Whenever I’m jotting down notes or I create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, I make sure to add a visible timestamp to my work. If it’s on something physical like a sheet of paper or notepad, I add it to the top left corner of the document. With files I often add a “YYYY-MM” to the end of the filename like so: “Very Important Document (2017-04)”.
Adding a timestamp helps me:
- Instantly know whether or not the document contains information that’s relevant to my timeframe (If I’ve been working on a new project for 2 weeks, something dated 3 months ago probably isn’t relevant).
- Declutter. The older a piece of paper or a file is, the easier it is for me to let go of it.
- Add significance. When you date your work, it becomes more than just a piece of paper with text on it, it becomes a document*.
- Gives me perspective. Whenever I find old notes with goals and plans, I instantly get a sense of how far I’ve gone with that project.
*That sounded really profound in my head, I don’t know if actually makes sense ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ.