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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Organized Chaos

I've blogged before about being organizationally challenged. I like that phrase. :-) I've also mentioned some of the different programs I've downloaded to try and overcome my issues. It's kind of, sort of, maybe helped, but it's also created a different set of "opportunities," to use corporate-speak. I ran into one of these last week.

One of the ways I've tried to organize my computer folders is to color code them. There are free programs available that allow people to swap out the plain manila folder icon with a bunch of other choices, including colored folders. I am all about color, the bolder and brighter the better. But it also seemed to me that if I color-coded my writing folders, it would make life easier. So I did.

I gave each project I'm working on it's own color, and because there are three different shades of each one, I've been able to mark each book in a trilogy with a different shade, but the same color. Um, I hope that sentence is clear. I also make the top level folder that all three books are filed under the color of book one. (If there were four shades of each color, that would have been so much cooler!)

This worked great until last week when I was scanning for my bright blue folder for the Work In Progress (WIP) to file a picture I wanted to refer to and couldn't find any blue folders at all. I actually had to read the folder names.

It turned out the WIP was in orange in my pictures folder.

Oops! So I fixed the color on all the folders after I saved the picture. Today, it occurred to me that instead of having two separate folders for each book--one under pictures and one under writing--I could just have one. Revelation! Just because Microsoft created separate places for the different file types doesn't mean I have to follow it. Um, yeah, duh, but it really never dawned on me until now.

This still won't put all my electronic files in one place because I think the OneNote stuff needs to stay together, but it will cut down on some of the locations. Every little bit helps.