Given that it’s the middle of a “bundle week,” and that this particular Bundle happens to be organization-related, it seemed like a good time to tackle this issue. I’ve heard from a few people that they keep buying ebook bundles — but then they never use them because they can’t figure out what they’ve done with them. So let’s talk about how to get/keep them organized, shall we?
Foundations: Basic File Organization
Before you’re in a position to have well-organized ebook bundles, you first have to have generally well-organized files, period. (Generally. I’m not saying everything has to be perfect, just that if your entire file structure is in disarray, the ebook bundles are more of a symptom and not their own issue.) If you have a system that works well, overall, then let’s move on to some options for organizing these, specifically. If not, you might want to hop on over to my recent post about organizing computer files, and then come back.
Have a Designated Space for eBooks
Now, if you purchase eBooks with any regularity — say, more than 1-2 books per year — of the type that would go to your hard drive and not directly onto your ereader, you probably want to have a designated folder on your computer for eBooks. (If you only have one or two, you can probably “file” them with their respective topics. But since we’re talking about bundles here, if you’re reading this I assume you have more than one or two.)
I have a reading folder, personally. (I just call it “books.”) Within that folder I have a subfolder for “book notes” (that is, notes I took while reading particular books), and another for “ebooks.” Within that folder, there are a couple different ways you can do this. I’m going to start by showing how my folders are set up. Personally, I think this is simpler and potentially a little tidier. But then I’ll show a second option that some people might prefer.
Storing Books by Bundle
I prefer to file my bundles by bundle, for a couple of reasons. One, it’s just easier. They’re already roughly grouped by topic, so it isn’t as if this is irrational, and it saves me work. Two, it allows me to keep other things, like login information or downloads from bundle-related e-courses in the same spot.
So what does that look like?
Individual ebooks — where I bought or downloaded just a single book at a time — go directly into the ebooks folder. But within that folder is another subfolder called “bundles.” Within that, each bundle gets its own subfolder. Like this:
(Ignore that index for now; we’ll come back to that in a moment.) As you can see, I buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle every year, but only have a few other “outside” bundles. When I download the bundle — usually with as much of it as possible in a single ZIP file — it goes into that bundle’s folder.
A bundle’s folder also contains any user guide or anything like that which accompanied it. If I’ve signed up for e-courses I accessed through the bundle, I keep a Word/LibreOffice document in there with my login information, the link to access it, and/or any other details. If any of the products come with bonuses I download them to this folder. And if I download content from an e-course in the bundle, I create a subfolder with the course name and put the downloads in there. Any time I extract the files from the ZIP file, I extract them to the bundle’s folder (usually by subfolder — like UHLB 2016/PDFs). So everything related to that bundle is in one place.
Keeping Track of the Content
The one downside to doing it this way is that once you have several bundles, you might think a title sounds familiar, but not be sure whether it was part of one of the bundles you’ve purchased, or which one. And you probably don’t want to click through a bunch of sub-folders to figure it out (because you probably don’t know the exact file title to just do a search). So an index can be helpful.
This can be as simple as a list of titles in a text document. I have most of mine in a spreadsheet (which you see in the image above), and I’ll tell you why here in a moment. You can create an index one bundle at a time. In fact, some bundles may come with a file that serves this purpose. If you do this, I recommend you keep the index inside that particular bundle’s folder.
Because I have a handful of “Ultimate Homemaking Bundles” and a handful of “Ultimate Healthy Living Bundles” and they tend to blur together in my head (I think I had a given book, but can’t remember which year), I chose to index all of those together. And since there are so many of them, I took it a step further and made it a spreadsheet, so I can search it by title, author, or general category (and of course I noted which bundle year the book was in). A simple text document would have been fine for this, too. Here’s a little sample of my spreadsheet:
If you do a “master index” like this, that covers multiple bundles, I suggest you store it in the “bundles” folder, but outside of the individual bundle subfolders.
An Alternative Option
An alternative to storing each bundle in its own individual subfolder is to extract everything from the ZIP file, and “file” each ebook individually — either all in one folder so you can find them purely alphabetically (I don’t particularly recommend this) or in topical folders.
The major advantage of doing it this way is that it may be somewhat easier to browse your books or search for a particular title. It has several downsides, though.
- You have to extract all the files; there’s no good way to store the zipped files.
- It takes a lot of work. It only takes a few seconds to drop a downloaded bundle file into a new subfolder. (And if you don’t index it right away — or ever — that’s not a major deal. You’ll still know right where those files are.) To use this second method, you have to extract everything and take the time to move every individual unzipped file into its appropriate location. And if you don’t, you’re right back to square one, not knowing where to find things.
- It doesn’t provide a place for other related files, like user guides, course logins or downloads, etc.
So I don’t think this is the best option for most people — and chances are, not for you if you are reading this post. (The super-organized people who would prefer this method probably all figured it out already. ) However, it’s just possible this is a better fit for you. If you know this will make it easier for you to find the files later, and you think you’ll reliably use the method, it does have its perks.
I’m going to guess that if you’ve read this far, you didn’t have a consistent method in place yet, but in case you did read this whole post thinking, “she hasn’t mentioned my method,” or in case this sparked an idea for a variation, we’d love to hear your method, too! Leave a comment and let your fellow readers know how you do it.
(Oh. And now you can buy the Conquer Your Clutter Super Bundle because you know how not to lose it.)
One Last Note (Getting Kindle Files to Kindle)
If you purchased ereader files that include MOBI files for your Kindle, you will need to get those transferred to your Kindle when you’re ready to read them. They have to be unzipped first. (I like to unzip those to a separate subfolder from the PDFs — like UHLB 2016/MOBI or UHLB 2016/Kindle.) Then the easiest method I’ve found is to have the Send to Kindle app installed.
It’s a free app from Amazon; you can download it from here. Once it’s installed, right-clicking the file you want to put on your Kindle should offer a “send to Kindle” option. (Mine hasn’t been working since Windows 10’s latest update. I don’t know if that’s true for everyone or just me, but following the instructions here fixed the problem.) You can send PDFs to your Kindle, as well; it’s just that many of them don’t display very nicely on an ereader screen, because the formatting is not set up for that.
Help! I Keep Buying eBook Bundles But I Can’t Keep Track of Them is a post from: Titus 2 Homemaker
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