View Full Version : Getting Organized at New Job
12-14-2009, 07:55 AM
I've recently started a new job after completing my master's degree and am having a real hard time getting my electronic files organized, both in my computer e-mail. Given the consulting nature of my position I have two laptops, two different e-mail addresses, and files scattered all over the place. I'm trying to consolidate my files to a thumb drive so that I can move them between laptops as I move from working at the client site and then back at the home office. Anyone have any suggestions as to how I should structure documents both in the thumb drive and in outlook so as to not drive myself completely crazy? I am open to all and any ideas at this point.
12-14-2009, 08:18 AM
I might try forwarding everything to a Gmail account and accessing that.
In general, I don't really believe in structuring computer files any more. I just believe in searching.
12-14-2009, 08:22 AM
Tried the Gmail route but neither company allows it. So that option is out. I've managed to get my company to forward my e-mails to my client email address. But in 6 months that will need to change as I will be placed on another rotation. I guess for now it will work but it's not ideal.
12-14-2009, 08:49 AM
I've managed to get my company to forward my e-mails to my client email address. But in 6 months that will need to change as I will be placed on another rotation.
Why not get your own domain name, and your own permanent e-mail address? Then you can have everything forwarded there and it won't change.
We've had our own domain and therefore the same e-mail address for years now. And yes it's public so I do get spam to it but it's manageable. Our own domain also allows us to make up separate e-mail addresses as needed, so I have Sales and Info addresses that are automatically filed into special places where I can deal with them as actions easily. I can even make a new e-mail addy for a specific project if I need to.
I guess I'm not sure why you have two laptops. Is an ownership issue (one laptop is yours, and the other is the company's)?
At this point, with the technology we have, you should be able to have everything consolidated on the same computer. Worst case, you could store things in 2 different places and access them using the same laptop via network mappings or something similar.
If I were you, I would see if I could grab the ear of an IT person in your company and see what is available to you based on the way your email is set up and what software/hardware/network resources you can have.
12-14-2009, 11:38 AM
If you really need to use more than one computer, you might find dropbox.com useful. The free account gives you 2gb of free space.
On each computer you install it on (pc or Mac), you get a folder called "Dropbox" on your desktop or wherever. Anything files put in there will be synced with the other computers when they're switched on.
I've been using it for about 3 weeks now and really liking it. I use plain next files to keep my GTD lists (projects, NAs, waiting for, etc) and dropbox makes it easy to have the files all synced up (especially since text files are so small that they sync almost instantly).
12-14-2009, 11:54 AM
@cojo - One computer is owned by my company and the other by the client I am working for. I am currently on an 18 month training program and will be working for 3 different clients during this time. Basically I am like one of their employees while I am on their site. I shouldn't say I use two laptops since I mainly use the clients' one right and that could change once I move on to my next rotation.
@rangi500 - IT at my the current client will not allow me to install dropbox. Tried Windows Live Sync and they won't allow that either.
I've decided that for the time being keeping all my documents stored and organized on a flash drive is the way to go. That way if I need to move between laptops I just pop the drive in and everything is there. My question really is if anyone has any suggestions on how to keep everything organized given the my many changes in roles, addition/deletion of projects, and different reporting structures over the next 18 months??
12-14-2009, 12:14 PM
I think you may be dealing with 2 distinct issues here - one being the practical issue of how to share files between computers, the other being how to use GTD in your new environment.
Since you're going to be working in lots of different places and reporting to different people, it would make sense to structure your action lists by context (@office, @client, @boss1, @boss2), so you can quickly see what options you have.
Are there any particular issues you're having trouble with, apart from the file-sharing one?
12-14-2009, 12:24 PM
@rangi500 - I think I have the file sharing issue figured out. I think my issue is trying to get a structure developed so that I feel like nothing is slipping through the cracks. For example, should I structure my files based on Company/Client, Functions, or projects? Right now I just feel like things are a mix of everything...
12-14-2009, 01:00 PM
Are you capturing everything that pops up somehow? If not, things may be slipping through the gaps.
Remember that you don't have to organise the things you capture at the time you capture them, you can just dump them all in an "inbox" of some sort then organise them later. The inbox might be a notepad you scribble everything on, an email inbox you email everything into or an actual box on your desk that you put things in for later processing.
12-19-2009, 08:20 PM
I was wondering if it is for reference or lookup why not designate a reference folder,projects folder for storing info only pertaining to this project and the rest as references for the person.
to look up just use the windows search function.