I started my PhD at ETH in January and was confronted with the problem that the project has been running for 1.5 years and several people have been working on it. Everyone produced a lot of output, of course, and everything was thrown on a network drive. In the meantime, of course, everyone has moved on and I am facing a lot of data with the situation: It‘s all there ... somewhere.
At that moment I remembered Pinker and I have to say Pinker has already helped me insanely. Most of what I need to look for is what I find and besides, I am not forced to view, sort, and restructure the entire drive.
I think the Pinker 'MyTopics' are really great.
There are several reasons for this:
Here is an example where I use' MyTopics': What type of files do I actually have on my computer or on my home network?
This question should be easy to answer, but in practice this is not always the case. Especially if there are several computers or laptops that are used by different people: everyone has his or her individual preferences for naming files, and where they are stored on the network.
Pinker 'MyTopics' helped me enormously. I first built up some simple structures, e. g. for recipes. The more relevant terms I used, the better I knew where to find such files. Then I was able to quickly go to the respective directories to find other relevant cooking terms. This is usually very fast and via the Pinker filter function 'Exclude' I can quickly find those files that are not linked to a search term yet.
I did the same with invoices, software, books, music and photos.
And then it became exciting: What files have been left over? These were mostly files that belong to the operating system. So, I created a special topic for them. Finally, I found many files that didn't fit in any of the above categories, and I haven’t been aware that they actually were on my computers.
The funny thing is that I had searched for some of these files in the past, without being able to find them. Other files were no longer needed and could be deleted.
I was amazed about how efficient this approach was. During one evening I had categorised everything and now I know exactly what is where. Now the actual clean-up or re-arrangement of folders can begin. And no matter what the cleaned-up folder structure will look like, Pinker will take care in the background that the ‘MyTopics’ structure will always be up-to-date, without any additional effort from my side.