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File Management

In order to access the files you create, you must first be able to find them. File management is paramount for desktop organization and task efficiency, which makes a system for storing your data important.

Standard Filing Methods

(PDF instructions)

File Management for your computer from SMU-TV on Vimeo.

A standard filing system is based on the traditional outline format.

  • Discipline
    • Subject
      • Classroom
        • Documents
        • PowerPoints/Keynote
        • Audio
        • Video

Follow these steps to recreate the traditional structure for your digital files.

Step 1
Determine where to store folders
Step 2
Create a new folder. Command + click to bring up this menu box
Step 3
Name the new folder. Click the "Untitled Folder" name to bring up the "New Folder Name" box in your file list
Step 4
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have created the organization depth you require
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File Naming Conventions

(PDF instructions)

Logical and standardized file naming conventions allow you to quickly and easily find specific files nested within folders.

Regardless of the names used for top tier folders, the nested files should have a naming standard that remains consistent throughout the department, team or other organizational structure.

Even if you will not share files with a larger team, be sure to come up with a consistent naming structure that works for you.

Creating a structure using segment hierarchies

    Example:
  • Under the folder labeled Documents you could have a file named:
    • F2012_B101_W7_LN01
Structure   F2012_BV201_W07_LN01

Hierarchies
F2012
Fall 2012
BV201
Basic Video201
W07
Week07
Zero is used here as a place holder considering a 16-week semester
LN01
Lecture Note 01

The underscore (hold down the shift key and press "-") between segments make the segments easier to find. This makes for a longer file name but once the structure is understood and followed, file names will become easier to find by all members of the group. File naming conventions create clarity and thus make substitution or TA preparations simple. A readme file containing the department's naming convention could be included in each new folder creation.

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Archiving/Backing-Up

(PDF instructions)

How To Archive or Back-Up Your Computer Files and Computer from SMU-TV on Vimeo.

If a standard file management system and a file naming convention is adopted by a department, archiving becomes simple.

Back-up your computer weekly. There are two ways to think about archiving. You can back-up or archive your entire computer or certain folders.

To back up certain folders or individual files, drag them to your external drive.

To back up the entire computer

Before starting this process, plug your external drive that you want to use as a back-up drive into your computer.

Step 1
Find the System Preferences in your dock

Click on it
Step 2
You'll see the Time Machine Icon on the System row

Click on it
Step 3
Switch Time Machine to On by moving slider towards On
Step 4
Click Select Backup disk

This will make using Time Machine really simple in the future.

Once you've turned Time Machine on, it will turn on anytime you plug in your selected Time Machine External Back-Up drive.

You can also manually force a back-up whenever you want. Control+click on the icon of the external drive you've plugged in and selecting Back-up Now.

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