The Why of Organizing Writing Files
My post last week triggered some interesting comments on organizing, so I thought I would address some of the major reasons of WHY.
I’ve always just created a folder, slapped some name on it, then saved files to the folder. I wasn’t always careful about naming the files or the folders because I was always rushing off to do something else. So sometimes the file names didn’t make much sense to me later.
Then there was the Doc1 files, where I just saved the default …
Then there was the novel project …
I was trying one of those Write Your Book in 30 Days, which had all these different worksheets for each week, and it was a lot. I tried naming them the best I could, and I was trying to save backups of my writing files as well. I ended up with at least fifty files in one folder, and it was a like a visual clutter to me. Even though they were dated and sorted that way, I had trouble finding the last thing I worked on because there was too much chaos.
Then I’d need something from an older version that I’d taken out — but because of how inconsistently I’d named them and from the visual clutter of all of them, I had trouble finding what I was looking for!
So an Z – Old Files Folder preserves the files, but controls how much I have to wade through on a daily basis.
In December, my computer failed. I’d done some backups of the story material on flash drives, but I hadn’t backed all my documents up.
I thought I could use what I had.
I was missing two stories. They somehow didn’t make it over from the other computer.
I continued to make flash drive backups of my current computer.
A third story has disappeared.
So I paid to have the hard drive recovered. On my new computer, I have 2K of files. With the additional files, it went to 6K. I also found that I hadn’t lost three stories — it was four, plus one poem. I had short stories in three different main folders. The four were all in a folder that never made it into the backups. The poem was called “wra.” The name even looked like it wasn’t anything important. I only found it because I opened the file to see what it was.
I almost deleted it unopened.
I’m also finding duplicates, caused because I wasn’t consistent in what I named the files. Couldn’t find the file, so I recreated it. Instead, I had 2, 3, or even 4 files.
I’m also finding files where the context was needed to understand the file name, and the context is no longer there.
But the real reason is that I shouldn’t be making more work for myself when I write, or when I do something else on my computer. It’s easy to think that the name isn’t that important, but I’m having to spend a lot of time figuring out what the files are, which should have been unnecessary.