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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 March 31, 2020

        Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

        Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

        Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

        Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

        There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

        Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

        Why We Procrastinate After All?

        We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

        Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

        Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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        To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

        If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

        Is Procrastination Bad?

        Yes it is.

        Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

        Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

        Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

        It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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        The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

        Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

        For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

        A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

        Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

        Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

        How Bad Procrastination Can Be

        Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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        After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

        One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

        That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

        Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

        In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

        You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

        More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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        Procrastination, a Technical Failure

        Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

        It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

        It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

        Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

        Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

        Reference

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