Where are all your documents?  Are they scattered across the desktop, all in My Documents or in folders with appropriate names on?  What happens when you need to find a document that you created some time ago, when looking in Recent Documents isn’t useful – how long does it take to track it down?

If you had real paper instead of electronic paper you’d have a hanging file in the filing cabinet for each category, client or product.  Treat your computer the same way and have an efficient filing system so you know exactly where to find that document.

It doesn’t matter whether you keep your files on the hard drive – backed up, of course – or in the Cloud, the same rules apply.  Have a folder that is the equivalent of a filing cabinet, with folders in it that equate to each drawer and then individual folders to act as hanging files.

One of my clients does this – even with her email – and, whilst I tease her about all her folders, in actuality she can almost always find documents and emails really quickly.

This isn’t being pernickety – it’s just saving yourself hours a month searching for the ‘needle’ in the ‘haystack’ of random documents.