When you prepare a report, PowerPoint presentation, spreadsheet, or just about any work-related document, chances are it will include details you’ve found on the web or in other documents, answers you’ve received from colleagues, and data you’ve tracked down from other outside sources.
Suggestion: Create a separate folder for each document you prepare that includes all outside research you’ve gathered. The folder should include the document file itself, plus all research-material files — PDFs, white papers, even emails from colleagues who supplied you with answers to your research questions.
You should also create a “links” document, in which you can place the links to all web pages where you found information you used in your document. You might also want to include below each link on this page a short summary of the data/stat/quote/whatever you pulled from the website, so you know at a glance what the link provided and you won’t need to open up the web page again to remind yourself.
There’s always the possibility that you will need to refer to those original sources later — for an update to your PowerPoint presentation, for example, or because a co-worker asks you where you found a specific statistic. If you’ve captured it all at the time you created the document and placed it in your document’s folder, you won’t have to hunt it down later.