How to sort and organise your information

You’ve taken notes in your Oxford notebook in class or at an in-house meeting, or maybe at a customer’s premises. And naturally you scanned them with SCRIBZEE®. You’ve just stored information so that you can retrieve it again whenever you like and wherever you happen to be. But can you find it again quickly when you need it?

If you use the SCRIBZEE® search engine (the magnifying glass) in NOTES, you can find your notes by simply typing in the keyword you’re looking for. You can also organise your notes by theme in a folder. Here again, searching with the search engine contained in the list of folders is super easy.

So is there really any point in filing your notes?

First of all, to be able to add to, personalise and share your content, you can use SCRIBZEE® to create folders.

If you’re a student, you’re obviously going to create folders for each subject. Date your notes so you can organise them and you’re set. This will make it easier to revise and to share information with your friends.

If you’re a professional, though, the way you file your notes will have a real impact on how quickly you can find what you need. Because sometimes a number of subjects can be covered in a meeting, a conversation or even alone in your own thought processes. And then we’re not always absolutely rigorous about project names or the spelling of proper names, which makes the search engine’s task all the more complicated. This is why the way you name and organise your documents is crucial.

Here are some tips to make life easier:

One page per subject

Whenever possible, give each subject covered its own page. This admittedly means using more pages, but it will make it easier to compile your notes into meaningful folders. Your notes will reflect the diversity of your centres of interest, but won’t be a “jumble”.

No “junk” folder

Let’s take an example. You create an “Administrative” folder because administrative matters are just a marginal part of your job. The risk is that you’ll be tempted to put everything not directly related to your core interests in this folder. Take a few seconds instead to think it through and, if necessary, create several folders rather than just one, hold-all folder with an all-purpose name.

Find the best title

When it comes to naming your folder, ask yourself: “When will I need it?” (and not “What does it go with?”. If you answer the first question, it means that you already know why and in what circumstances you will want to use these notes. The answer to this question gives you a folder title that will be meaningful in the future (i.e. precisely when you need it). Let’s take an example. If you call your folder “Sales”, it might not be the most useful title if your work is, precisely, in sales. It might be more useful to name one of your folders “For future presentations” and the other “Project for Customer X”, even if both of these subjects were discussed at the same meeting. The more specific and purpose-oriented your title is, the easier it will be for you to find your notes.

Just the information you need, nothing more, nothing less

You can’t lump together things that have absolutely no relation to each other. Given that you can add or delete pages from a note, make sure you place all of the information about Customer X together in the designated folder and weed out anything else.

Chronological filing

If you want your notes to be filed chronologically, name your notes using a consistent format, such as: YYYY/MM/DD (year/month/day). That way, they will be automatically filed in the right order.

Don’t hesitate to rename notes and folders if their original name is no longer particularly relevant or meaningful.

Follow this advice for a filing system that does the job. You’ll know you’ve got it right when:

  • You can find any piece of information you need in less than 50 seconds;
  • You don’t have to open a folder to know what’s in it;
  • You no longer feel any need for that filing nightmare: a “miscellaneous” category;
  • You don’t have any “leftover” notes that don’t belong anywhere;
  • You no longer need to wrack your memory to locate a piece of information.

About Laurence Einfalt