Forum

  • If you are new to these Forums, please take a moment to register using the fields above.
Announcement Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.
masses of electronic info to file Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • masses of electronic info to file

    I receive a ton of trade publications,newsletters etc,electronically that i use to get in snail mail in hardcopy.I also am constantly pulling things off the web that i cut and paste usually into a word file. What is the best way to store articles that i can easily recall at a later date.I want to file away things on my harddrive without printing them out.

  • #2
    I'm not sure.

    You could just delete the web stuff and then google for it when you discover that you need it. Or if you ever need it. Of the stuff that I keep only a very small proportion actually ends up getting used- but you can't predict which of it is going to be required in advance. Also it can take ages googling for something again and web pages frequently disappear.

    You could save all this kind of info into an archive directory without any further organisation then use the Find facility or sort by date when you want to find a file again. Electronic memory is virtually free (for text anyway). Yes it might take a bit of time to find the file again but it's probably worth it when you consider the the time it would take to organise the 99% of stuff that you won't ever need to look at again. More reliable than hoping that it'll still be out there on the internet (but make sure you backup!)

    As for the paper stuff, I would file it all alphabetically by publication name and then by date. If I've seen something in a magazine and want to refer back to it I tend to remember the name of the magazine I saw it in first and then roughly which month it appeared in.

    Comment


    • #3
      I use a print-to-pdf utility that saves the article to my hard drive. I have some relatively broad categories (prof. devel, home improvement, software design, GTD_Organization, etc) for folders that I save into. File names give some clue as to the content and Google desktop search does the rest for recall.
      I did buy a 40 gig external USB harddrive for the space and portability.

      Comment


      • #4
        Try EverNote

        Evernote should work for you. Info about it can be found at:
        http://www.evernote.com
        It is FREE for the basic version.

        Comment


        • #5
          For web clips: Google Notebook

          Good management tool for items you find on the web.

          http://www.google.com/googlenotebook/overview.html

          Comment


          • #6
            Once in folders, make sure you've got google desktop going... Even if you can't find the name of the article, running a desktop search on the files can be effective.

            Comment


            • #7
              InfoSelect for Organizing Lots of Web Data

              InfoSelect (www.miclog.com) is a great program for organizing lots of random web data. It is a random, free form organization tool. This means you can organize your electronic data any way you want, and easily change the structure later as your data grows.

              Best of all, it has a great and fast search tool.

              InfoSelect can also handle calendar, email, addresses, etc.

              Because it is so flexible, it easily adapts to GTW.

              An Example...

              You create a section called "Today's Stuff" and simply add all that you read today. Next week, you look through it, and simply drag the items to a better place in your structure -- adding and deleting structure as you go.

              This is similar to GTD processes. "Today's Stuff" is sort of like the inbox. You process to a better structure to either file for reference or move to actionable areas of GTD.

              Comment


              • #8
                AskSAM

                You can also try AskSAM. I know a person who has used this for years, and I am thinking of implementing something like it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by fatnomo
                  I receive a ton of trade publications,newsletters etc,electronically that i use to get in snail mail in hardcopy.What is the best way to store articles that i can easily recall at a later date.I want to file away things on my harddrive without printing them out.
                  I'm happy with Google Desktop for this. You can search based on the content of a newsletter article, no more trying to remember the file name or date. For example, I have hundred if not thousands of research articles on a couple different computers, most as pdf documents. I hit the Control key twice to pull up the quick search, typed some keywords from an article I haven't looked at for years, and in less than a second, there it is on the first page of search results.

                  Originally posted by fatnomo
                  I also am constantly pulling things off the web that i cut and paste usually into a word file.
                  Copy and paste into a Google Notebook instead. Then the info will be available from the internet and searchable with Google. Links will automatically be created when you copy and paste the info, so you do not have to copy and paste any links.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I second the recommendations for Google Desktop. If you tried it when it was first introduced, try it again. It's much better now. Thanks to Google Desktop, I impressed the heck out of a potential client the other day by finding (in seconds) an article about his company from three years ago.

                    It can also help to file things in folders by broad topics, and to make sure files have descriptive names. Sometimes a general search is faster, sometimes looking where several related files should be is faster, so why not set up your system to support both?

                    I also am a fan of Evernote, but use it exclusively for my own notes and short clippings. That's partly because I had a filing system before I started using Evernote, and partly because I don't like their interface well enough to use it for something that could be 5-10 pages long.

                    No matter what system you use, make sure to include citations with every single item (or use a system that adds citations automatically). There's nothing more frustrating than finding an interesting article and not being able to figure out where it came from.

                    Katherine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Do not overlook the search capability built right into your computer. Windows machines have a program called "windows explorer" that includes a very effective search tool. Other OS's have similar things. Just dump everything into a folder and let the computer be in charge of filing and retrieving it. That is what computers are good at. It is a mistake to try to create a filing system on your computer that is indexed like a paper file drawer. The computer can find it faster than you could.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Barry
                        Do not overlook the search capability built right into your computer. Windows machines have a program called "windows explorer" that includes a very effective search tool.
                        Sorry, I've gotta disagree. Windows Explorer is pathetically slow and seriously lacking in important features (preview, refine search, Boolean search, to name just a few). If you want to use the "dump everything in a folder and search" approach, you'll want a third-party search application.

                        Katherine

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kewms
                          Sorry, I've gotta disagree. Windows Explorer is pathetically slow and seriously lacking in important features (preview, refine search, Boolean search, to name just a few). If you want to use the "dump everything in a folder and search" approach, you'll want a third-party search application.

                          Katherine
                          I'll second that. Google Desktop takes a second or less compared to Windows search taking a minute or more. At one job, I used to have other people just quickly ask me to search the network drives for them as my Google Desktop on my laptop had indexed them, and I could do it in no time, which really helped when looking for an obscure reference deep within a document.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            However, Windows Desktop Search is fast!

                            Are we confusing the search capability built within Windows with Windows Desktop Search? Windows Desktop Search, a free download from Microsoft, indexes your hard drives and therefore can almost instantaneously retrieve documents, in virtually any format. It also can retrieve anything in Outlook--e-mail messages, journal items, tasks, appointments, contacts--which many other desktop search utilities can't.

                            You also have the option to search the web with it as well, but in the few weeks since I've installed it, I've used it exclusively for desktop searches.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kewms
                              Sorry, I've gotta disagree. Windows Explorer is pathetically slow and seriously lacking in important features (preview, refine search, Boolean search, to name just a few). If you want to use the "dump everything in a folder and search" approach, you'll want a third-party search application.

                              Katherine
                              I do agree with your points. The built-in search function is basic compared to what you are talking about. Perhaps I should have written that for light use, it may be adequate and would save the time and money of sourcing an aftermarket alternative. For me, it has always found what I needed. For heavier use, installing and learning a more complex system may pay off.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X