One Secret for Advancing Your Career
- Downloading from the Internet
- Many stories on Web sites are presented a section at a time. When you finish reading the first section, you must click on “Next” or “2” to get to the next part. Don’t waste your time.
- Click on the “print” link, and the entire story appears on one page. Copy and paste it into a word processing document—Word, AppleWorks or whatever you use.
- I suggest you put all stories in one or two formats—say Word and PDF—so they look alike and are always accessible on whatever computer you end up using.
- Often the name of the publication and date are omitted from the “Print” version of a Web story. Be sure these are in the story you save. If not, manually type them in.
- If the story has helpful illustrations, charts, graphs or time lines, you can paste them into most word processing documents.
- You may want to copy the URL and paste it at the top in small type — so if you need to see the original some day, you have the information. This is also handy if someone challenges your accuracy. Reply with the URL and you're done.
- If you have a story you can't identify, go to Google and type in the first sentence surrounded by quotation marks. Google will find it.
- From a newspaper, magazine or journal
- Go to Google and type in the first sentence surrounded by quotation marks. Google will find it.
- If the publisher requires payment, Google may well list this same story on some other site for free—the result of a deal between the original copyright holder and a licensee.
- If not available online due to exclusivity, scan the text and illustrations into your computer.
The File Name
- Once in your computer, the document must be labeled.
- Do not rely on the actual headline; writers frequently use cute or clever headlines to attract attention that make no sense six months or a year later.
- Instead, give the story a title that will jog your memory on what it's about.
- This is your private archive, so you can use shorthand (e.g., “2” for “to,” “4” as “for,” “FU” for “follow-up,” etc.). These may not make sense to an outsider, but I recognize the stories. Examples from my archive:
- Fire People, How 2
- Ad $$ Moving Out of Media
- Be 1st, Not Better – Reis
- Blogs 4 Lo-Cost Mktg
- Search Engines R Thieves
- Think of your filing system like a cookbook. You would not file recipes under “Scrambled Eggs” and “Fried Eggs,” but rather “Eggs, Scrambled” and “Eggs, Fried,” so all of them appear under “Eggs”.
- With people, use last name first (e.g., Obama, Barack rather than Barack Obama)
Where to File
The first thing I see when I go into my archive is a series of file folders. The first five major subject headings:
- Aid, International
The largest main heading is: I-N-D-U-S-T-R-I-E-S. The reason for the spaces between letters is that this is a huge file with 80 subfiles, and I want it to pop out immediately. The first five subcategories (also as file folders):
- Alcohol, Beer, Wine
Each of these has dozens of subfiles—some in file folders, others as individual Word documents.
Another huge file is P-E-O-P-L-E with subfiles being letters of the alphabet. Generally, I aggregate all the stories about an individual in this one place.
A story only appears once in the entire file. Keeping duplicate stories all over the archive would be confusing and gobble up space. For example, here is what you will find in my file on Steve Case, founder of AOL:
- Case, Steve
- Case Admits Failures
- Case Quits as T-W Director
- Case Health Biz
- Case Sorry 4 AOL-Time Merger
- Case-Levin Anncmt
- Case, TW Is a Thorn 2
- Levin & Case
- Levin, Gerald Talks
- SEE AOL
- SEE Brandt, Janice
- SEE Levin, Gerald
NOTE: See illustration below how this file looks on computer screen.