Your digital past is rarely gone

Today I was working with one of my favourite digital tools: Insync.

Insync Google Docs

Insync is a handy tool for synchronizing your Google Docs to different computers. It allow you to open them in Word, save and then it uploads changes to Google Docs. Insync Google Docs Desktop

Now I was rooting through my Google Docs and came across the files from my old computers I had uploaded during my MN, my BScN and from previous computers I had during high school.

It was all there, uploaded and synced. It was about as organized as all the hard copies that i have shoved into boxes that are stored in my basement. Extra copies of drafts, half torn out pages (outlines, saved notes, etc.), and everything else.

Insync Google Docs Files

Some of it was nice to find. Old care plans, assignments and group work. There were some resumes, cover letters and other fun artifacts of my professional evolution. There was also a ton of stuff I will NEVER have a use for and a couple things I’d never want to continue to exist! Mainly some misnamed files (e.g. “I hope this ****ing works” – a clever file name i had given a document after my 8th time reformatting it the night before it was due to it would print the tables appropriately).

Insync Google Docs Learning Plan

Finding all this was a fun, but it also taught me a few things. Here are a couple thought I’d like to pass on:

  • File naming is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT
    • Start with the date yyyy-mm-dd (2011-01-12) – keeps everything chronological
    • If it is an edit, write edit in the title, if it is a temporary draft write “delete” in the file name so you know to trash it later
    • USE FOLDERS and label them appropriately (for courses, assignments, presentations, conferences, etc.0
  • Uploading everything to a online web service might not be your best option
    • Look through it and remove or delete content you don’t want replicated or shared
  • Organize everything, create a system and stick with it, evolve it a bit, do not abandon it.
    • Like an office, with time it will become messy, and you don’t move online spaces as much as you would think. So keeping it clean from the start and regularly revisiting this is important!

Those are just a few thoughts for now. After a hour of organizing I have found a number of useful treasures. It took more time than I wanted, however, it is a lot more manageable now than when I first got started. Hopefully this new system will keep things clean and there is a lot less trash from my digital trash floating around out there.

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