought. We shall see.


Bavardess said...

Ack, you've just reminded me that this is a task I've been putting off for ages. I tend to end up with loads of stuff that I've saved to my Desktop in a hurry, with the good intentions to file it properly later.

BarbS said...

After going through this painful process a couple of times, I changed my system. Now I have a "current work" folder on my desktop, with several subfolders in it: archives, comments, books/articles to look at, drafts, conference/journal submissions, etc. Periodically, stuff from here gets moved into a more permanent location in the My Documents folders, but keeping stuff I'm currently working on/looking at in one place on the desktop is easy, and it's easy to put it on a flash stick to port between home and office computers. Not perfect, but is anything?

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