Is your computer a mess? Is finding the file almost impossible? Decluttering, removing what you don’t need, and organizing what you do need isn’t that difficult.

computer files
Image source: pixabay

How to organize your computer

The first step is to get your files, documents, and bookmarks in order and organize them.

Documents

  1. Go through the files, delete the ones you don’t need.
  2. Rename each important document so you can find it by keyword, date, or topic.
  3. Sort the documents into folders.
  4. Keep a shared folder of important documents somewhere else, for example, on a separate flash drive, cloud storage, or a disk.

Make sure your duplicate documents are:

  • Are structured like the originals;
  • Are secure.

Photos and pictures

Go through all your photos and be sure to delete any repeating, stray or random images. Get rid of the ones you don’t want to look at again.

The system is based on chronological order. Each project folder (whether it’s another business idea or a trip home to a family house) starts with the year and month. For example, the texts and photos for this article were at: ‘Projects/2021.02 – filesstr’. The year always goes first and before the name – it’s the only right way to name folders so that they can be sorted later.

If something is knocked out of the project structure and requires a higher priority (fonts or templates for work, for example) – it is placed in a folder starting with “@” (“@Fonts” and “@Templates” respectively). Such folders appear at the very top when sorted. This not only helps to organize the folders but also to find the right one afterward by keyword.

That is a good moment to get out a CD. When you go through your photos, there are always some that you particularly like. Since we’re putting things in order once and for all, you’re unlikely to go through all the pictures again. So it’s the perfect time to choose the best free CD burning software for Windows and Mac and print them out later. If you want to, of course.

As with important documents, copy the folders of your most cherished photos to cloud storage in addition. Make sure that all pictures are organized in the cloud too.

Create a separate folder for images from the internet. Organize the files inside it in the same manner as for the photos, but arrange them in folders with a tag name.

Others

The greatest amount of junk tends to accumulate in download folders, where files are automatically sent after being downloaded. Find those folders and sort them out.

Don’t forget about your desktop. This is where we often save files that we will need in the near future, and forget to delete them. Sort through the junk that has accumulated, and get rid of what you don’t need.

Emails

There are so many emails accumulating in your inbox that it can be hard to find what you need. It will take time and patience to get through them, but it will be worth it.

Delete emails with adverts. When you send them to the trash, make sure you select the option to automatically block their addresses so you don’t see them again.

Create handy filter-tags, distribute them across the emails.

The most important emails:

  • should be marked with the appropriate filter;
  • can be saved separately as a document (and then adhere to the rules for document storage), sent to Evernote or to a cloud storage service.
  • Gmail offline can make parsing your mail easier. Any changes you make will take effect once you’re connected to the internet. Emails will go to their recipients, and junk mail will be deleted. Take advantage of it whenever you have a moment without an internet connection.

Be sure to try using email services. These applications allow you to manage your emails, so you don’t lose important messages.

Bookmark

  • Review all pages saved as bookmarks.
  • Save the sites you visit the most on your home page or in your bookmarks panel.
  • For the articles you are going to read later, download them as a document or put them in a separate folder.
  • Group the rest of your bookmarks into themed folders.

What to do to avoid general cleanup in the future

  • Rename important files at once so that you can easily locate the document or image by name.
  • Try to remove files from where they don’t belong as infrequently as possible. Just like clothes stacked up on a chair, these files will make a mess of themselves.
  • Use file storage and note-taking services.

Images

Photos can be stored and organized using online services. Each has advantages and disadvantages, so it is worth choosing the one that best suits your needs.

Flickr. The photo service offers 1TB of storage for anyone new to the service. It has a nice interface. There is both a web version and an app.

Google Photos. One of the best services for processing, sorting and storing photos. Easy management, synchronization between devices. However, there is a limitation on the quality of uploaded photos and videos.

Documents

In addition to the well-known document and note-taking services, check out these non-obvious solutions. You may find it much more convenient to keep your notes in one of these editors:

  • Paper;
  • Notion;
  • Zoho Notebook;
  • iA Writer.

Cloud storage

Whichever cloud storage service you choose: Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, or whatever, take care to find a service to work with it. Especially if you’re using more than one service at once. Here are a few solutions:

  • Cloudo – for working with cloud services and storage.
  • Mover is a service for moving from one cloud to another.

Conclusion

So, we have covered all the basic principles and ideas for organising the information on your computer. The result is your own personal filing system. Once you have taken the time to sort your documents, keep them in order and improve the file storage system you have created.

And remember, the habit of keeping your digital documents tidy is the key to getting much more done!

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