Is your data organized on your computer? We rely on our computers for both personal and legal nurse consulting business needs. Digital data, images, financial records, and resources are among the thing we keep on our computers. The data our hard drive contains is important, yet many of the files are cluttered, disorganized, and difficult to locate easily when we need something.
Nursine Jackson shared tips for organizing files when she presented at our October 2020 virtual LNC conference called LNC Success. Get all the recordings of this 3-day event here.
Does this describe your hard drive? If so, no problem! I have ideas to help you to better organize your digital files.
Use a back up service
I invest in a program that continuously backs up my hard drive. I use this service to give me peace of mind. This does not rely on me remembering to transfer files onto a hard drive, and is economical.
I started using a back up service several years ago. When I walked off a plane in Philadelphia late at night and realized I’d left my computer on the plane, my backed up data and an extra computer put me back in business the next day. And yes, Southwest found the computer that evening and returned it to me 10 days later.
And while you are at it, make sure you have a system for backing up your website. Talk to your webmaster. If a person hacks your website and you have no back up, you can lose data and months of work.
Invest in an External Hard Drive
The second option, which is manual, involves using an external hard drive. In the event your computer crashes and all you get is a blue or black screen and your data lost forever, an external drive makes sense.
External hard drives have come a long way in both price and size. It is an excellent way to store large amounts of content without bogging down your computer. Images and videos take up a lot of room on your hard drive, so keeping them on an external drive makes sense.
When you begin moving files to an external hard drive, take the time upfront to organize the files you place there. Set up your folder structures in advance and add to it as you add your files. It will make it easier to locate the files you need quickly.
Trash Old, Unnecessary Files
Have you had your computer for awhile? It doesn’t take much time to begin collecting clutter and accumulating files that you don’t need or will never use again.
Not only do these take up space, but they also make it challenging to find the files you do use and need. If you haven’t accessed a file or a program in a while, consider whether or not you should trash it.
Especially target large files, like PowerPoint presentations. They take up a lot of room.
Organize Your Web Bookmarks
The purpose of creating web bookmarks is to save you time to easily access your online places you frequent. Did you know that many browsers have a folder system? You can structure and organize your bookmarks so they are easier to find and use.
Much like the way you organize your computer files, you can extend that to your bookmarks. Use this system to your advantage in order to create a bookmark system that is quick and easy to navigate.
Clean Up Your Filing System
Your computer uses a system of folders and subfolders in order to keep your files organized. Just as in a filing cabinet, these folders should be carefully organized and maintained to be efficient. Best practices should consolidate your resources into a few top-leveled folders with subfolders created that makes it easy for you to find what you need when you need it.
For example, you may have a folder titled “Work”. Within that folder, subfolders titled “Expenses”, “Income”, etc. Those subfolders may also contain additional folders within them to further organize more detailed, topic records. Is your LNC data organized?
I saved work according to law firms, attorneys, and patients. It made it easy to locate files.
There are helpful tools you may want to consider using to organize your resources on your computer – so you have an easy, stress-free task. Use Evernote.com and Instapaper.com. These cloud-based applications allow you to create and store documents online and access them from any device. Google Drive and Dropbox are also great platforms that allow you to keep and access your files anywhere.
There is no single, perfect system or technique for organizing files that work for every LNC. It’s a personal preference and is important enough that you take the time to create a system that works for you. Keep in mind that it is an ongoing process that may change over time. The trick is to find the system that works best for you and keep it up.
Is your LNC data organized on your computer? It’s imperative that it is organized. The time you take to create your filing structure system will pay off over and over when you can go directly to that critical file precisely when you need it. This is a great end of the year task that will help you start off the year feeling in control of your data, rather than your disorganized data controlling you.
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs obtain more clients, make more money and achieve their business goals and dreams.
Pat’s related websites include the LNC business coaching services she offers through LNCAcademy.com, the continuing education provided on LNCEU.com, the podcasts broadcast at podcast.legalnursebusiness.com, and writing tips supplied at patiyer.com.
Get all of Pat’s content in one place by downloading the mobile app, Biz Edu at www.legalnursebusiness.com/bizedu. Watch videos, listen to podcasts, read blogs, watch online courses and training, and more.