Get Organized

Get Your Machines in Order

Have you been scribbling notes on your ipad in one app and your iphone in another? Do you have files left over from your college days? Where’s the most recent copy of your digital resume?

Before you apply to Graduate School, or even if you’re already in, consider cleaning up your desktop, phone(s), and tablet. Don’t just store more; get it sorted.

A frequent challenge for students going through the application process is staying on top of versions for each essay. It’s frustrating to think you’ve changed a sentence only to see it re-surface the broken way – may leave you wondering where you made the change and what other changes are missing.

Turning on “Track Changes” is very messy and really junks up the review process. It creates a hyper focus on small changes that often leave your writing feeling leaden or over-edited. The only time I use track changes is for legal documents. Then . . . a comma v semi-colon REALLY matters. One way to keep your mind free to focus on the important work is to organize your writing files. Here’s a structure I use and can recommend – particularly if you will collaborate.

Option 1: Organize by School
Writing Folder
School 1
01 Draft
02 To Edit
03 From Edit
04 Final
Archive
Ideas
School 2
School 3

Option 2: Organize by essay type
Writing Folder
Personal Statement
01 Draft
02 To Edit
03 From Edit
04 Final
Archive
Ideas
Templates
Why MBA
Post MBA Plans
Why School X


Now you may ask yourself, why not just tag . . . I’ve never gotten tags to work all the way. That’s on me. You may have a better tag system. Any slip up tagging such as switching between bschool and business school can wreck your whole system. The other challenge I’ve had with tagging is inconsistent search. The best web platforms regularly fail to pick up the tag because they first grab a sample set for your search. Let me clarify – THEY DO NOT GRAB EVERYTHING WITH THAT TAG, JUST A SAMPLE OF THINGS. The doc you really want may be buried. So I avoid tagging. It’s too inconsistent and error prone for my taste.

If time is valuable to you, consider some hierarchy in your files. You can even get them to auto-synch across devices with the right set up. 

Get organized and kick some butt.

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