I have, so far, lost three flash drives. One, I remember, had a rough draft of a novel on it. And while I don’t remember what was on the others, the information must have been important at one time. And I know I’m not alone. Here in the library, we have two drawers for the lost and found. In one, the bottom is littered with flash drives that have been left at computer stations.
Even when I haven’t lost a document, I still often find myself at a loss. I open a document only to find it’s not the most recent. Apparently, I made revisions elsewhere and forgot to send the updated one to myself or save it to my flash drive. At best, it’s annoying. At worst, it means a project is delayed and others end up waiting for me to hurriedly write what I can remember of my changes or until the next day when I can bring in the updated document.
And it’s not just documents. I read an email that I want to save, only to go back and waste time trying to find it again. The same with articles on websites, etc. And since my memory is not going to improve with age, I knew I had to do something. That’s when I read about Dropbox and Evernote, both of which have saved my time and my sanity.
Dropbox is downloaded on all my computers and when I save a document, it is saved to the ‘cloud,’ so whenever I open a story or report, the most updated one is always there. The same is true for Evernote, but it saves emails, webpages, whiteboard information (if you take a picture of it), etc. You can make notebooks, so I can keep similar materials together.
There are free forms of both, and they have saved me tremendous time and made my life a little less stressed. I’m sure there are other good programs out there that do the same thing. So look around. But know there is hope for the information loser.