Disarray is OK

I hate to file so I try to avoid it until my paperwork blocks my view. I think I'd rather suffer a paper cut than suffer through filing a one inch stack of miscellaneous paperwork.

Though I love to be organized, my aversion to filing creates a constant, towering stack of bank statements, receipts and old, bill stubs on my desk. Sometimes I'll stuff them into a shoebox and shove that into my file cabinet. I then feel better for a while because the unfiled paper is out of sight and my desk looks cleaner until a new stack is reborn within days.

My single-stack, let-it-grow method works fine until I need to find a document. After I plop a foot-tall stack onto my lap and finish coughing and waving my hands to clear the dust, it can take a good hour to find the piece of paper that I need. I dream of a way to leave all my paperwork in one giant pile and be able to retrieve any document I need from it in seconds. Better yet, what if I could toss my paperwork all over my office and still have instant retrieval of any piece I need by simply asking for it?

Such instant file retrieval does exist -for your PC. Google Desktop is a fabulous tool that ends the need to organize files and folders on your computer. Organizing files on the computer can be as much of a chore as filing paper documents. I generally know where my files are located, but must admit that I occasionally save files to the wrong folder by accident. A search for such files using Windows' built-in search feature can sometimes work, but is limited and relatively slow.

Once Google Desktop is installed, it indexes your entire computer, including email, files, music, photos, chats, and even web pages that you've viewed. Enter any keyword into its search box and Google Desktop will retrieve all relevant files on your computer, splashing the results as clickable links right before your eyes in a matter of seconds. You really don't care where the file was because now it's in front of you! You can try Google Desktop by going to google.com and clicking the "more" link.

Meanwhile, the unfiled stack of paper in my office grows. I know I should just invest a week or two to organize it but I'm holding out with the hope that Google will soon offer Google On-Site Office Paper Indexer.

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