Oh that list of tasks with notes – it’s is in Google Drive, wait no, it’s linked to from a Slack upload, wait no, it’s in my Local projects folder. Wait no, the client sent the .pages list via Dropbox and I didn’t add it yet so it’s just a shared link. Wait no, it was an email attachment. Wait no, it was a plain text email. Wait no, They used MegaUpload to share it. Wait no, I think I put it on the thumb drive because we went to that meeting. Wait no, I’m sure of it now. I have a note about it in my personal Notes app. Wait no, it’s in Evernote. Wait no, it’s a Slack Post. Wait no, hold on. I think I wrote where it is on a Sticky in real life, Wait no, it was a virtual sticky in Dashboard. Or was it jotted in a .doc note in my Documents folder? Wait no, was it OneNote? Didn’t we talk about the location of the note over iMessage, or was it Slack, maybe it was on Text. Wait no, I thought I made a calendar event to read the file we’re after, was that calendar event made in my local Calendar app or my Google Calendar.. Wait no, I wrote it on my tangible calendar in the office: okay, it says it’s “on the cloud”? My Google Drive cloud? Microsoft Cloud? my Apple iCloud Drive? Oh, haha, here it is on my desktop.

Wait no, this is the file without the new edits.

That’s a joke I shared with someone when we had no idea where something was.

I wrote before about platform fragmentation – how no one company can dominate because there’s so many systems available, and this again just highlights that theory.

If I don’t pay careful attention to what I’m doing, I fall victim to this, not so extreme, but still frusterating. It’s painful. If I was too offer advise, from someone who’s been on the computer everday for over 10 years: always take the time to organize and consolidate your lists, your content, and things provided to you. If it doesn’t matter one way or the other to someone else you’re collaborating with, push to use your prefered platform instead of having a Dropbox account with only their content because you’re so easy-going.

There’s two methods to find a file or a thing: organization, or searching. You either know where something is and navigate there yourself eaisly, or you throw it somewhere and find it later.

I’ve found, as I’ve gotten older, it’s hard to remember where somthing is, but it’s even harder to remeber a search term that’d retrieve what I’m after, and with so many platforms to search in, you’re kind of screwed. Consolidating things and keeping them organized help both methods, you know where something is, and if you don’t, you at least know it shouldn’t be somewhere too far off. It’s the difference between taking 10 seconds and 10 minutes to find something – which adds up.

Typically I spend an hour a week, just organizing lists, notes, and files. That might sound like a lot, 2.5% of my week, but it’s not enough in my opinion, and the amount of time I save not searching and not getting frusterated is beyond that.

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