There’s nothing worse than wasting time clicking in and out of folders for a PDF you saved last week or searching multiple emails for that one conversation you remember having.
Managing data is a desirable skill and a necessity in the ICT industry. Organising your data is an ongoing task that can express communication and logic.
This post focuses on professional data management. I’ll cover structure, organisation, methods and overall thinking behind everything. There’s a need to understand the importance of managing data. What software to use? How to configure everything? How to backup?
Bare in mind there are affiliated links being used throughout this post.
Cloud Data Storage
So the first piece of the puzzle is Googles Business Suite of tools and software, G Suite. I call this my Professional Account, anything and everything work or project related is stored here. Compared to my Personal Account via their free gmail, where everything else goes. I find this mental clarification has always helped me, I highly recommend having one account for one purpose.
The Google Drive is the heart of my data management, I store everything there, I love it. I use Google File Stream, an included tool for G Suite users, it adds a virtual hard drive to the computer, appropriately lettered the G: Drive. This makes syncing and using Google Drive a breeze in Windows.
I work from my single laptop at home or on the go, and then I have multiple computers while teaching at work. Using File Stream on all machines make switching between them super easy. I never have to juggle hard drives or multiple USB sticks, I just double check everything’s uploaded before signing off and I’m good to go!
Overall, G Suite helps make my data accessible and organised, here’s my Folder structure and thinking:
Check out GSuite for yourself here. If you use the following codes you can get a 20% off discount for the first 12 months.
Backup Local Data
I rely heavily on internet access and I know one day this will come to haunt me, so GoodSync is my preventative measure. It’s a great backup/syncing tool that’s really easy to setup.
Once a week I’ll sit down and make a local or ‘offline’ copy of my Google Drive. This way all of my data is saved on my physical hard drive (HDD) safe and sound. This is a good practice, still, I definitely forget every few weeks or so. Luckily, GoodSync has a few helpful features like detecting my external HDD when it’s plugged in to auto backup.
GoodSync is regularly updated and is not a heavy program to run. With a one time purchase license, it’s a well worth expense for managing my data.
If you’d like to support me here is an affiliated link.
Browsing Net Data
Remember that Professional Account I mentioned earlier, here’s how it starts to shine. Chrome is my preferred browser, sometimes it’s FireFox, but mainly I stick to Chrome.
Signing in gives me all my work related bookmarks, this helps to show only what I need in a digestible way. Bookmarks are the websites and web apps you pin to remember for later, I love bookmarks.
Think of bookmarks like your internet files, the docs/places you need to regularly visit. From left to right, they need to be filed in order of importance to you.
Here’s each folder/location
- Start Folder
- Projects Folder
- Work Folder
- App Folder
- Resource Folder
- Help Folder
- Learn Folder
- Hunt Folder
Index Email Data
You may have heard of treating emails as a todo list, this is very much my method. I use the tags in Gmail to archive and organise all important messages and the ones I won’t need are deleted.
Stay on top of your inbox and clear it out as soon as you can, it helps stay on task and focus on what you need too.
I also recommend setting up filters for newsletter subscriptions. Filters can do a range of automated tasks, I use them to apply a tag and skip the inbox. For example if [email protected] always sends me emails weekly, instead of being distracted by them, I’ll apply a filter to index it for later.
Mobile Data Distractions
Our mobile/tablet OS’s are designed to distract and demand attention, I use a few methods to keep my apps organised and distraction free.
I recommend having less apps installed or on your home screen, use your browser to navigate to the app’s mobile website instead! Why? Most app websites are not as user friendly and this will deter you from using them as much. For example Instagram, Facebook etc.
Use your device as a search device. Lean on your mobile browser and favourite search engine for finding what you’re after. This way you need to think of what you need, instead of seeing distractions.
An Overall Minimal Data Workflow
Every new piece of data that comes my way has a tag/folder/place for it to be organised. Storing most important to least important keeps things at arm’s reach when you need it and assists with remaining focused on your day. I believe keeping clear inboxes and removing unneeded data asap really boots overall productivity.
The tools I use might not be the best tools for you, I like the eco-system Google provides and the affordable rates help a lot.