The Tupperware and Data Parallel

Most are guilty of having too much Tupperware. It seems to somehow multiply within our kitchen cupboards and before me realise the containers are in complete disarray. Lids become lost or incorrectly paired with bases and containers are no longer stacked according to type. For some unknown reason the items that you frequently use end up buried in the back of the cupboard.

Dirty containers are often washed and placed on the dish rack to dry. Once dry the Tupperware is thrown into the cupboard. Repeatedly this occurs until one realises that the shelving is a mess and that the containers require attention and reorganisation.

Data management is similar. Often files are created and due to time constraints documents are not managed properly. Default drives become cluttered with various file formats. In result work production is made troublesome and often the files you seek become hidden by countless unmanaged files.

In the same way containers are left to dry the data we create and collect is often set aside. We stock pile that data and soon realise the unmanaged data needs organisation. Our inherent Tupperware behaviour is replicated with our management of work files. We stock pile Tupperware in the same manner we contend with data and a form of behaviour modification is necessary for change to occur.

Work files should be carefully managed to ensure work productivity and efficiency. In the same way containers are stacked according to type resources must be organised according to type and there are various web2tools and applications that will assist with workflow.



Here are six tips for organising your data;

1. Use Evernote for all Note Taking

Typing notes into Pages, Word or similar application isn't the smartest idea unless you're responsible for staff minutes. Using Evernote provides a suite of tools for excellent note taking. Bullet Points, Font Modification, Image Capture and Microphone are four basic features of the Cloud service. Entries can be organised into folders. Items can be easily shared with colleagues and accessed on multiple platforms. Multiple applications integrate with Evernote to store professional anecdotes and moments in time.

2. Use GoogleDrive as Cloud Storage Solution

Forms, Documents, Presentations and Spreadsheets can all be created and saved within Google Drive. Items can be uploaded to create a library of resources that can be accessed from any device at anytime. Files can be shared and preferences enabled to allow others to edit documents.

3. Use DropBox for Easy File Transfer

I use DropBox as a means of transferring images and media items. On my laptop I have created pathways for screen captures to be saved to my DropBox. I upload screenshots on iPad to the same DropBox Folder. It streamlines the process of media management. I also use DropBox as short term file sharing with students, parents and teachers. 

4. Use Bookmarks, Reading Lists and Favourites to Manage Websites

I've known individuals to email URL references to themself for later reference. I've also been asked how to save HTML as a shortcut within a folder in Documents. This simply doesn't make sense. Using Bookmarks and Favourites will assist with cataloging of online references. One of the most beautiful things with iCloud is the synchronisation of websites for immediate. Favourites can also be a collaborative means of gather resource links to share with colleagues.

5. Use Folders and Metadata

Folders are the simplest way of managing data. Folders can be nested within folders. This said, however, one mustn't bury files too deep. Burying files too deep within folder layers can make access cumbersome. Use the 'Three Click Rule'. If you cannot reach the file destination in three clicks... it's too deep. Buring files too deep can prevent them from being backed up on the network. Apparently some servers are unable trace or reference files beyond two hundred characters. The example below has 35 characters and privides access in three moves.

C://Documents/2014/Term2/Curriculum

Additional information and notes can be added to an article. Providing extra information isn't necessary, however, will allow one to protect articles to improve authenticity and tracking.

6. Use the Delete Button and Empty the Trash Bin

Data is usually only just data. You don't have to save everything. Sometimes one must simply be ruthless and clear files to remove clutter and provide opportunity for new ideas to be generated. Holding onto data can prevent innovation. Sometimes we must rid ourselves of outdated Tupperware and containers we no longer have need for. In like manner data that is unwanted should be deleted.

Tupperware and data share similarities. We must not get into the habit of setting everything aside to attend to later. Healthy work habits are essential and one of those is data management. Data management is achieved through establishment of work routines and systematic behaviour. 

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