Where did those files go?

by | Oct 3, 2013 | Blog Challenge, Business | 14 comments

Earlier today I was looking for a digital file. Something I bought a few weeks ago for about $10.00 USD. I don’t remember the name of the company & only have a vague recollection of what it was called. I do remember what it was going to help me with in my business.

But, I can’t find it anywhere.

I’m usually really good with keeping digital receipts, naming them something meaningful & storing them in a systematized folder on my desktop (also synced with the cloud), but I’ve recently moved to a new service provider and this time I made a bit of a mess when I moved things around.

So, it looks to me like I may have organized just a little too much.Or too fast.

But regardless of my usual organization skills, I’m also aware that I’m not really utilizing many of the things I purchase online, as well as I could.  Which sent me on a search of some kind of tools to help me with this digital purchasing mess. There is only one that stands out today, when I search for help with tracking digital purchases.  It’s called Slice



It has an iphone, android and web app and is free. That passes a few tests for me, so I’m giving it a try. http://youtu.be/2Tb5GB1O5CI

And, I’m booking some time in my day tomorrow to go through my paypal receipts to look for this purchase I couldn’t find & make sure to add it to my inventory list, asap.

What do you do to keep track of digital purchases? Do you pick up things for $7 or $10 and never use them? Any tips for me, or other readers that works for you? Please share in the comment below.

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  1. Nicola

    Great post! I’ve been streamlining all my files and emails for a while, experimenting with different add ons and practices. I use Gmail with a number of add ons and filters.

    All my PayPal receipts filter automatically into Receipts. When I sign up for an eCourse I create an eCourse folder via ActiveInbox which does lots of great things and also then gives you a button to add any future content straight into the eCourse folder (I tend not to filter much any more as I like to see stuff and then file it – I also use Sanebox which does the bulk of the filtering for me and then I GTD everything as I go).

    For one off downloads, I get the file as soon as the sign up email comes through – I then file it under Current Reading/Listening on Google Drive. Sanebox also has a function to automatically backup attachments from emails to Dropbox which is very handy. I used to have very specific folders on Gmail for everything but now have more generic folders such as Read Later (also an ActiveInbox button) – these are all searchable anyway and I like the more minimalist approach.

    I love organising!

  2. Amanda

    I ‘try’ to immediately save the receipt to a receipt folder and name the file with the business name I purchased from and date. Try is the key word. I think I got a little lazy this summer and need to a little clean up.

  3. Renee Shupe

    One I thing I do when I make a new digital purchase is download the file right away into a general folder I call To Look At (could be inbox or whatever you decide)- It reminds me that I need to do something to process it and move it to the right section in my digital filing cabinet. It also gives me an area I can go to, to see what I’ve recently purchased or download that I haven’t looked at.

    I do this for all of my files I download and then weekly I process it to move the files where they need to go or often delete it.

    The other thing I do, if I’m purchasing something small like that, before I do I assess whether or not I have the time or the desire to actually read it that day, if I don’t I will often pass on it at that point. I may make a note of it and save it to my Evernote account as a resource, but I figure if I don’t have the time or desire to read it within the at least the next 24 hours it’s actually not that import to me.

  4. Delia

    I keep everything under one folder and I rename all files with the course/book name and author. I am sure you do too most of the time, Loralee!

    Perhaps this time things were a bit too hectic and you forget to do so. Can you do a search by date and file type? That should narrow down your results a little bit. Good luck!

  5. Nikole Gipps

    At the end of the year, I also go through my PayPal account month by month (for taxes), which helps with anything I forgot about ha.

  6. Debbie

    Yep. Guilty. I’ll check out the app. Thanks!

  7. Nikole Gipps

    I have a folder for digital downloads. And when I put them in there, I give them a meaningful name and/or put them in a useful folder. (Not like file_download.pdf or some_thing.rtf – people give your products meaningful names when you upload them!!) Also, I have a scary memory and can search my email for the thing I bought, which brings up a receipt, which gives me a purchase date – for all the things I forgot to put in the folder or have to go fetch new copies for.

  8. Holly

    It looks like we are all in the same boat with our digital receipts organization. I used to have Quicken on my phone that would sync with my computer and that was great. I think I lost that option when I switched back to MAC. I will check out your suggestions, hopefully inspire me to be more organized that way.

  9. Lillian Moffitt

    I am an organizational mess! One thing I do try to do is name the files with the Year/Month/day numerically entered as the first part of the file name followed by a clear descriptive name.

    I have signed up for and downloaded so many free things that I’ve barely looked at, I’m not willing – even if I was able – to spend money.

    Be well,

  10. Morgan Eckstein

    I tend to make all my business purchases from a single bank account (or Paypal), and therefore I more often than not can use my statements to track every thing down. For me, it is not the $7 or $10 purchases that sit unused; it is all the ebooks that I buy for .99 or 2.99 (then again, I am a writer, so that is the type of purchase you make in my business).

    • Loralee

      Morgan, yeah I was able to find it in my paypal account. But I’d love to not have to search that way. If I were still in my brick and mortar business I could just go to bookshelves & grab my book/software case / package. It’s on my radar to find a similar solution for my digital stuff. How about you? Is there an e-reader where you could download ALL of those ebooks? Keep them in one central storage locker?

  11. Brenda

    I would like to thank you for this post, however now I find myself sitting here thinking “great, there’s something else I am way behind at”. Seriously, I am horrible with digital receipts……they always sound like such a great idea at the time and I guess really they are. I lose the paper ones just as quick!

    Seriously, thanks! Great post and definitely food for thought!

    • Loralee

      yikes! sorry for adding to your “to do list” Brenda. I think it’s been nagging at me as well. I do store all of my digital receipts, and they’re linked to my accounting system. But I must not be tagging them right. If you’d like to know a bit more about how I make that other part easier (the digital receipts linked to accounting) let me know 🙂

  12. Teri

    Loralee, I’ve bought and downloaded so many things but I’ve not organized them at all. To top it off I haven’t utilized them either! I totally need a system to organize all these things and need to use them as well, I can probably actually make a profit off of the PLR that I’ve purchased. I’m going to check out the app above, apps are very helpful too, when used!