Is it worth capturing old archives?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC: Discuss the GTD Methodology' started by RL2, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. RL2

    RL2 Registered

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    Hello--
    I'm new to GTD and am just starting to think about the capturing process. I'm pretty confident tackling all of my to-do lists and physical items, but I'm wondering the best path for my extensive archives of digital files. I have gigabytes and gigabytes of files from old projects that could conceivably be helpful/interesting to look at, but there aren't any specific actions around them, other than organizing them. Yet I know organizing them will take an ungodly number of hours for little pay off: many are from 5+ years ago.

    Is this something I should ignore, or is the very fact of their unorganized existence the exact kind of thing I should be capturing? I'm just not certain how to handle relative to the small payoff for the time invested.

    Thanks for your help!

    RL2
     
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  2. Rostane

    Rostane Registered

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    Do you consider these archives as "Someday/maybe" list or more of reference ?
    Each path may need different approach.
    What I could suggest for Reference is to use something like Evernote and play with the tags.
     
  3. Oogiem

    Oogiem Registered

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    Your best path may be different from mine but I decided that it all needed to be gotten through because I knew there were buried gems in the mess that I did want to see or would need. And my digital backlog goes back over 30 years!

    My project was first to define my file naming and organizational scheme. Then I took nearly everything and dumped it into a folder called Reference_Files_to_Clean. Depending on the state of my life, some of the projects have been, a weekly recurring one to clean 1 file folder and rename the files. Or clean out the folder Cartoons. Or even make an AWS archive of files in Folder_X and load up into Amazon_Glacier for long term cold storage. Once up and verified they are there and good I delete them from my local machine but keep a reference pointer in a DEVONThink Database of what is out there. I'm down to about 200 gigabytes of stuff left to clean up out of an over 2 terabyte backlog. It's taking longer than I had hoped but is worth the effort IMO.
     
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  4. mcogilvie

    mcogilvie Registered

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    The only one who can answer this is you. If you’re an architect, sketches you made two decades ago in Rome May have value, and the details of your last building’s elevator not so much. But the mechanical engineer does want to document how that elevator was installed. For me, I’m pretty content to let sleeping digital documents stay asleep. Storage is cheap, organizational schemes aren’t relevant forever, but search is getting better and better.
     
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  5. Cpu_Modern

    Cpu_Modern Registered

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    What I do is, when I start a new project, I take a look at the old archives and pull relevant stuff out of there. Like a quarry, it's there, it diminishes over time, probably some of it will remain there forever.
     
  6. kaeden333

    kaeden333 Registered

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    If you're just starting out, I might capture "Go through old digital files" as a someday/maybe. Then, when you have your GTD system up and running in a way that feels really effective for you, it might be time to move that from someday/maybe into an active project and then you could break it down to the next action. I know for me, trying to deal with all of the old digital stuff at the same time as setting up the system got way too overwhelming, there wasn't enough time, and I was bogged down - all of which led me to not keep up with my GTD system! Just my 2 cents! :)
     
  7. RL2

    RL2 Registered

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    Thank you all! Yeah--I think I'm going to put it on the back burner for now but will log as a someday/maybe to go through all of that.
     

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