Your computer is an electronic filing system, and one that can become very cluttered over time with emails, documents, photos, forms and attachments. The best way to keep on top of the clutter is to spend even just five minutes at the end of each day deleting the emails and spam you don’t want from that day, but to get you to that stage lets have a look at what you can do to clear the mess and create more space to start with!
- Go through one file/category at a time and declutter, delete and delete! Open and check the files before deleting though! If that unnerves you for now, don’t delete the delete file! If the job seems too overwhelming, over the course of the first week just spend 15 minutes a day focusing on deleting your emails or go to your documents file and delete, delete! Often you find you can end up with 3 or 4 copies of the same document so delete the duplicates and save the final version to a file category where you can find it! Consolidate files where you can. Break it down and make it manageable, so just focus on one category a day. Even if it takes a month to clear the clutter, you will be better off long term.
- Articles you saved because you meant to read them, delete them. You meant well but you know it’s not going to happen! See you’re starting to feel lighter already!
- Articles that you did read and you are saving to file away, delete unless you have a category right now to save them too, it’s more clutter you’ll have to delete later anyway! Another option could be writing down the article name and author in your notebook, there will always been an update on the Internet that you can source later!
- Now you have deleted and culled you are ready to organize into folders emails and documents saved that are easy to find. Under my emails I have categories such as for personal: school, superannuation, iinet, mums stuff. Some files under my work category are: invoices sent, invoices received, networking, marketing, logo, contracts, media…….
Under these headings I also create sub headings. For instance under iinet I have accounts and support. Under logo I have artwork, pdf files and trademark.
A good rule of thumb is if you are accruing 20+ documents in a folder then you need a sub folder under that category.
- It’s better to create a folder under a subject or topic not dividing up under presentations, documents, letters or word, PowerPoint or excel as the document or email you require will be so much harder to find. It’s a good idea to label photos under categories. Let’s say for instance you were looking for a photo of your sons 5th birthday cake, it would be easier for it to be under the category birthday cakes, rather than just cakes or birthdays.
- For general photos of family and friends it’s easier to have subset categories. For instance break down into years and then further into specific get togethers; Dylan’s graduation bbq, holidays, events or celebrations. You can also subset and breakdown the photos into the main category of holidays, subsets of 2013, USA, Disneyland. How easy then would it be to find that photo straight away of when you and your friends shared a ride with Mickey Mouse on the Radiator Springs Racers!
Another option too is to store your documents and photos on a CD, DVD, USB, or external hard drive if you don’t need to access these documents any time soon.
Now once you have your online computer system in some sort of order you need to be consistent and retain using this new system now otherwise you will end up with a semi organized filing system. All it takes is 5 minutes a day to stay focused on this and don’t forget every week or 2 to back up your system. Set yourself a reminder and good luck, don’t wait it’s only going to get bigger!