File Management 1: The Most Boring Task

File management on your computer is all about cleaning up.

And knowing where files are. And dealing. In business, you just got to.

Just want to scream and run away from it? Be brave. More like gardening actually.

Here are 3 steps to start with:

  1. deal with your email, start with account number one
  2. hard drive, start with computer number one
  3. backup, all systems

Today I’m only talking about email. If you don’t get on top of it, it will get on top of you and weigh you down.

How many accounts do you have? I’m not going to suggest shutting them down, any more than I would take a favourite Teddy Bear from a fully alert child!

Start with the worst, oldest one. Ugh. Say to yourself: I have to do this, or else.

Count how many folders you are organizing your emails in…you have made folders, haven’t you? Anyway, think of it as a series of file cabinets and drawers.

You’re familiar with the idea of a desktop, right? Okay, think: classic movie where the rich guy has almost nothing on his desk. It’s a temporary workspace, nothing more. Would you stack huge amounts of junk on there if you were the rich guy in the movie? No. Only the poor sod in an hidden office has all the file folders and stuff piled up on his desk.

Stay with me here: this is such a big topic, I’m going to break it down into little pieces. Over time.

Alright, now we start with the hated email…

Count how many file folders you have. If it’s over 50 that’s far too many. Bet you didn’t think you had that many, hey? Ask yourself how many folders (cabinets) you can comfortably live with…20–sound about right?

Now, you may know that by “deleting” you’re not really getting rid of anything instantly, you’re simply putting it away in a room that you may to go to in the next while. But it’s there just in case. Then you can choose to keep it forever by moving it to a file folder (call it “Temp”), and there may come a time when this room will be dealt with, too.

Okay, now that you’re relaxed…everything is alright, everything is fine

Look at the list of folders of your email. Never mind the 250 loose emails in your inbox…we’ll get to those.

Some of them will loosely fit into a category. It’s like one big cabinet will be for, say, Marketing.

Now you’ve got a bunch of folders (drawers) for various Marketers that you like, or you want to look at later. They really don’t need their own drawer each (they can share with other Marketers), and I’ll tell you why:

The secret is the box with a magnifying glass that says: search your email (not search the web). See?

Now if you have a filing cabinet drawer for each of these marketers, it doesn’t make sense. Think of the “search you email” box as your secretary. You need something, you ask her to go look for it…even if it’s misfiled under something else she will find it (she’s good!) as long as you give her something to go on.

The reason is this: the long list of file folders don’t need to be out, they can be out of sight and anytime you want to look at them you just pull open the drawer. That way your mind doesn’t feel cluttered and you have a virtual room with 10 or 20 file cabinets (good) instead of 50+, which is crazy.

And now that you’ve come with me this far…forget email communications. Here is an exciting social media video to relax your mind…(remember to subscribe to this series, opt in…because you love me)

2 comments.

  1. Good information. I just did what you are talking about with the email about 6 months ago. Was a relief to get it done, but now I have to go through and file more that I have built up in my inbox.
    Never any end. lol

  2. Hey Joan, don’t I know it…just got my inbox down to zero. Whew!

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