Monday, August 01, 2005

Setting Up "My Documents"

I like to use the analogy of a metal filing cabinet when thinking about organizing your computer. If you are going to organize your metal filing cabinet you would need the following:

1) Plenty of file folders

2) The ability to label (or re-label) the folders

3) A logical system in mind for organizing the files

4) Attention to where you are filing papers

When organizing your files on the computer you need the following:

1) Knowing how to create new folders

2) Knowing how to label (or re-label) folders

3) A logical system in mind for organizing your files

4) Attention to where the computer is going to try to save files so that they go where you want them to go

The My Documents folder is the heart of the system. Think of it as the filing cabinet where you are going to store all of the work you create. On the attachment, the first slide shows you how the My Documents folder on my computer looks. There are folders in there just like you would have in your metal filing cabinet. The folders you choose to have will differ from mine, but I think it helps to have an example. Here is what I would suggest you do:

1. Take a good, hard look at the system you have set up in your metal filing cabinet.

2. Tidy up that system.

3. Create a parallel system on your computer. That way, if someone hands you a good lesson plan on the solar system, you have a place in the metal filing cabinet for it. If you see a good lesson plan on the solar system on the internet, you will be able to store it in a similar folder in My Documents.

A couple of skills are essential when trying to set up a digital filing system:

To create a new folder:

If you are going to create a filing system, you are going to need to know how to create new folders. Here’s how to do it:

1. Right-click in the My Documents folder (if that’s where you want it to go).

2. A menu pops up

3. Choose new

4. From the menu, choose “Folder”

To re-label a folder:

1. Right-click on the folder

2. Choose “Rename” from the menu you see

3. The title is now highlighted, and you can type a new name for the folder.

The final skill to mention today is knowing how to save a file where you want it to go. Before the computer saves a file, it will open a box called a “dialogue” box. Whatever is in the title of that box is the folder where your work will be saved. If that is NOT where you want the file to be saved, you job is to navigate so the proper folder name appears in that slot.

A good filing system on your computer is a huge time saver. It’s about time you had a model of how to do it.

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