In today’s digital age, you likely spend a large chunk of your time in front of your computer. As technology continues to increase and improve, you’re dealing with less and less paper clutter, but more and more “digital clutter”. We’ve already covered some tips for maintaining a somewhat organized e-mail inbox. But, what about all of your actual computer files? You know, all of those photos, documents, and videos that are constantly arriving at your computer. How can you manage all of that, to ensure that you can always find everything you need, and that you’re not filling up your computer’s memory with useless junk? Look no further! We’ve rounded up a few tips for you here.
1. Categorize and Color Code
It’s a basic organization principle that we mention a lot. But, it’s so important, it’s worth another mention! Grouping like items together is the foundation of great organizing. So, developing sensible file categories is a must for creating and maintaining a computer files organizational system that works for you.
So, sit down and think about what sort of different categories you need for your computer files. Do you need a folder for finances? For tax information? For important contracts or manuals? For all of your work files? Determine your categories, and then establish file folders for each one. Keep in mind that you can always nest folders. So, you could have a main folder titled “Finances” and then subcategories, such as “Receipts” and “Bank Statements” within that folder.
Once you’ve established your categories, you can also color code each folder for immediate recognition. How you want to color code is up to you. You can assign colors to each category, or develop a system where anything marked in red is urgent. Whatever works best for you is great!
2. Clean Often
Computer files can quickly pile up and become overwhelming. Before you know it, your entire desktop is cluttered with files and photos. So, ensuring that you’re frequently cleaning through your computer files is crucial for maintaining order.
Set aside some time every month to sort through all of your files, move anything that needs to me moved, and delete anything that should be junked. It will help to keep your system functional and streamlined, without being an overwhelming project!
3. Empty Your Trash
This can be an easy thing to forget, since you aren’t frequently accessing the recycling bin on your computer. But, it’s important to remember to empty your computer’s trash on a regular basis.
This is especially important after you’ve cleaned through your files and tossed a bunch of things. Keeping items in your trash bin is using up memory that could be used for more useful things. And, you never want to treat your recycle bin as a permanent means of storage!
4. Back Up Frequently
If you’ve ever experienced a computer malfunction, you know how devastating it can be to lose some — or even worse, all — of your files! So, you need to back up your work up regularly so that you’re prepared and taken care of if tragedy ever strikes.
Whether you want to back up on an external hard drive, discs, or flash drives is totally up to you. Just ensure that you’re keeping an extra copy of your files elsewhere, so that they can be restored if you run into computer issues.
With how often you use your computer, staying on top of your computer files can be a challenge. But, following these tips should help you be proactive in maintaining computer organization!
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