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How to Use and Organize your Data Properly

how to use and organize your data properly

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Creating, compiling, and manipulating data and files can turn into a tricky process if you are not organized and sorting that data properly. In order to get the most out of the way you use your data, you need to ensure you are practicing proper organization. Losing and misunderstanding or misinterpreting data is often the result of improper organization. Here are some tips to help you sort your data in order to get the best use out of it.

Name and organize files

You’re going to want to develop a method of organizing your files that makes sense to you, so you will be able to store and retrieve them without confusion or delay. This includes naming each one of your files in a manner that is going to work with your personal system. When naming files, make sure to be consistent and that each of them fits into the overall theme of your project or work. Names must also be recognizable to any colleagues or partners that may need to access the files too.

When looking at how to organize your files, make sure to follow a few simple guidelines; use folders that are clearly labeled, separate ongoing and completed work, backup your files in case you happen to lose any of them, and once again be consistent and clear when naming the folders.

Managing your references

Sometimes, your work or project can last months or even years, and if this is the case, it can be easy to lose track of where all of the information you’ve compiled has come from. Not being able to properly reference your information when the time comes is going to complicate things. Thankfully, there is reliable reference management software that can help you stay more organized. This software helps by keeping track of your citations as you work, partially automating the process of building a bibliography.

Organize email

Email is something that countless people rely on every day to send and receive important information. Seeing as this is the case, it’s obvious that email needs to be organized and kept in check. The best way to begin organizing your emails is to archive your old emails and delete the ones you no longer need. Older emails that are not relevant right now can be archived and ones that are of no use now or in the future can be deleted. You can continue to stay organized with email by consistently deleting emails you don’t need, separating personal and work emails, and limiting the use of attachments.

Visualize your data

Sometimes an effective method for staying organized with your data is to have it represented visually by putting it into a graph or chart. There are number of different chart and graph types at your disposal, so it’s up to you to decide which one is going to be best in representing your data. Some examples are pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, pyramid charts, word clouds, and area charts.

Follow these tips and you are sure to stay nice and organized when it comes to your data, which will lead to much more efficiency and productivity down the road.

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