Posted by: Doug Geiger | 2010/05/01

Be nice to future you: Here’s how

Here is a list of things that a business consultant (or anyone for that matter) can do for his or her future self:

  1. Use naming conventions. A naming convention is simply a consistent way of naming the files you create. Characteristics of a good naming convention – used every single time you name a file, indicates the date the file was created, allows for multiple versions within a day. The one I use – “YYYYMMDD-Project-TitleWithWordsTocuhing.docx” If I have more than one version in the same day, I add letters B, C, D, etc. after the date string.
  2. Back up everything in at least two different places. I really like Backblaze ($5/month) combined with Time Machine (free, plus cost of hard drive), for Mac. Dropbox (free-mium) is pretty cool too.
  3. Build your social network before you need it.
  4. Plan more than you think you should. For Normal People: Over-planning is always better than under-planning. (For Planners: Planning doesn’t pay the bills. We only get paid to ship.)
  5. Get a Mac.
  6. Always send a follow-up email after a phone call.
  7. Keep a blotter. This is a personal, running file you use for all projects and leave a mental bread crumb trail so that you can pick up where you left off in the event that the project is shelved for a few months. There is nothing worst than having a bunch of content without context. Jot down a few sentences that fill in the “why.” That is the first part you will forget if you walk away from the project for a while.
  8. Be a digital pack rat. If you like an article you read online–save it to Evernote (free-mium). As long as your filing system is sufficiently organized, it pay to be an information pack rat. Said another way, you will never regret saving content you don’t need but you will regret not saving content you do end up needing.
  9. If people start mysteriously fading from the photograph you carry in your wallet: Stop, you’re doing it wrong.
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