Find your document quickly

Today, I'm very grateful for technology. I'm sitting in my home office because there is way too much snow on the road in Redmond for a girl from So Cal to be driving, adding to the confusion and out of control vehicles. But I've still managed to attend all my meetings via Live Meeting, including doing a demo from my server. And using my cell on speaker phone for the audio. There were attendees from Illionois, South Carolina, and DC at my last meeting.

Back to finding your documents quickly.

During the course of a day, I open and close files multiple times. Some of my files I use again and again, and I don’t like scrolling through my folders to find the doc – even when I know exactly where it is because I grab it so often. Or, I don’t use it often, but it’s very important and when I need it, I need it RIGHT NOW!

Here are three tips to getting to your document quickly:

1) Use push pins. Open your app to work on your document. Click on the Office ‘button.’ You will see a list of recent documents there, with little push pin icons next to them. When I first saw these in 2007, I thought they were just cute little designs. I didn’t click on them! Mistake. They hold your document in place, just like you used to (still do?) stick a document on a wall with a push pin to keep it front and center. If you click on the push pin icon it will keep that document in your recent document list.

push pins




2) Search. If you have Vista – click the Start button (lower left side) or even faster, tap on the Windows key and type in the name of your document in the Start Search text box. If you don’t quite remember the name, don’t worry. You’ll be amazed at what can be found with a few keywords.







There are other ways to use search as well. For instance, you can open your documents file from the start menu, and then use the search box at the upper right side of the window.

3) Use the keyboard shortcut. After you’ve opened your application, use Ctrl+O to open a file. Create a folder named A-important and save your frequently used documents there. It will always be at the top of the list of folders and you can grab it quickly. This is a slightly faster version of an ‘old school’ method.

Everyone has their favorites, but I like using search. Then I can randomly create documents and not have to worry about sorting them into the ‘right’ place. 


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