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Is there an online equivalent to a file cabinet?

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  • Is there an online equivalent to a file cabinet?

    Been searching around for a little now for relevant topics on this. Some discussions around discrete vs. reference filing systems. Some on alpha vs. numerical systems. And the most relevant ones to me - are the various discussions of how ppl are using software like Evernote, Google Docs - even Gmail as their filing system of choice.

    But I've used all those - and found I had to rely heavily on tags as my filing reference system. The problem is - I get tag happy and then the whole system breaks. Mainly because then the most efficient way of finding anything is via a Search for a tag. And success is spotty, nevermind the speed of culling all the relevant results.

    Filing cabinets (I have two huge ones) make you think about what "tag" to make into a folder. The little friction helps.

    My question is...is there an online equivalent for this? Specifically, a system that doesn't depend on tags? I can only think of the Windows desktop file system but that's not really online. Or maybe the better question is...do I really need one? Am I just using tags wrong?

  • #2
    Perhaps instead of spending time in creating tag systems you might want to develop some general conventions around naming electronic files (including dates where appropriate). Tags can then be used to supplement your material rather than relying on them to hold your system together.

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    • #3
      Troll

      If you look at the signature line, the original poster has a link to a digital filing system in beta. I don't mind reading about new products, but not under false pretenses. And pretending to solicit help is pretty low.

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      • #4
        You can treat Gmail tags as folders in a sense, but electronic or paper I still organize files and folders in a similar manner to paper. Label folders or create tags by theme, topic, person or project and file documents in them. The nice thing about Gmail tags is that you can assign more than one tag to a particular item; it makes cross referencing easier. I don't really do multiple tags myself, but it's a neat feature to have.

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        • #5
          Good detective work mcogilvie! We try to catch these as we see them too and ban the person if they continue to ignore our guidelines. Thanks for pointing this one out.

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          • #6
            Ouch

            Originally posted by mcogilvie View Post
            If you look at the signature line, the original poster has a link to a digital filing system in beta. I don't mind reading about new products, but not under false pretenses. And pretending to solicit help is pretty low.
            Ouch mcogilvie. This is a real problem and we don't know the answer yet either. That's why we're here asking about it. I'm new to forums myself and thought I was working within guidelines. Guess not and lesson learned. No problem with the removal of my signature though. We're building our own b/c we're programmers at heart and tend to the DIY side. But we're trying to find out how ppl approach the tag thing. Sorry it came across as spammy.

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            • #7
              Makes me think: Are titles flexible enough?

              Originally posted by chris101 View Post
              Perhaps instead of spending time in creating tag systems you might want to develop some general conventions around naming electronic files (including dates where appropriate). Tags can then be used to supplement your material rather than relying on them to hold your system together.
              Hmm. That makes me think of whether titles are flexible enough. But I guess neither are the labels assigned to folders. Once a naming system is determined - you're kinda stuck with it.

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              • #8
                Online document storage

                Two things spring to mind:-

                1. A well thought out and logical system of folders on your HD ought to enable you to always be able to find a document again.

                2. When filing docs within the folder which need to be kept in date order, prefix the file name/description with the date *reversed* YY/MM/DD. You'll find that any document with today's date (101203) will then always precede any doc with tomorrow's date (101204) and so on. If you use 'forward' dates, they won't.

                Hope this helps.

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