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Organize Your Documents Online

Organize Your Documents Online

If you’re one to work away from home and like things accessible while mobile, you’ve already changed to an email client like Gmail, and are on your way to creating a completely online office.

Filing and organizing paper documents is a chore and takes up space so you may be digitizing them already via your scanner. This way any documents you receive online don’t have to be printed off; although you’ll probably keep hard copies of all your important documents somewhere.

Put these together and you’re looking for a way to organize your documents online. Here’s three ways and how they differ.

box.net document organizing

    Box.net

    An excellent online storage solution, Box.net offers 1gb free with the ability to share with other Box.net users.

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    It’s a simple and good looking app that makes it easy to upload in bulk, documents and other filetypes, organize in folders and tag files. Box.net’s search is excellent with sorting by Date and Size also available.

    If you want to increase your storage, to unlimited for free, and still have access to files from one login; here’s how you do it.

    • 1. Find an email client that supports sending emails from different accounts, such as Gmail.
    • 2. Create some new email accounts and have them accessible through your main one.
    • 3. Create new Box.net accounts with these emails.
    • 4. For each account, add your main Box.net account to the Network and Share the ‘Upload From Email’ folder with it.
    • 5. Email files to upload@box.net

    If you send from your main email, the files will appear in the ‘Upload From Email’ folder in your main Box.net account. If you send from your extra email accounts, they will go to your extra Box.net accounts, but be Shared with your main account under the Updates tab.

    There you can’t search or tag files, but you can download or add them to your account.

    Pros

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    • Great interface
    • Any filetype can be uploaded
    • Can make files public and display on a public page, where RSS is available
    • Upload from email
    • Embed widget

    Cons

    • Can’t view documents in browser
    • Storage relative to number of email accounts accessible [1=1gb]
    scribd document organization

      Scribd.com

      This is a relatively new addition to the ‘YouTube for documents’ scene. Here you can upload your documents like you would a video or photograph on a social network. Sharing and finding documents is simple and easy.

      The interface is a little clumsy but you can still tag everything to keep things organized and My Collections feature allows you to organize things further into folders. If you want to keep certain docs away from prying eyes, each item can be switched to Private.

      With all the beta-ness of Scribd, it’s strengths lie in compatibility. You can upload anything from Microsoft Word docs and PDFs to Excel and Powerpoint files.

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      After the document is up, you can download it as either a PDF, a doc, a text file or an MP3. No matter what format you upload in, as long as there is legible text, the output is good. And I thought OCR was dead.
      Each file is viewable in an attractive [and embeddable] Flash holder where you can scroll, zoom and print the document from.

      Pros

      • Instant file conversion – including audio
      • Read documents within browser
      • Find interesting documents from social network
      • Embed widget

      Cons

      • Buggy and unattractive interface
      • Searching your own documents requires Advanced fields
      • Only document filetypes accepted
      • Can’t upload from email
      gmail document organizing

        Gmail + G-Drive

        We previously mentioned using filters in Gmail to organize anything you uploaded through Gmail Drive. This works simply for documents.

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        • 1. Download Gmail Drive
        • 2. Create and organize folders within the Gmail drive on your computer
        • 3. Create Gmail filters with queries such as GMAILFS: /contracts/ and GMAILFS: /receipts/ in the Subject field. This will create labels in Gmail to reflect your folders.

        Anything you add to the Gmail drive on your computer will be sent to your Gmail account as an email. With specific filters added, each file will be moved to the corresponding label/folder in Gmail.

        Pros

        • Move documents to folders from your computer like normal
        • Almost 3gig of storage
        • Any filetype can be uploaded
        • New files [or plain emails] can be labeled within Gmail into your system
        • Easily share files through email forwarding
        • Upload via email
        • Gmail search
        • Can integrate documents with Calendar, Google Docs etc

        Cons

        • No native sub-label function
        • When searching, requires Label: field to exclude searching emails

        As much as there may always be documents you never want available online, for the sake of backups and accessibility, these options aren’t half bad. Know any better?

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        The Gentle Art of Saying No

        The Gentle Art of Saying No

        No!

        It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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        But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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        What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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        But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

        1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
        2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
        3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
        4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
        5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
        6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
        7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
        8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
        9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
        10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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