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File Management

Staying Organized in a Digital World

Rick turns on his computer to continue work on his English paper. Rick opens Word, loads the Open menu to open his paper, but doesn’t see it listed. He checks the Documents folder but cannot find it. He searches the folders on his desktop – New Folder 1, New Folder 2, New New Folder, but none contain the file. Finally, with a sigh, Rick is relieved to find the paper, called “English Work” in the New New Folder 2, located within the New Folder 1 on his desktop.

Have you ever experienced anything like this? If so, it might be a good idea to brush up on your file management skills. Luckily, you’ve found this resource to give you some tips to prevent you from ending up in Rick’s shoes again!


1. Consider making one folder on your computer for all of school work.

Call this folder “OCCC”, “School”, “Homework”, or whatever you’d prefer. Inside that folder, make a separate folder for each of your courses. You can do this on the desktop, in your Documents folder, or anywhere you’d like; just make sure it is someplace that you will remember. Look here for instructions on creating folders

2. Use those folders!

At first it may seem that you are saving time by saving things in the first place you find, but once you develop the habit of saving all of your work in a specific place you will never have trouble finding it again. That is a true time-saver.

3. Use relevant file names.

In the opening story, Rick saved his essay as “English Work”. This file name does not clearly indicate what the file contains. Is it his essay? His writing exercise homework? Saving your files with descriptive names, such as “English Essay One First Draft” makes it easy to identify the file you are looking for.

4. Back up your files.

If you are saving everything to a folder on your computer, it is a good idea to periodically save a copy to a flash drive as well. Likewise, if you are only using a flash drive, you will want to add a copy of your files to your computer as well, just in case. Additionally, using cloud storage such as OneDrive can help ensure you will never lose another file. 



Want Additional Information?

The Virtual Learning Center (VLC) has multiple resources and opportunities available to provide assistance to you.  Virtual Learing Center

Schedule a time today for your personal session.  

In person: The VLC is located inside the Center for Learning & Teaching

                SEM 2G3 (Across from the Math Lab)


Phone:  (405) 682-7838