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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?

        More by this author

        Craig Childs

        Craig is an editor and web developer who writes about happiness and motivation at Lifehack

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        Last Updated on October 6, 2020

        8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

        8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times

        Many of us find ourselves in motivational slumps that we have to work to get out of. Sometimes it’s like a continuous cycle where we are motivated for a period of time, fall out and then have to build things back up again.

        There is nothing more powerful for self-motivation than the right attitude. You can’t choose or control your circumstance, but you can choose your attitude towards your circumstances.

        How I see this working is while you’re developing these mental steps, and utilizing them regularly, self-motivation will come naturally when you need it.

        The key, for me, is hitting the final step to Share With Others. It can be somewhat addictive and self-motivating when you help others who are having trouble.

        A good way to have self motivation continuously is to implement something like these 8 steps from Ian McKenzie.[1] I enjoyed Ian’s article but thought it could use some definition when it comes to trying to build a continuous drive of motivation. Here is a new list on how to self motivate:

        1. Start Simple

        Keep motivators around your work area – things that give you that initial spark to get going.

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        These motivators will be the Triggers that remind you to get going.

        2. Keep Good Company

        Make more regular encounters with positive and motivated people. This could be as simple as IM chats with peers or a quick discussion with a friend who likes sharing ideas.

        Positive and motivated people are very different from the negative ones. They will help you grow and see opportunities during tough times.

        Here’re more reasons why you should avoid negative people: 10 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Negative People

        3. Keep Learning

        Read and try to take in everything you can. The more you learn, the more confident you become in starting projects.

        You can train yourself to crave lifelong learning with these tips: How to Develop a Lifelong Learning Habit

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        4. See the Good in Bad

        When encountering obstacles or challenging goals, you want to be in the habit of finding what works to get over them.

        Here are 10 tips to make positive thinking easy.

        5. Stop Thinking

        Just do. If you find motivation for a particular project lacking, try getting started on something else. Something trivial even, then you’ll develop the momentum to begin the more important stuff.

        When you’re thinking and worrying about it too much, you’re just wasting time. These tried worry busting techniques can help you.

        6. Know Yourself

        Keep notes on when your motivation sucks and when you feel like a superstar. There will be a pattern that, once you are aware of, you can work around and develop.

        Read for yourself how the magic of marking down your mood works.

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        7. Track Your Progress

        Keep a tally or a progress bar for ongoing projects. When you see something growing, you will always want to nurture it.

        Take a look at these 4 simple ways to track your progress so you have motivation to achieve your goals.

        8. Help Others

        Share your ideas and help friends get motivated. Seeing others do well will motivate you to do the same. Write about your success and get feedback from readers.

        Helping others actually helps yourself, here’s why.

        What I would hope happens here is you will gradually develop certain skills that become motivational habits.

        Once you get to the stage where you are regularly helping others keep motivated – be it with a blog or talking with peers – you’ll find the cycle continuing where each facet of staying motivated is refined and developed.

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        In this episode of The Lifehack Show, Justin has some great tips as well:

        Too Many Steps?

        If you could only take one step? Just do it!

        Once you get started on something, you’ll almost always just get into it and keep going. There will be times when you have to do things you really don’t want to: that’s where the other steps and tips from other writers come in handy.

        However, the most important thing, that I think is worth repeating, is to just get started.

        Get that momentum going and then when you need to, take Ian’s Step 7 and Take A Break. No one wants to work all the time!

        More Tips for Boosting Motivation

        Featured photo credit: Japheth Mast via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Ian McKenzie: 8 mental steps to self-motivation

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