One alternative to storing important event information in your email system is to save it in files on your computer. Unfortunately you only need to try this for a little while before you realize that storing information this way takes a lot of work, and doesn’t necessarily save much time when compared to the email approach.
What are some of the issues with storing information in files?
- Storing the information on your computer requires you to set up a directory structure that you understand so you can find the files in the future. Complex events require a complex directory structure.
- It is sometimes difficult to remember which file name contains the information you are looking for, or even where it is stored.
- If you forget to save an updated file from your email, you may use an out of date version from your computer.
- You need to decide what kinds of files you are going to use to store the information. (eg. Spreadsheet, Document, Text file, Presentation etc.). You should also decide what versions of software you are going to support for compatibility with others on your event team. If you are sharing documents with vendors and others outside your team, this is generally not practical.
- If the information came buried in the body of an email it can be time-consuming to save it in a file.
- It is easy to forget to update the file name with a new version number, and if you send it out to the rest of the team, when they save it they may delete the previous version. This is especially confusing when several people are editing a document at the same time.
- Everyone on the team needs to maintain their own file system. If not everybody has the same organizational ethic, this can cause problems.
- The information must be backed up to avoid catastrophic failure.
The reality is that unless you are devoted to keeping this information organized, it quickly becomes disorganized, and is no longer useful.