Accessible skincare knowledge: 3 steps to organizing your skincare science literature (PART 2)
Updated: Feb 12, 2021
If you haven't read PART 1 of this blog post where we've talked about:
- gathering and sectioning our skincare literature and
- organizing physical skincare data
make sure do to so, before reading the rest of it so you will understand the whole context and get the idea on how to organize and unclutter your skincare science literature successfully.
Click here to read PART 1 and learn step 1 and step 2 to organizing your cosmetic literature.
Now let's continue with step 3 - how to organize your digital cosmetic data.
STEP 3: GREAT PRACTICES FOR ORGANIZING DIGITAL COSMETIC FILES
Studies have shown that the environment affects your productivity. And when you work or study on your computer, your desktop is your environment.
Here's how to organize your digital data, keep your digital workspace neath & clean, your mind productive, and your search time investment at a minimum.
As a good start of your digital files cleanse, create two main desktop folders:
1. »Desktop clutter« folder (gradually organize it and delete unwanted files, when empty delete the folder too)
If you have a lot of desktop clutter at the moment, bring everything you've got on your desktop and move it into a single older. You can name it »Desktop clutter«. It'll be easier to organize and clean up once you get it off your screen. For now, leave all your desktop clutter in that single folder. You will gradually clean it up following some tips and guidelines that I'll share with you in a few moments.
2. »Organize me« folder (put all new downloads and files in this folder, then organize it at least once per week)
If you're going for a neath, organized file structure, have as few as possible main folders on your desktop so you will be still able to see your wonderful desktop wallpaper, not just piles of files and folders. The easiest way to manage that is to create one folder on your desktop and name it »Organize me«.
This way you will end up with the »Desktop clutter« folder (that will be probably super cluttered at the beginning) and »Organize me« folder (that will be empty at the beginning). The »Organize me« folder will serve for all your new downloads, shortcuts, and other files that you normally create on your desktop - now, you'll save it directly to this folder.
Make sure you archive those files regularly and find the right place for them, or delete them if you no longer need them. You can even mark one day of the week in your planner if you lack consistency and clean the »Organize me« folder once per week. Put your »Desktop clutter« folder in your planner too, just select a different day so it won't be too overwhelming. You will only have to do the »Desktop clutter« clearance once, when the desktop will be properly organized, you will be only left with your »Organize me« folder that is going to have just a short list of weekly files.
Sounds like way too much organizing and cleaning?
Here a lovely reminder that you can repeat to yourself when you lack cleaning and organizing motivation:
Clutter causes stress and a cluttered mind.
I repeat that to myself every time I lack the motivation to clean and organize practically anything – my clothes, my computer files, or my dishes (and trust me I'm far more on the creative, messy side so I know this can be a challenge :P).
CREATING YOUR SKINCARE DATABASE FOLDER
Once you'll start cleaning and organizing your folders pay attention to your digital skincare literature.
Do an overview of what you have on your computer, phone, and tablet skincare related and write down the groups of similar types of data. Create ONE folder where ALL of your cosmetic data will be gathered. This way you will know that everything you've ever read or written down in a digital form is somewhere in this folder.
You can name your main skincare folder Making cosmetics, Cosmetic folder, Skincare data, Cosmetic info, My Cosmetic Database, Formulating skincare, or whatever you prefer or feel like it represents the content you have inside.
Once you create this one main folder, start creating more sub-folders that represent the content you have in there (as discussed in PART 1) for example studies and courses, researches, ingredient info and MSDS's, pictures, and screenshots, e-books and e-guides, and so on. Include anything you find significant and important. Use the list you made while you were overviewing all of your content.
GUIDELINES FOR ORGANIZING YOUR SKINCARE DATA FOLDER
Sub-folders: Depending on how much content there is in a specific sub-folder it might be best to make more sub-folders in that same folder. For example, if you have a folder »Studies«, you can section that content by year or by the topic. Delete everything that is duplicated or is not relevant anymore. This way you'll get a super neath and organized folder dedicated especially to your formulating knowledge, all the info gathered in one place, where you find what you're searching for right away.
Folder structure: Don’t use too many folders. Having too many nested folders is not working in your favor. Each folder should have a minimum of 5 files in it. If you only have one or two files in each folder, you need to reconsider the structure.
Descriptive names: make sure that ALL of the files have a representative logical name, that helps you understand right away what is in that file. For example, if you have a pdf research with a file name 0494902_938392_k9283.pdf and the research talks about the anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil, click on that file and rename it – "Anti-inflammatory properties of Teatree oil Research 2018" - that way you'll know exactly what researches you have in your personal formulating library. That goes for all of your files, books, courses, notes, pictures, everything – RENAME them in the same way – use representative descriptive names with topic and year.
The search tool: you can use the search tools inside the folder to easily find anything you are searching for. If you’ve renamed your files and folders properly, they will be easy to find.
Stick with it. Don’t just give up after a few days. It always takes a little time to adapt to something new. Commit to using your file structure and regularly clean up your phone and tablet so that your skincare literature will be easily accessible and gathered in one place.
For making this work you will need to stay consistent. This is where most of us fail and that is not an easy task.
But: you can absolutely do it. Take this as a challenge. Do it step by step, take your time and pause when you feel tired. You don't need to clean everything you have lying around and on your computer TODAY. Take your time, a few days, weeks, maybe even months. Once you'll get the system up, it should be easy.
You'll be super proud of your own skincare database where you'll find what you're searching for in a sec.
Over time this will be a great contribution to your skincare making knowledge, helping you on this journey to make products that are based on profound research and expertise that makes you a qualified formulator. And that sounds like something worth committing to.
Happy organizing! :)
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