tips or tricks for organizing information using Windows XP
April 8, 2009 5:15 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for organizing information using Windows XP and MS productivity software?

Specifically, I'm wondering if there is a native "tags" function where you can tag specific documents so they can be easily retrieved.

When contracting, I relied on Gmail and the Google drive shell extension to easily store documents. In fact, I still use this system now for saving expense receipts for work: I email the receipts to a Gmail account and then search by keyword and date to find them.

However, I cannot use Gmail for work - it's against IT policy. I typically use Outlook 2007, Word 2007 and Excel 2007. The problem I have is that I often save multiple versions of files in multiple places.

I do have a filing system set up for email in Outlook 2007, but I often wish I could just bookmark an email, or bookmark and Excel spreadsheet.

Instead, I have to either save or file, and I much prefer Gmail's tagging system.

I am not considering moving to Gmail or whatever for my work-related productivity docs.

MS Desktop Search is enabled on my computer, but it's not quite as fast or efficient as the search function in Gmail.

So, once again, my question is:

Instead, does anyone have any tips or tricks for tagging items in Outlook 2007, or Word or Excel for easy retrieval? I'd love to hear your own unique solution using MS productivity software.

Note: my computer is locked down so I cannot easily install software.
posted by KokuRyu to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Looking back at my question, I really wish there was some way to bookmark *and* tag either an email or a doc/spreadsheet.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:18 PM on April 8, 2009

"The problem I have is that I often save multiple versions of files in multiple places."

So... stop doing that? Use a rigid file/folder structure? Get a good naming convention. Use folders in Outlook.
posted by SirStan at 5:46 PM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: So... stop doing that?

This is not a helpful answer.

As I said, this system that you recommend is not working for me, and I would like to see if anyone has a tagging system they use.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:49 PM on April 8, 2009

Have you tried (or are you able to install) Google Desktop? I find that really helps me find things when my filing system breaks down. I don't know what sort of work you do, but most of mine breaks down into specific applications I support and specific people with whom I consult. So, in My Documents, the biggest top-level distinction is "applications" and "consulting." Inside "applications," there's a folder for each app that I support. Inside consulting, there's a folder for each person (e.g. Doe,John) for whom I provide consulting services.

There are tons of other folders in My Documents, of course, but these are the really important ones. And I use iColorFolder to make them stand out.

In Outlook, I create a folder for each major project I'm working on as well as one grab-all called "reference," which is where things go that I think I'll need later. Everything else goes in the trash, as I follow the Inbox Zero approach.

So, I'm with you: tagging would be great. But I don't know of a way to do it in Windows XP. But, I'm continually amazed how well Google Desktop works for finding my stuff. It's far better than Windows' own search engine and the (laughably bad) one in Outlook.
posted by wheat at 6:07 PM on April 8, 2009

To tag files in XP just right Click->Properties on the file and choose the Summary tab.

Outlook has categories, but I prefer using the folder structure to organize.
posted by wongcorgi at 6:37 PM on April 8, 2009

Have you played with Onenote and Office Groove?

You should be able to set up a Groove folder system for the types of information you want to store, it becomes searchable and taggable.
posted by mattoxic at 8:02 PM on April 8, 2009

Response by poster: Actually, I was considering purchasing Onenote this fiscal, and taking a look at it, it would seem to do what I want it to do (send emails to Onenote, tag emails, tag files). I guess I'll check it out.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:48 PM on April 8, 2009

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