How do I stay organized?

Although I am a Biomedical engineer (PhD candidate) my adviser is
Electrical, so I qualify :-)
The question, however, is far more general.
See, I have a few job offers in academia and 100% decided to stay in
it and become a tenure track faculty member.
Now a question. How do I organize my stuff? I mean there is
tremendous amounts of it. I am a senior PhD to about 5 other PhDs and
thus most of our research and our publications are aligned. I
participate in proposal preparation, write my own, write reports, etc.
Data from students 1, 2, and 3 goes into proposal. Some new
schematics are made for that proposal and go into a report for project
students 2 and 4 are on. Patent is prepared based on this work, too,
using some data from student 5 and some other proposal. Finally, this
mess results in 3 publications which are shared between co-authors.
Now repeat this a dozen times over throughout 5 years. I have copies
upon copies of schematics with just one item modified (sometimes
nothing modified) and it's stored all over my harddrive. Going on 200
gigs of just photos, schematics, and text.
So far I try to sort everything by general direction, project, date.
For example, DBD plasma --> Tissue Sterilization --> Conferences -->
2008 --> GRC-PPS --> files.
Any good ideas? Suggestions? How do you do it?
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i suppose no takers? :-)
we're all somehow in business and somehow alive. how do you stay organized?
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Big companies have electronic documents submitted to a large shared database.
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Adrian C
i was talking more about just one little me. just me and a few students here. each one of us uses different email systems and neither is likely to switch...
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