Computers dominate our home and professional life and it is easy to get into a routine of saving a file here or there for a brief moment to speed up a project. Keeping un-needed programs and files slow down your computer. That is why there is an entire day devoted to organizing your computer and deleting unnecessary files or programs. If you really want to stay on top of things schedule an appointment for one day out of the month to go through your computer. If once a month is too much move up to quarterly or bi-annually. With these 3 easy steps your computer will not only be running faster but your new organizational system will help your productivity.
First, delete everything you do not need. That way when you start organizing you are just shuffling through material that matters. Delete drafts of old projects, any programs you no longer use, and anything that you haven’t updated in over a year. One folder to really look at is your ‘download’ folder. Most of the time we move these documents elsewhere but they are also left in that folder. Clean it up and delete.
Tip: If you haven’t deleted an application on a PC, simply ‘deleting’ won’t work. You must uninstall the program. For PC users head to Control Panel –> Programs and Features –> select a program and uninstall.
Mac is a little easier, all you have to do is drag the application into the Trash, or right-clicking and selecting to send it to the Trash.
Second, figure out the best way to organize all your files. Would it be best for you to organize by year, month, file type? Choose your filing system, this process will only work if it makes sense to you. Let’s say you start the organization based on the month. You now have a folder labeled ‘January’ now you need subcategories. Break down your month depending on what you need it for. Maybe you run your own photography business so break down each month into client folder. Or you’re a small business owner so it would make more sense to create subcategories like expenses, invoices, PO’s, etc.
Finally, dig a little deeper and organize more than just your computer files. Look at incorporating steps 1-2 with your email, digital photos, music, etc.
Other things to consider:
- Store files in the cloud or a drop box service. Perfect if you are move between your phone or computer a lot. This also creates a backup system so if your computer decides it wants to stop working, all your files are safe and sound.
- Instead of using a drop box service or cloud purchase an external hard drive. You can get these for cheap and can store anything and everything.
Do you have any tips on how you keep your computer organized? Comment below!