The painful wait

You are having a great chat with a friend, and suddenly, they decide to show you a photo. They grab their iPhone, eager to share, but what follows is an epic scrolling saga – up, down, up, down, while you are there waiting that the finally find it.


Bonjour, in this video, I want to share one simple advice that can simplify and improve your filing system. 

I recently stumbled upon a study about filing which revealed something quite intriguing – people who create folders and subfolders are often less efficient at finding things than those who have mastered the art of searching. 

I work closely with many leaders who are inundated with emails and documents. They embark on a mission to create the ultimate folder structure. What often unfolds is an intricate web of folders, subfolders, and sub-sub-subfolders. The result? Painstaking filing processes and equally excruciating retrieval attempts.

A while back, I was searching for a photo on my phone. It was a picture taken during one of our regular bush cycling adventures in Sydney. Now, the Aussie bush has its fair share of snakes, and occasionally, we encounter them. On this particular day, I spotted a snake and, boys will be boys, had the brilliant idea to stop and take a photo. 

Disclaimer – no one got injured in this story =) 

Later, I wanted to show the snake photo to a friend, and that’s when the scrolling ordeal began. 

But then, I had an epiphany. Why scroll when you can search? I started by searching for the date of the photo – not always obvious but worth a shot. Then, I searched by location on the map, which was relatively easy since I remembered where we were cycling when I took the photo. Still, I thought, there must be a better way. I clicked into the search bar in the Photos app and simply typed “snake.” To my amazement, the photo appeared before my eyes.

Now, here’s the connection to your digital documents. Sure, you can create intricate folder systems, but my advice is to become a search maestro. Tools like Outlook offer robust search functionality, and there are even software solutions available. Once you master the art of search, you won’t need an elaborate filing system. Store your documents in one place, and with a few well-executed searches, you can find anything you need. 

Now, here’s a question for you: Are you tangled up in a web of folders, or are you a search master? 

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip. Wishing you a lovely day! 

A bientôt,


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