Paula Whitacre of Full Circle Communications recently featured some of my tips and techniques for managing digital files and e-mail in her newsletter, Ease of Writing. The article, “Managing e-Files for Writing Success,” is a summary of my presentation at the 10th annual Communication Central this past September in Rochester, New York.
Take a look! As Paula says:
All of Paul’s ideas won’t work for you (or me), but they can get us thinking about the systems we can develop that will work for us.
I hope some of the ideas — which include steps to be followed before, during, and after a project, moving between devices, and backing up — are helpful. And please feel free to leave a comment with questions or suggestions for improving digital file and e-mail management.
If you can’t get enough of file management for publications professionals, then you’ll want to sign up for my online workshop “File Management and Version Control” on Thursday, January 21, 2016, at 11:00 am Eastern. The workshop is being offered by Copyediting, the online newsletter and resource for editors in the digital age.
Earlier this month, I had the pleasure and privilege of presenting at the tenth annual Communication Central conference in Rochester, New York. Communication Central is a low-key event wonderfully managed by Ruth Thaler-Carter, which attracts some of the big names in editing in the United States and Canada.
I gave an updated and expanded version of my presentation on electronic file and e-mail management, “Don’t Let Your E-Files Manage You.” Several people at the conference asked me for a digital copy of my handout; I have uploaded it to the Active Voice server for anyone who might be interested:
Feel free to download the file and use it for reference. And if you haven’t attended Communication Central before, you should seriousoy consider attending next year.
As has been widely reported, last month the Government Accountability Office released the long-awaited reports on two audits of the National Archives and Records Administration’s oversight and management and information security. The results are a mixed bag, but indicate that NARA is continuing to learn from its past mistakes.
Here are some of the highlights:
Continue reading “GAO Audits Find Good, Bad News at NARA”
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) released a report earlier this month urging state CIOs to develop statewide electronic records preservation policies and work with agencies to implement them.
Because official state records are increasingly “born digital” and may never see print during their working life, NASCIO recognizes that effective e-records management is about more than just storage — it’s about “organizing government records so that they are locatable, retrievable, and stored in accordance with state records retention schedules.”
Continue reading “report urges states to preserve e-records”
Since their introduction last February, PaperJamming templates have remained among the top ten downloads from the Active Voice Downloads page. Not only that, but blog posts about PaperJamming have powered their way into the top five most viewed posts. Clearly, PaperJamming is meeting a need.
To help make the PaperJamming templates easier to find, I’ve broken them out into their own category on the Downloads page. From now on, instead of being listed under the hPDA templates, you’ll find them between my new CardNets and my iPhone wallpapers.
Plus, the move gives me more room to list the next set of cards . . .
Continue reading “paperjamming gets a new home”
Would you deliberately set fire to your family’s photo albums? Wantonly wave an electromagnet over cassette recordings of your child’s first words? Smash your copy of the White Album into fragments with a hammer? Shred your grandparents’ love letters?
Of course not.
But if you’re using popular media formats to store your digital pictures, music, and e-mails, you might as well be.
Andrea Japzon wants you to ponder that — and then get busy preserving your digital legacy.
Continue reading “does your past have a future?”
On Tuesday, I participated in a webinar hosted by Government Computer News on “The E-Records Management Tsunami: NARA’s Electronic Records Archive to the Rescue.” It featured Michael Carlson, Director of the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) Electronic and Special Media Records Services Division and was hosted by Joab Jackson, GCN’s chief technology editor. A recording of the seminar is now available (60 min., Real Audio), and it is well worth a listen.
Will NARA succeed in its multimillion dollar effort to solve the federal government’s electronic information management crisis?
Maybe — but we’ll have to wait five years to find out . . .
Continue reading “nara’s new ‘era’: 40 years in the making”
For freelance writers, it’s all about the clip. All your research files, interview transcripts, and notes are there to help you create a professionally written product. But what do you do with the rest?
Considering how inexpensive external storage is these days, it might seem easier to just keep buying more — and larger — external hard drives or to upload your old files to an online storage provider. But those options have some very tangible drawbacks for freelancers.
As a freelancer, you have contractual and legal obligations to keep certain records for a specified time. Beyond those, disposal significantly reduces the amount of time that a program like Blacktree’s popular Quicksilver requires to index your files. It also cuts down the time — and narrows the results — of keyword and metadata searches.
In short, the less stuff you have to manage, the less you have to manage stuff.
That’s where PaperJamming techniques and templates come in. PaperJamming is personalized file management made fun. Here’s how to implement it on your computer:
Continue reading “paperjamming your computer”
Journalist Xeni Jardin recently discussed the perils of storing and deleting government e-mail on her weekly NPR spot, XeniTech. Prompted by the recent controversial decision by the District of Columbia government to purge all e-mails every six months, Jardin presented a brief overview of the complex issue of electronic records retention.
Unintentionally, Jardin’s piece highlights and perpetuates some of the most common misconceptions about the nature of records management in the information age. Let’s take a look:
Continue reading “three common misconceptions about e-mail”
Wrapping up my discussion of the three techniques I use to manage my freelance writing business, today I review how I’ve configured Apple’s Mail program to manage work e-mail.
(Note: while the tips are Mail-centric, other mail management programs like Thunderbird probably have similar features and plugins that you can tweak to get similar results.)
Continue reading “mail.app for freelancers (mac)”