Computers are designed to store digital files in an organized and efficient manner. However, if you use your computer frequently, you may find that it gets disorganized and it becomes very difficult to find a particular file when you need it. Just like with real documents, it’s important to come up with a way to sort things out. Here’s 5 quick tips on cleaning, organizing, streamlining and keeping your digital files organized and easy to access.
It’s important to not go overboard with the creation of folders and sub-folders. As long as you don’t have a bunch of files cluttering your “documents” directory, you probably have a good understanding of how to maintain your digital storage. Create folders in a way that is easy for you to navigate and understand.
Organize Your File Structure
There are so many different ways you can structure the files on your computer that it’s impossible to go over every possible method. The best way to start is by creating several folders for very broad groups of files and moving all of your files into them. For example, you might sort your files into folders labeled “Work,” “Personal,” and “Games.” Once you’ve done this, you can look in each folder and see how you can sort the contents into even more sub-folders.
Continuing the example from above, you might choose to arrange your work file into sub-directories titled “Projects” and “Reports.” While you don’t want your system to be too complicated, don’t be afraid to give it some depth.
Merge Related Files
When software or content is uploaded to your PC, it’s placed in a new folder that the computer creates automatically. While this is a very useful tool, it often results in unnecessary clutter… especially if you use your PC for storing things like photos or videos.
Instead of having several different files labeled “photos”, you can merge them into one central folder designated for photos that you have uploaded to your computer. You can take it a step further and create sub-folders if you want to categorize your files by the date or occasion.
Delete Old, Useless Files
After a while, files have a tendency to be forgotten and wind up doing nothing more than taking up space. Eliminating these unused files frees up space, as well as making your filing system more organized.
A prime source for this sort of clutter is the downloads folder. It’s easy to forget about the installer for an application after it’s done its job. So, it just sits there. If a file isn’t something you use or plan to store, don’t let it hang around.
Stick to Your System
Even if you organize every single file on your computer to your liking, your computer will not stay organized for long. It’s essential that you also sort new files as they come in. Otherwise, you will probably end up with the same mess on your hands that you had when you started. When you receive new files or programs, make sure they end up in their proper place in your filing system, immediately.
Digital storage provides us a great opportunity to organize our lives in the most uncomplicated and convenient ways imaginable. There are many tools built right into your operating system that you can use to organize the files on your computer. The trick is to organize them in a way that works for you, and then stick with it.
If you can think of others ways on how to unclutter computer files, please share with us in the comment section below.
Photo Credits: David Castillo Dominici