Getting Digitally Organized for Application Season

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 Business School, or even if you’re there already, consider cleaning up your desktop, phone(s), and tablet. 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. Track Changes 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. Sample sets are necessarily incomplete. 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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