Organizing Your Data and Keeping Them Safe

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Folder and Filename Assessment

  1. Open the master folder for one of your current research projects and candidly assess how clearly and consistently you are naming your folders and files. Consider, for instance, the following:
    • How many levels of folders do you have – levels within levels within levels? Are there enough levels, too many, or too few?
    • Can you tell, without opening a folder, what is in it?
    • Is there some logic behind the organization of your folders, or does it seem you just created a new one whenever you needed one?
    • How consistent are the names of your files?
    • If you have multiple versions of particular files, can you tell which is the most current?
  2. Create a new document (clearly named!) that will be a draft of the memo to yourself about the organization and naming of your folders and files. Create the first few bullets under “folder organization and naming” and under “file organization and naming” that could serve as instructions to yourself for (re)organizing and (re)naming your folders and files.
  • show solution
    1. As with many other exercises, this one has no standard solution. The goal is simply for you to begin thinking critically about how you are organizing and naming your folders and files, and to take the first steps toward more optimal organization and naming. If you find that there are some real improvements to make, think about when you will make them, cognizant that changes are much easier to make the earlier you are in your project.