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3 Tips to Organise Your Dropbox Folders

3 Tips to Organise Your Dropbox Folders

According to Statista Dropbox has over 500 million users and according to Fortune.com Dropbox is still way ahead in the online cloud storage race, with almost double Google Drive users and five times that of Microsoft’s OneDrive. Dropbox, like other online cloud storage options, gives us the ability to share files, collaborate on files, and store files in one place.

They just seem to do it that bit better than their competitors. Only slightly better according to one source, but better never the less. If you are a Dropbox fan, you’ll know what I mean. You can’t always put your finger on why it’s better, it just makes everyday tasks a little easier to do. And that can be the difference between choosing one piece of tech over another.

So, Dropbox users and fans, here are 3 tips to make Dropbox even easier to use for you and your team.

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How do Most People Organise their Dropbox Folders?

The short answer is that they don’t really think too hard about it when they start using Dropbox. Bar a few that are organised and have the whole thing sorted. For those, maybe stop reading here?! For others, Dropbox can resemble their hard drive and their Outlook folders. Plentiful, and as badly organised as the messy drawer in their kitchen or their home filing (a pile on the sideboard).

The difference with Dropbox is that many people use it to collaborate with others and therefore being disorganised is not ok. When it is our disorganisation, just for us, it’s ok, but when you need to work with others, it’s not. Ever seen someone with a desk covered in paper? They’ll proudly tell you that they know where it all is. Working with others means we need to be more organised otherwise chaos ensues.

How Could You Organise Your Dropbox Folders to Work Better with Others?

There are 3 tips here that will help, and number 2 will help the most.

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1. Have 7 folders for your front line folders to make it easy for everyone to make the first decision as to where the file should be located.

Start narrow. Have a maximum number of first level folders. Seven is ideal. Read what the psychiatrists say to know why. Maybe ‘Clients’, ‘Financial’, ‘Suppliers’, ‘Team’, ‘Personal Development’, ‘Projects’, and ‘Meetings’. Very quickly the team will get used to making the first level filing decision quickly and easily. Juts choosing between 7 folders, not 35 folders.

    2. Number your Dropbox folders so that everyone can communicate with a common language of where folders are.

    Add numbers to your Dropbox folders because whilst Dropbox does enable link sharing, with a number it is much easier for a colleague to know where a file sits in the structure so that they can refine it more easily next time. I suggest updating your Dropbox folders as you go rather than doing all the folders at once because that is a Time Management.

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    Once this is complete, other colleagues will start to do the same once they see you start, and when you want to direct a colleague to a folder on the phone or via email just say, ‘2.5.22.4’, which means to follow the 2nd folder, then the 5th folder, then the 22nd folder, and finally the 4th folder.

      3. Add your initials and date to each file each time you update it so that everyone can easily see who made the last update and when.

      With adding initals and the date, you know who last updated the file and when. Dropbox does show the date the file was last modified, but not by who, and you can only see this when you click on each file. By having their initials and the date in the filename you can scan down a long list of files easily to see who and when the last file was updated.

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        Featured photo credit: By Sugar Pond (Mess) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons via commons.wikimedia.org

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        Darren A. Smith

        Founder of Making Business Matter - Training Provider to the UK Grocery Industry

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        Last Updated on September 11, 2019

        Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

        Why To-Do Lists Don’t Work (And How to Change That)

        How often do you feel overwhelmed and disorganized in life, whether at work or home? We all seem to struggle with time management in some area of our life; one of the most common phrases besides “I love you” is “I don’t have time”. Everyone suggests working from a to-do list to start getting your life more organized, but why do these lists also have a negative connotation to them?

        Let’s say you have a strong desire to turn this situation around with all your good intentions—you may then take out a piece of paper and pen to start tackling this intangible mess with a to-do list. What usually happens, is that you either get so overwhelmed seeing everything on your list, which leaves you feeling worse than you did before, or you make the list but are completely stuck on how to execute it effectively.

        To-do lists can work for you, but if you are not using them effectively, they can actually leave you feeling more disillusioned and stressed than you did before. Think of a filing system: the concept is good, but if you merely file papers away with no structure or system, the filing system will have an adverse effect. It’s the same with to-do lists—you can put one together, but if you don’t do it right, it is a fruitless exercise.

        Why Some People Find That General To-Do Lists Don’t Work?

        Most people find that general to-do lists don’t work because:

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        • They get so overwhelmed just by looking at all the things they need to do.
        • They don’t know how to prioritize the items on list.
        • They feel that they are continuously adding to their list but not reducing it.
        • There’s a sense of confusion seeing home tasks mixed with work tasks.

        Benefits of Using a To-Do List

        However, there are many advantages working from a to-do list:

        • You have clarity on what you need to get done.
        • You will feel less stressed because all your ‘to do’s are on paper and out of your mind.
        • It helps you to prioritize your actions.
        • You don’t overlook so many tasks and forget anything.
        • You feel more organized.
        • It helps you with planning.

        4 Golden Rules to Make a To-Do List Work

        Here are my golden rules for making a “to-do” list work:

        1. Categorize

        Studies have shown that your brain gets overwhelmed when it sees a list of 7 or 8 options; it wants to shut down.[1] For this reason, you need to work from different lists. Separate them into different categories and don’t have more than 7 or 8 tasks on each one.

        It might work well for you to have a “project” list, a “follow-up” list, and a “don’t forget” list; you will know what will work best for you, as these titles will be different for everybody.

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        2. Add Estimations

        You don’t merely need to know what has to be done, but how long it will take as well in order to plan effectively.

        Imagine on your list you have one task that will take 30 minutes, another that could take 1 hour, and another that could take 4 hours. You need to know the moment you look at the task, otherwise you undermine your planning, so add an extra column to your list and include your estimation of how long you think the task will take, and be realistic!

        Tip: If you find it a challenge to estimate accurately, then start by building this skill on a daily basis. Estimate how long it will take to get ready, cook dinner, go for a walk, etc., and then compare this to the actual time it took you. You will start to get more accurate in your estimations.

        3. Prioritize

        To effectively select what you should work on, you need to take into consideration: priority, sequence and estimated time. Add another column to your list for priority. Divide your tasks into four categories:

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        • Important and urgent
        • Not urgent but important
        • Not important but urgent
        • Not important or urgent

        You want to work on tasks that are urgent and important of course, but also, select some tasks that are important and not urgent. Why? Because these tasks are normally related to long-term goals, and when you only work on tasks that are urgent and important, you’ll feel like your day is spent putting out fires. You’ll end up neglecting other important areas which most often end up having negative consequences.

        Most of your time should be spent on the first two categories.

        4.  Review

        To make this list work effectively for you, it needs to become a daily tool that you use to manage your time and you review it regularly. There is no point in only having the list to record everything that you need to do, but you don’t utilize it as part of your bigger time management plan.

        For example: At the end of every week, review the list and use it to plan the week ahead. Select what you want to work on taking into consideration priority, time and sequence and then schedule these items into your calendar. Golden rule in planning: don’t schedule more than 75% of your time.

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        Bottom Line

        So grab a pen and paper and give yourself the gift of a calm and clear mind by unloading everything in there and onto a list as now, you have all the tools you need for it to work. Knowledge is useless unless it is applied—how badly do you want more time?

        To your success!

        More to Help You Achieve More in Less Time

        Featured photo credit: Emma Matthews via unsplash.com

        Reference

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