Of course. It’s 7:45 am and you have an essay due first bell. You’re at the printer, holding up the line of sleep deprived adolescents, scrambling to find the document under whatever obscure folder and file name. The stress that comes from situations like this does not have to happen! The Seton Connection has gathered your survival guide to organizing your files until your laptop is all tidy. Organization can seem like a nitpicky task, especially when you have a desktop full of files, but it really is a key skill when it comes to saving time, stress, and pleasing your teachers. Technology doesn’t always work the way we want it to, so you must take control, save early and save often, and don’t let it delete your beautiful eight-page essay because your laptop decided to restart at the exact moment you finished writing.
Whether you’re new to Seton or a four-year veteran, the Seton Connection understands that organization is not everyone’s best skill. As Seton continues to find better ways to share and save our files, it is easy for everything to get mixed up. We are here to help. First thing’s first. Basic organization. Folders are a great tool to help keep subjects separate. Folders within folders are an even better tool to help separate large assignments and projects. However, the best tool of all is labeling. Saving your latest essay as “Essay 1” or “Assignment 9.19.17” is not going to help you when you’re in a hurry to find it again. Good labels describe your paper fully. For example: “Great Expectations essay”. Or if it is a document that you had to pick up, get signed and turned back in, save it as “Letter of Intent Signed”, so you know you’re picking up the right one when you’re attaching it to an email or printing it out at the last second to avoid three conduct points. It is not a good idea to have files saved to your desktop. It is too easy to slip into that bad habit and end up with a screen full of various assignments instead of that super cute puppy you found online or that ~artsy~ picture you took. But now, as Seton becomes more accustomed to Google Drive and all of its features, we know that a lot of our documents automatically go into the folders of their corresponding classes. It’s like Google does half the work for you! To help clean up a few of those outlier papers, create a miscellaneous folder to create a clear Google Drive that will satisfy anyone on a stressful day. As great as Google Classroom has proved to be, there have been questions about the program as we make the adjustment over. The Seton Connection reached out to your very own Help Desk and got the inside scoop on the most asked about topics of Google Classroom. According to Yoon Ha, the most frequent Google Classroom question is integrating OneNote with Google Classroom. Yoon explains the problem and the solution and saved you a trip to the Help Desk by explaining, “I think a lot of times when they try to print from Google Classroom to OneNote it doesn’t go there…usually the problem is there’s a setting under ‘options’ where it will tell you to ‘print to OneNote’ and for some reason it got set to a specific file location versus ask where to go.” If you’ve experienced lost Google Docs worksheets that you would like to mark up on OneNote, head over to your options settings on Google Docs and check it out. The Help Desk, in their infinite wisdom on all things Google Drive, also disclosed the best way to manage Google Drive. Yoon suggests, “have Google Drive on your hard drive, so you have it there and on the cloud.” How do you download Google Drive to your File Explorer? Simply look up “Download Google Drive”, click the link that pops up, and hit the download button! This way you’ll be able to have your files on and offline. And because of Google’s cloud system, if you work offline, as soon as you get back on wifi, the cloud will sync up your online and offline versions. No stress. No worries.
When it comes to turning in assignments, we often play the game of guess what the teacher is thinking. Every teacher seems to have a different preference or method of correctly turning in documents and how to store files for their class. The Seton Connection met with two teachers to get their perspective and how they expect their students to organize their files. Gary Collins, who has most of his students turn in assignments as word documents, expects his students to turn in files labelled: last name, first initial and usually a name related to the topic of the assignment. Why is this method effective? Mr. Collins explains, “my method is about when I go to grade it…I should find all of their work in alphabetical order…this is the most efficient use of my time to grade with how I grade.” Google Docs, however, are a little different. Alexi Murray has her students working with Google Docs. As we all know, Google Docs – when the teacher assigns each student their own copy of a worksheet – generates an automatic label for the assignment. Google Docs really takes off all pressure on the student to organize their files because it will automatically place the document in whatever class the assignment goes with and assign it a neat label for easy finding. Ms. Murray explains that she uses Google Docs because, “if someone forgets to turn it [an assignment] in, I can still see what they worked on.” No matter what method a teacher uses for collecting assignments, they all agree that laptop organization is important. Mr. Collins notes that “With a laptop, it’s the equivalent of putting everything away in a cupboard and to be able to go to that right spot…They need the skill of knowing how to find things, they need the skill of learning how to store things.” Ms. Murray understands the temptation of random saving saying, “It’s so easy to magically have twenty-five documents in one folder and none of it matches together” but goes on to stress that, “taking a step back and taking the extra five seconds to put something in the right folder will save you twenty minutes on Monday when you’re trying to find something.”
The constant call for organization is not just empty preaching! Organization has key important when it comes to success and has numerous benefits. Emily Schoenhofer, Cedar academic advisor, explains that “organization saves you stress and time.” Sounds logical right? But exactly how does organization do this? According to Organizeyourlife.com, organization saves stress by, “instill[ing] confidence by knowing where things are…reduces stress related to lost items or lost information.” If you have everything labelled clearly and in a specific folder, you should be able to find any file within seconds! The beauty of technology is its speed. Organization helps with that too! An article on LinkedIn.com points out that an organized laptop, “improve[s] processing speed.” That’s right, you can watch Netflix even FASTER if you have an organized laptop. Kiss buffering good-bye! A faster laptop and less stress is way worth taking the time to sit down and organize your documents.
Organization is essential in a school such as Seton. It creates a sharper focus and higher productivity. It reduces stress and saves time. It may be a pain to untangle the mess of papers and files in your File Explorer, but it is worth the time! There is no such thing as “messy organization” or, having your files randomly named and placed on a laptop while the user claims to know where everything is. Organization is subjective, everyone has a different method, but it has a core foundation of being clear and neat.
“Benefits of Being Organized.” Benefits, www.organizeyourlife.org/Benefits.htm.