Many of us have folders and files stored directly onto our computer. Some of us have ten, twenty, thirty, or even forty years of files and folders built up on our computer or network drives.  And now, suddenly, you are being asked to migrate those files into OneDrive or GoogleDrive, etc. And you begin to look, truly look, at the chaos that is your electronic folders. There are so many different things, wandering loosely, how can you begin to manage and migrate these files? I’m here to help.

  1.  First, you need to map your current files.

    • Get a pen and paper.
    • Brainstorm your current workload: what are the main categories that everything fits into?
    • These main categories becomes the main trunk of your folder tree.
    • Do the same exercise for each of these main categories to find sub-sections of each area.
    • Begin filling in the branches of your folder tree, keeping it as simple as possible.
    • Double-check that nothing is listed more than once.
    • Always include an ‘Archive’ folder for all past projects.
  2. Test your folder tree and do spring cleaning.

    • Create a new file folder on your desktop called “Files to Migrate.”
    • Create new folders in your desktop folder to match your main categories from step 1.
    • Begin migrating your computer files into the new desktop folder.
    • You may want to adopt a file naming scheme, such as “File Name_01-01-2018.”
    • Be sure to delete or archive duplicate files, past projects, or non-relevant files.
    • See how your folder tree holds up, and make changes to the folders if you need to.
    • Once you’ve finished, you can delete your original folders.
  3. Create an Archive Zip File

    • Make sure that your “Files to Migrate” folder on your desktop is complete.
    • Right-click on the “Files to Migrate” folder, send to “Compressed (Zipped) Folder.”
    • Save your compressed zipped folder as “Archive Copy of Files_11-01-2018.”
    • Move this folder into the “Archive” folder. This is your backup!
  4. Migrate the folders and files to OneDrive.

    • Begin creating your folder tree in OneDrive, recreating each folder and sub-folder.
    • Double-check your folder tree is correct and realistic.
    • Drag and upload all of your files into each of your folders.
    • Double-check your folder tree is correct and realistic.
    • Be sure your “Archive Copy of Files_Todays Date” file is uploaded to the Archive.
  5. Sync and share!

    • Sync your files across all devices, and make sure that everything is present.
    • Share access to files and/or folders as needed to the rest of your team.

Here is an example of a folder tree in research administration:

Centers/Departments

Individual departments or teams within your institute…

  1. Clinical
    • Coordinator Oversight
    • Patient Care Billing
    • Patient Compensation
    • Records Management
  2. Committees
    • External Scientific Advisory Committee
    • RBO Monthly Managers Meeting
    • Research Steering Committee
    • Research Working Group
  3. Communications
    • External Media
    • Graphic Directory
    • Letterhead
    • Logos
    • Newsletters
    • Promotional Materials
    • Scope Stories
    • Social Media
    • Website
  4. Compliance
    • Biosafety
    • Chemical Safety
    • Federal Agreements and Regulations
    • Hazardous
    • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
    • Institutional Review Board, Human Subjects
    • Investigational New Drug
    • Radiation
    • Regulations Specific to Contracts
  5. Data
    • Annual Report
    • Financial Report
    • Institute Data
    • Laboratory Data
    • Raw Data
  6. Education
    • Annual Education
    • Biosafety, Biohazard Training
    • COI Training
    • Coordinator Education
    • GCP Training
    • Human Subject Protection (CITI)
    • Research Training by PI
    • Offboarding
    • Onboarding
    • Orientation
    • Responsible Conduct of Research
    • Students, Interns, Volunteers
  7. Ethics
    • Bioethics
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Data Access and Retention
    • Disclosure Policies
    • Federal Regulations
    • HIPAA
    • Office of Research Integrity
    • Publications
    • Research Misconduct
  8. Facility
    • Asset Management
    • Environmental & Risk Management.
    • Move Management
    • Security
    • Personnel & Occupancy
    • Space Inventory & Performance
    • Strategic Space Planning
    • System Administration
  9. Financial
    • Accounting Operations
    • Allowable Costs
    • Budgeting
    • Chargebacks
    • Effort Reporting
    • F&A Percentage
    • Invoicing
    • Purchasing
    • Vendors
  10. Legal
    • Audits of Grants
    • Contracts and Procurement
    • Government Relations
    • Institutional Legal Requirements
    • Intellectual Property
    • OMB Circulars
    • Public Laws and US Code
    • Regulations and Statutes
    • Sponsor Interface
    • Subcontracts and Subawards
  11. Library
    • Abstracts
    • Awards and Certificates
    • Book Chapters
    • Books
    • Brochures and Flyers
    • Endnote Libraries
    • Games
    • Handouts
    • Illustrations
    • Letters
    • Manuscripts
    • News Media
    • Newsletter
    • Presentations
    • Publications
    • Questionnaires
    • Recordings
    • Requested Outside Articles
    • Surveys
  12. Partners
    • Federal Government
    • Foundations
    • Hospitals, Nonprofits
    • Independent Research Organizations
    • Industry
    • Philanthropic Donors
    • State and Local Government
  13. Personnel
    • Contact Information
    • CVs, Profiles
    • Evaluations
    • New Hire
    • Organizational Chart
    • Pictures
    • Recruitment
    • Resource Tracking (Computers, Supplies)
    • Students, Interns, Volunteers
    • Team Folders
    • Team Morale
    • Travel
  14. Policy
    • Policies
    • Standard Procedures
  15. Projects
    • Award Closure
    • Award Maintenance
    • Award Setup
    • Proposal Development
    • Proposal Feasibility
    • Proposal Submission
    • Research Studies by PI
    • Terms & Conditions
  16. Resources
    • Archive Library
    • Resources
  17. Strategy
    • Mission and Vision
    • Strategic Plan
  18. Your Personal Folder
    • Appointments
    • Authorship
    • Certifications
    • CV
    • Job Description
    • Personal
    • Portfolio