My home office is where I sew, scrapbook, edit photos, pay bills, and do all things crafty. I also use this space to complete work for my job outside of the home.   It houses all craft supplies, home files, work books, novels, and fabric. I also use this space to store my daughters art/ craft supplies and homeschooling materials. My husband's home computer and desk are in this space as well. So if you can imagine, this room can get crazy real quick if it's not kept in check. My office is pretty much already organized but there are a few things that need my attention: organizing my digital files, organizing my filing cabinet, and purging any excess items that take up space.

Digital File Organization 101!

Welcome to Digital File Organization 101. Let me first say that I am by no means a "computer expert" but the methods that I explain here work for me.  I will discuss how I store, organize, and access all my digital files.
I once heard someone say "They're two types of hard drives: ones that have failed, and ones that haven't failed yet." Well that kinda stuck with me and ever since then I've always had my digital files stored on two separate devices; my portable hard drive and a third party provider (online host that charges me a minimal fee to store my digital files). I personally chose the online route for several reasons. The first is that my computer does not have enough hard drive space for me to store all of my digital files. The second is that I want to be able to access to my files from anywhere as long as I have internet access. If you only have your digital files stored on one device, then I recommend you get them backed up to another device (2nd computer, external or portable hard drive, online hosting service) as soon as possible. From what I understand once your hard-drive fails, it is very costly to recover those files if it's even possible at all. To me, it would be absolutely devastating if my photo and video files were lost. So again, please back up your digital files to a second device!!!! Also please note that most online hosting services like Google Drive or Media Fire are free until you reach a certain amount of gigabytes. Please check with the different providers for their services and fees.

I have a lot of digital files in the form of music, work and documents, movies, photos, digital elements, videos, and the list goes on. Because I have a lot of files, it is absolutely necessary that there is rhyme and reason to how my files are organized. So again, there are different ways of organizing files and I am explaining what works for me.

Photos - I have over 30,000 digital photos that go back 17 years. I simply sort them by year and then into daily folders that house the actual photograph files. This really works for me. The actual photograph I name by year(2013)month(12)day(25) _ picture number (01) and then I name it based on what it is to give me a reminder what I photographed that day. I categorize my home videos using the same technique.

Photos (Main Folder)

Year (Tier 2 Folders)

2013

Daily Folder (Tier 3 Folder)

20131225

Photo (Actual File) 

20131225_01 Christmas

Other categories I have my digital files sorted by:

Audio Files
Crafts
Digital Elements
Documents
E-Books and Guides
Education
Emergency Planning
Misc
Photos
Printables
Videos
Work Files

I have these Folders in the Root Menu (main menu) because they have enough material to warrant their own category. You can name and categorize your files to suit you.

Over the last few days I have completely organized all of my digital files from my computer, hard drive, and flash drives and consolidated the files to my external portable hard drive. I use my Google account and Google Drive to back up all my files. When my external hard drive is connected to my computer and internet, it syncs with Google drive updating any changes I made. Currently, I have no files on my computer other than system and software files. I can access any and all files in my Google Drive by any device with internet access. This is important for me because I have an Iphone and not only can I access my files but I can make changes as well. Any changes that are made from my Iphone or any new files I upload to my Google drive using my Iphone automatically sync with my external hard drive. I cannot tell you how much I love this service. Prior to using Google Drive I use Media Fire for all my Photo backup but in my opinion Google drive is much easier to use. Another plus using Google drive is that I can easily share files with anyone.

I pay a minimal monthly fee because I exceed the minimum storage space that Google drive provides for free. I am not compensated in any way and all opinions are my own.


Sherry Wallace
01/15/2014 9:43am

Wow, that's a great explanation of how digital filing works and why it should be done. Thanks for taking the time to show examples and for giving simple instructions on how to do it.

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