We spend hours every week organizing and cleaning our homes–scrubbing dishes, mopping floors, washing clothes, the list goes on and on. We put great care into keeping our living space in top shape, however, that diligence often escapes us when it comes to the upkeep of our computers. We lose files under saved images and funny gifs that we never remembered to share with friends. We can’t find that pdf our professor sent — in fact we don’t know if we ever saved it, since we can’t find it — so we download it again for the fifth time. We have so many files under similar names that we make version ‘updatedpink222!’ because we think we’ll definitely remember it that way. Sound familiar? Don’t worry. We all suffer from improper computer care at one point or another.
Although it seems like a common practice to ignore the structure of our folders and files, it’s quite important to take some time and throw out some of the clutter our computers keep. Not only will it help you find what you are looking for much quicker, it can help speed up your computer’s performance.
Analyze the Clutter
Remember to take it one step at a time, focus on one area of your files (downloads, documents, pictures) and consider the essential. Do you have too many saved files or pictures that you will never use? Delete, delete, delete. Don’t be afraid to trash what is useless!
Once you have your number of files down to what you actually want to keep and use, figure out if they fall into specific categories. Do you have 40 pictures of your trip to the lake? Make a folder titled ‘Lake Trip 1/13’ or if you take multiple trips, simply file them under ‘Lake Trips.’ Maybe you have a bunch of scattered notes or word documents for a specific class; create a folder for that specific course. Categorize your clutter into small, manageable folders.
This step is pretty simple: transfer all your files into the new folders you just created! Repeat steps two and three until all your files and no longer cluttered and are categorized and filed into findable folders.
Once you repeat steps one through three, your files should be perfectly organized! Now when you want to find something, you will know exactly where it is.
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