Organize Your Files in Two Steps


How much time do you spend looking for information that you know you have somewhere? What if you could get to any piece of information quickly? With a good organization system, you can quickly look through files as they come in and easily find what you’re looking for later.

1. Use an inbox folder.

Since this is a series focused on technology, I will explain how to use the filing system on your computer. One key idea in organizing files is to avoid as many “trips” as possible. When you are organizing things on the computer, you can eliminate a lot of clicks and random searches by storing everything in two main folders (subfolders are allowed).

Put unsorted items in one folder. This would be for things like an article you download from the Internet or a file you are only using temporarily. You could also use it for anything you don’t know where to file right when you receive it.  Then, periodically (no less than once a week, please!) go through that folder from the first file to the last and move each file to its proper location. If you already know how you want to file something, don’t put it in the inbox folder, save it directly to the correct folder in your sorted location (see step 2).To move a file, you can click on it and drag it over to another folder.

Whether you have a PC or a Mac computer, you can use the Downloads folder that’s already on your computer as your inbox. Whenever you download a file from the Internet, it will typically go into that folder anyway, so it works well as a place to keep your unsorted files.

  • You can find the folder on a PC by clicking on the Start button and then on Computer, or click the file folder icon at the bottom of your screen on the taskbar (which opens Windows® Explorer to show you your files). You should then see Downloads at the top left of the window that opened under Favorites.
  •  On a Mac computer, opening Finder (the blue-face icon on the toolbar at the bottom of your screen) will allow you to see the Downloads folder on the left toolbar.

2. Keep sorted files organized in one place.

Files on the computer are stored in what is called a folder tree. It works a little differently from physical folders because it allows you to easily place folders inside other folders. To organize your files, use the Documents folder that comes preinstalled on your computer. You might be tempted to use your Desktop, but that is not really a good place to organize files. You have a limited amount of space on the screen, and just like with your physical desk, if you have a lot of things on it, you may have a hard time finding something you use regularly. It also adds another place to look for files you need to back up. Instead, use shortcuts on your desktop for files or even folders you use daily or very frequently. It’s easy to make a shortcut:

  • On a PC, right-click on the file or folder you want to have on your desktop, and choose Send to and then Desktop (create shortcut). You should now have a shortcut on your desktop.
  •  On a Mac computer, click on the file or folder while holding down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and choose Make Alias. This will create a file just below the item with “.alias” at the end of the name. Click on that new alias file and drag it over to your desktop.

For organizing files in your Documents folder, you can create folders that match the way you think about your files. For example, if your files change every school year, then you could create a folder called 2015 School Year and then create subfolders in that folder for different subjects.

  • On a PC, once you are looking at your files in Windows® Explorer, you can right-click on a blank space around your files and select New and then Folder. You will then have an opportunity to name the folder. You can move files into the folder by clicking and dragging them over to that folder.
  •  On a Mac computer, once you are looking at your files in Finder, you can click on the gear icon at the top and select New Folder. You can name the folder and put files in it by dragging them over to that folder. By keeping all of your important files in your Documents folder, you have only one place to look when you need to find something.

Now that you know how to organize your files, check back on the last Friday of next month to find out how to use some of the electronic resources available to you as part of the BJU Press curriculum!

Microsoft, Encarta, MSN, and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Mac is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

• • • • •

Andrew enjoys using technology to glorify God by helping others so that they can spend time doing what’s most important. He leads the interactive marketing team here at BJU Press and is always looking for new ways to improve user experience on our websites. He and his wife help out with the children’s ministries at their church. Along with their energetic two-year-old boy, they like to read together about others’ adventures and then go out and have their own. 

Family Devotions (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of family devotions. Now we will consider how you can implement family worship in your home. My husband and I picked up some ideas last year at a family worship workshop at our church, and this encouragement and instruction reignited our own time of family devotions.

Image of a family having devotions

Each family has freedom on how to structure their worship time since there is no biblical mandate, but here are three elements you’ll probably want to include.

  1. Reading
  2. Praying
  3. Singing
What to Read—Scripture

What should you read? All kinds of devotional books are available, but it’s best to focus on the actual Word of God—from Genesis to Revelation. Telling your kids to trust God and treasure His Word, but then only reading children’s story Bibles or never reading more than the Proverbs or New Testament sends a conflicting message. How can they know God if their knowledge of Him is limited?

Why to Read Scripture—Some Reasons

The Bible has no parallel because no other book is inspired by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16). No other book “is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit” (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV). The Scriptures are life-giving, pointing to Christ: “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15 NKJV).

Teach children that God’s Word is to be trusted and man’s word doubted. Even our own hearts are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). We should always measure what we think, read, or hear by the Bible. Our children should expect us to back up what we say with well-interpreted Scripture (2 Timothy 2:15). When we ask them questions during Bible time, we occasionally follow up on their answers with, “How did you get that from the text?” In this way, we’re sharpening a biblical worldview and proper Bible interpretation.

How to Read Scripture—Some Suggestions

One family in our church had the goal of reading through the entire Bible. They made a timeline chart with a reward promised at the end. The kids would check off passages as they went, reminding each other if they were getting behind. When they successfully finished after about eighteen months, they had an ice cream party to celebrate, but everybody agreed that reading the Word all the way through would have been reward enough. Now this family is reading at a slower pace, picking different Old and New Testament books to study in depth.

Our family has been going through a reading plan called “100 Essential Bible Passages.”  Since our children are younger, we’ve enjoyed hitting these highlights, and we plan to read them again in more detail at a later time.

At some point you may decide to go beyond reading and introduce your children to the three basic steps of biblical hermeneutics: observation, interpretation, and application. Help your children observe the text by asking questions about the “Five Ws” (who, what, when, where, and  why). Their interpretation of a passage should not be based on “What does this text mean to me?” but “What does it mean?” Study with them so that they learn to discern what the writer was communicating to the original audience. Especially consider the context and relevant cross-references to compare Scripture with Scripture. For the application step, ask questions like, “How does this passage apply to our lives today?”

In Part 3, we will continue with the other two main aspects of family worship (praying and singing).

What have you found helpful when teaching your children about worship? How do you help them apply Scripture to their lives?



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