First comes thought; then organization of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is in your imagination. ~ Napoleon Hill

In the era of “big data,” we will be called upon to retrieve information frequently. Having a computer filing system can be a big help. Keeping it as simple as possible also helps.

You can always use the “search and retrieve” function on your computer, but knowing where things are is a lot faster.
How do you file your paperwork? In categories, and then alphabetically? Some other manner? If this is how you retrieve paperwork, it would be simple to use the same system (categories and then alphabetically) in organizing computer files. The more you use these same categories, the easier it is to find things in both places.

Generally, your business automatically lends itself to categories for example: clients, accounts payable, sales, marketing, shipping, etc. Whatever those categories are in your paper files, use the same ones to label your categories, folders and subfolders. Once you have these folders established, you can simply drag what you currently have into the new computer filing system.

Develop an effective naming strategy for your documents. You should be able to tell at a glance which document is the one you are searching for.

Do you remember in the “old days,” file names had a limited number of characters you could use? It’s so nice that they’ve expanded that. Nowadays, you can use a really long string of characters. You can put things in the file name like a description of what the file is about, its version number, the date created, who created it—whatever information you’d need so that looking at the name identifies the file without opening and closing it. This can be a major time saver. If you’ve ever opened up a folder full of documents and you had to open and close every single document to find the one that you’re looking for, you know how much time you can waste doing that.

Decide on a naming convention for your documents that you can follow going forward. Use that structure for any files that you create; that way all of your new documents will be organized in a manner in which it’s much easier to actually find them and retrieve them later.

And if or when you have time, go back to your older files, rename them per the new naming convention, and integrate them into your new computer filing system.

Author's Bio: 

With over 20 years' experience across television, radio and print, Maria Khalifé's insightful teachings combine powerful techniques and spiritual wisdom to enable personal transformation for her clients. Maria brings to the world life-changing experiences for those who seek extraordinary lives and want to reach their maximum potential. Please visit