I recently found the Simple Mom blog online and have been reading up on the home management notebook. One of the tasks I'd like to complete (well, at least to work on) this summer is to declutter the house. We moved in 5 months ago and we still have stuff everywhere. I know I have three small kids, but I'm much happier when things are organized. I started thinking about what IS organized in my life and realized that my computer files are looking pretty good :) They haven't always been this way so I thought that maybe some others would be interested in knowing how I organize.
First, I have a major folder called "School" for all of the school related digital files. I do this so backing up the file is easy and I'm sure to always have a copy. I have lost 6 years of work before in a harddrive crash and am NOT interested in this happening again. I'll tell you a little more in a minute.
Under my School folder there are multiple folders that I think everyone should keep.
1) Lesson Plans - if you create these digitally (or can scan them in) save a copy!
2) Grades - If you keep digital copies of progress reports, make a folder for them. It's nice to have a reference when in a parent meeting. And don't just save the new progress report over the old one...you want to be able to access ALL of them
3) Department Files - This is especially important if you are the head of a department. I keep things like meeting minutes, end-of-year reports, open house information, placement tests and summer math
4) To Print - If I need to find a file quickly to print once I get to school, I make a copy in this folder. At the end of the day I can "recycle" the contents of the folder to keep things clean
5) In the general School folder I keep documents that I need for every class such as Guidelines and Expectations, Ice Breaker activities, Class Rules, Coupons, etc.
6) Math Worksheets - This is my biggest folder. I keep every worksheet I have created, scanned, downloaded, *cough* stolen *cough* and might someday have a desire to edit, print or post on my class website. This file is broken down by topic so I can find things quickly for all grade levels that I teach. Some files (such as Geometry) are further broken down. If I'm looking for a file I can quickly narrow it down by topic.
A few tips:
- Make sure to give your files descriptive names but keep them short and simple
- Don't separate files by grade level or course. Sometimes worksheets can be used for more than one level of students
- Back up your files often! You can also sign up for Dropbox and store some of your files online. I do this with all of my TPT files and my most important school work. This ensures that even if I forget to manually back up my files I will still have a current copy in the case of a harddrive crash.
- Make a folder called "To File" and allow yourself to drop things in there occasionally if you can't decide where something goes or need to place it somewhere quickly. Go through your folder once a week if possible and find more permanent homes for these files.