Advertising
Advertising

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.

    Advertising

    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

    Advertising

    • 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.

      Advertising

      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.

        Advertising

        • 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

        How To Start a Conversation with Anyone 8 Steps to Continuous Self Motivation Even During the Difficult Times How Not To Suck At Socializing – Do’s & Don’ts Ten Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life Storage Ideas For Small Spaces

        Trending in Featured

        1 How to Master the Art of Prioritization 2 How to Find Your Passion and Live a Fulfilling Life 3 What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time 4 Becoming Self-Taught (The How-To Guide) 5 How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on September 10, 2019

        How to Master the Art of Prioritization

        How to Master the Art of Prioritization

        Do you know that prioritization is an art? It is an art that will lead you to success in whatever area that matters to you.

        By prioritization, I’m not talking so much about assigning tasks, but deciding which will take chronological priority in your day—figuring out which tasks you’ll do first, and which you’ll leave to last.

        Effective Prioritization

        There are two approaches to “prioritizing” the tasks in your to-do list that I see fairly often:

        Approach #1 Tackling the Biggest Tasks First and Getting Them out of the Way

        The idea is that by tackling them first, you deal with the pressure and anxiety that builds up and prevents you from getting anything done—whether we’re talking about big or small tasks. Leo Babauta is a proponent of this Big Rocks method.[1]

        Advertising

        Approach #2 Tackling the Tasks You Can Get Done Quickly and Easily, with Minimal Effort

        Proponents of this method believe that by tackling the small fries first, you’ll have less noise distracting you from the periphery of your consciousness.

        If you believe in getting your email read and responded to, making phone calls and getting Google Reader zeroed before you dive into the high-yield work, you’re a proponent of this method. I suppose you could say Getting Things Done (GTD) encourages this sort of method, since the methodology advises followers to tackle tasks that can be completed within two minutes, right there and then.

        Figure out Your Approach for Prioritization

        My own approach is perhaps a mixture of the two.

        I’ll write out my daily task list and draw little priority stars next to the three items I need to get done that day. They don’t need to be big tasks, but nine times out of ten, they are.

        Advertising

        Smaller tasks are rarely important enough to warrant a star in the first place; I can always get away without even checking my inbox until the next day if I’m swamped, and the people who need to get in touch with me super quickly know how.

        But I’m not recommending my system of prioritization to you. I’m also not saying that mine is better than Leo’s Big Rocks method, and I’m not saying it’s better than the “if it can be done quickly, do it first” method either.

        The thing with prioritization is that knowing when to do what relies very much on you and the way you work. Some people need to get some small work done to find a sense of accomplishment and clarity that allows them to focus on and tackle bigger items. Others need to deal with the big tasks or they’ll get caught up in the busywork of the day and never move on, especially when that Google Reader count just refuses to get zeroed (personally, I recommend the Mark All As Read button—I use it most days!).

        I’m in between, because my own patterns can be all over the place. Some days I will be ready to rip into massive projects at 7AM. Other times I’ll feel the need to zero every inbox I have and clean up the papers on my desk before I can focus on anything serious. I also know that my peak, efficient working time doesn’t come at 11AM or 3PM or some specific time like it does for many people, but I have several peaks divided by a few troughs. I can feel what’s coming on when and try to keep my schedule liquid enough that I can adapt.

        Advertising

        That’s why I use a starred task list system rather than a scheduled task list. It allows me to trust myself (something that I suppose takes a certain amount of discipline) and achieve peak efficiency by blowing with the winds. If I fight the peaks and troughs, I’ll get less done; but if I do certain kinds of work in each period of the day as they come, I’ll get more done than most others in a similar line of work.

        You may not be able to trust yourself to that extent without falling into the busywork trap. You may not be able to tackle big tasks first thing in the morning without feeling like you’re pushing against an invisible brick wall that won’t budge. You might not be able to deal with small tasks before the big tasks without feeling pangs of guilt and urgency.

        My point is:

        The prioritization systems themselves don’t matter. They’re all pretty good for a group of people, not least of all to the people who espouse them because they use them and find them effective.

        Advertising

        What matters is that you don’t fall for one set of dogma (and I’m not saying Leo Babauta or David Allen preach these things as dogma, but sometimes their proponents do) until you’ve tried the systems extensively, and found which method of chronological prioritization works for you.

        And if the system you already use works great, then there’s no need to bother trying others—in the world of personal productivity, it’s too easy to mess with something that works and find yourself unable to get back into your former groove.

        “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

        In truth, this principle applies to all sorts of personal productivity issues, though it’s important to know which issues it applies to.

        If you thought multitasking worked well for you each day and I’d have to contend that you are wrong—multitasking is a universal myth in my books! But if you find yourself prioritizing tasks that never get done, you might need to reconsider which of the above approaches you’re using and change to a system that is more personally effective.

        More About Prioritization & Time Management

        Featured photo credit: Sabri Tuzcu via unsplash.com

        Reference

        Read Next