Discussion Thread

  • 1.  So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 08-02-2022 01:57 PM
    I had a professor that would create a new folder each year for the current class and copy all the updated lectures, books, and references each year. This took up so much space
    having copies of the same lectures over and over and over... that more online storage was needed.
    Sometimes when someone is too organized it becomes disorganized!

    Does anyone have any examples of how they avoid this organized disorganzation?

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    Daniel Bressler EIT, A.M.ASCE
    Structural Engineer
    Brooklyn NY
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  • 2.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 08-05-2022 10:39 AM
    Personally I do not, but this issue resonates with me as well. I've yet to find a single ideal form of organization that works for all types of work (and life) documents. The best I've gotten to so far is to create logical folder structures, use understandable file names, and date things in the YYYYMMDD format (so that your PC can sort them chronologically). Sometimes I will create a tracking sheet with more info about each file. When I started my job, I began a Word doc that I continually added to as well. I can control-find different names of tasks and see where the files are saved on the server for a lot of them now.   For me, this is "close enough" and gets me to within 80% of where I want to be. The last 20% can sometimes require old fashioned digging.

    Windows will also force you to stop at a certain level of organization - file paths can only reach 260 characters if I recall correctly.

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    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
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  • 3.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 10-30-2022 11:24 AM
    The organization I've been using for all my classes involved two-way organization and memory.

    Every time I finished a semester, the content of my classes would be split into digital and physical format, so that I would have one copy of each important document. The physical documents were kept inside marked boxes in the attic, in case I needed those; and the digital were kept inside sub-folders in a flash drive I kept nearby, in case I needed those. Textbooks, in either form, were kept right next to the boxes/folders.

    This method of organization involved maintaining a good memory of which concepts were covered in which classes.

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    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
    granato.3@...
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  • 4.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 27 days ago
    SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures), centralized databases, file management, and data base maintenance. Of course, I am guilty as charged. I have redundant reference, admin and other folders on various drives on different computers, and external storage drives. What seems like a good idea becomes a challenge when file management (i.e., primarily clean-up, consolidation & backup) is not performed. Steps we take to speed up the process are adversely affected due to lack of maintenance.

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    James Williams P.E., M.ASCE
    Principal/Owner
    POA&M Structural Engineering, PLC
    Yorktown, VA
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  • 5.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 27 days ago
    Very true, James. The busier I am, the less attention I pay to digital housekeeping. Getting organized is important, but staying organized is hard.

    Backups are essential, so one necessary SOP is to use good backup software. However, offsite backup is tricky. Trying to restore gigabytes from the cloud can be excruciatingly slow and storing a portable drive in a safe deposit box is and exercise in inconvenience. DOes anyboy have a better solution?

    Bill

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    William McAnally Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.NE, F.ASCE
    ENGINEER
    Columbus MS
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  • 6.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 26 days ago
    Hey guys,

    I recently started using Backblaze. Its a subscription service to unlimited cloud storage for one PC. I'm not a fan of subscriptions but all things considered, I find this one worth it as I think it is about $7 a month. The way it works is that it makes a copy of every file on your computer, but it is intended to be a mirror of your computer only. So, if you delete files from your PC, after about a month, they will be deleted from your Backblaze account as well.

    For more money, they will save all of your files permanently (even if you delete them from your PC) and also allow you to back up multiple PCs. As someone who plans to not delete much (I can just add more drives to my tower over time)  I like that Backblaze will continue to back these different drives up as well if I get to that point.

    I was either paying $100 every few years for new backup drives, or just paying someone else to do it for me, so the money works out about the same which is why I'm ok with this as a solution.

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    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
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  • 7.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 25 days ago
    Thanks, Chris. Have you tried restoring files from Backblaze? I use Carbonite and the restore download was painfully slow.

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    William McAnally Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.NE, F.ASCE
    ENGINEER
    Columbus MS
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  • 8.  RE: So Organized that it's Disorganized

    Posted 24 days ago
    I've only been using the service for a few months now and thankfully have not needed to replace any bad hard drives during that time. Its my understanding that you can retrieve the backup from the cloud, or you can put down a deposit and they will mail you a physical hard drive containing your data that you can then copy to a new drive of your own. You then send the drive back to them and get your deposit back.

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    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer
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