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Using File Folders to Keep Documents Organized

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While nothing can replace a clear and informative file name when it come to making your files easy to find and well organized, file folders can provide an added level of organization by grouping your files by topic.

If you have a well organized filing cabinet, chances are you won't have much difficulty setting up a similar filing system on your hard drive, as the basic organizational principles hold true. In the event your filing cabinet could be better organized, you'll likely run into the same problems with organizing the files on your hard drive. Here are some pointer to help steer you in the right direction:

1. Think of how you will search for your files, then create a category list from it. Since the ultimate goal is to help you find your files, it makes sense to work backwards when you're setting up your folder names.

2. While nested folders can add a little more organization within the folders, having too many levels can become cumbersome. If possible, try to keep it to two or three levels.

3. Give the folders clear and concise names. Avoid names like "miscellaneous" or "general;" the more specific you are, the less searching you'll do.

4. If you have nested folders but are worried you won't remember the way they're organized, they might not be as well organized as you'd like. However, to get around this, you can print a file tree in Windows Explorer and keep it handy for quick reference.

You can create folders in any Windows folder view or directly in any Word file dialog box -- simply right-click in the whitespace around the file names and select New folder from the shortcut menu.
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