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Tips for Storing and Naming Your Files

If you thought file management was just for paper files, think again. It’s just as important to keep the files on your computer organized and up-to-date. Just as with paper files, the goal of computer file management is to ensure that you can find what you’re looking for, even if you’re looking for it years after its creation. These file management tips will help you keep your files accessible:

1. Understand The Various Storage Drives

DioNet Users

DioNet Users have several “drives” to save to.

If a file is personal in nature – think of it as something you will want to take with you if you move to a different office or parish – save it to your U:\My Documents folder. E.g. Homilies, media files, pictures, etc. Please don’t save your vacation photos or other files on the DioNet unless you mean to use them for work. Non-work items should be on your own personal computer’s hard drive.

If it needs to be accessible by others in the office or parish, save it to your S:\ drive (Parish Docs). This is a shared drive and all in the office have access to it.

If it is private – for your eyes only, but having to do with the parish or office – save it in your R:\ drive (Docs by Role). E.g. Spreadsheets created by the Bookkeeper, sensitive letters having to do with a parishioner, etc.

All of these drives are backed up nightly.

Do NOT save files to your desktop. We cannot guarantee the safety of anything saved on the desktop. Save to your drives. Also, it makes your “profile” very big. The more things saved on the desktop, the bigger your profile. The bigger your profile, the longer it takes to log into the DioNet.

Chancery Server

Staff who work at the Chancery Office can save files on the Chancery server. Follow the filing procedures outlined by your Office Director. The Chancery server is backed up on a regular basis.

Personal PC’s and Laptops

All documents stored on your personal PC should be placed in the My Documents folder and no where else. So whether it’s a spreadsheet, a letter or a PowerPoint presentation, it goes here. This will make it easier to find things and to run backups. Backing up files on your personal PC is your responsibility.

2. Create Folders with Meaningful Names

These are the drawers of your computer’s filing cabinet, so to speak. Use plain language to name your folders; you don’t want to be looking at this list of folders in the future and wondering what “TFK” or whatever other interesting abbreviation you invented means.

3. Nest folders within folders.

Create other folders within these main folders as need arises. For instance, a folder called “Invoices” might contain folders called “2008”, “2009” and “2010”. A folder named for RCIA might include the folders “Candidates” and “Sponsors”. The goal is to have every file in a folder rather than having a bunch of orphan files listed.

4. Be specific.

Give files logical, specific names and include dates in file names if possible. The goal when naming files is to be able to tell what the file is about without having to open it and look. So if the document is a letter to parishioners, call it something like “Christmas Letter 2009” rather than something like “letter”. How will you know who the letter is to, without opening it?

5. File as you go.

The best time to file a document is when you first create it. So get in the habit of using the “Save As” dialogue box to save your document as well as name it, putting it in the right place, with the right name, Save often as you are working when you are working on a file.

6. Order your files for your convenience.

If there are folders or files that you use a lot, force them to the top of the alphabetical file list by renaming them with a ! or an AA at the beginning of the file name. Once you’re done working with the file, rename it and remove the ! or AA.

7. Cull your files regularly.

Keep your folders uncluttered by clearing out the old files. When you’re not sure, to be on the safe side, you may want to create a folder called "Old" or "Inactive" and move old files into it when you come across them. Then after a certain time period, delete the “Old” folder.

8. Back up your files regularly.

If you are using the DioNet the following drives are backed up for you:

O:\ (opf data)

V:\ (BV data)

R:\ (Docs by Role)

S:\ (Parish Docs)

U:\ (User drive).

If you are not on the DioNet it is your responsibility to back up your files on a regular basis.

The search function is a wonderful thing but it will never match the ease of being able to go directly to a folder or file. If you follow these file management tips consistently, even if you don’t know where something is, you know where it should be – a huge advantage when it comes to finding what you’re looking for.

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