5 Tips to Get You Started on a Computer Spring Clean
Spring is finally here! That means it's time to break out the broom and go to town on the dust your house or apartment has collected over the past few months. Have you applied that mentality to your work or personal computer, yet?
The average worker spends about two hours of their day trying to find files that were originally saved in the wrong place. It doesn’t feel like that much time, but two hours every day during the work week adds up. We've compiled a few easy suggestions for making the organization of your desktop painless:
- File Hierarchy
A great way to ensure that your files never get lost is to create a file hierarchy on your hard drive. Sort out your different documents into main sections, and then create subsections for your specific needs. An example of the main folder would be “Emails”, with subsections such as “Personal”, “Work”, and “Spam”. You can make these subsections as specific as you need them. The more specific, the better!
- Clean Up Your Desktop
As tempting as it seems, saving everything to your desktop is not the best organizational method. Opening your computer and seeing forty different icons on your desktop is just as stressful as walking into your kitchen and realizing that every dish you own is piled in the sink. A way to combat that stress is to create a file system on your desktop. Sort out those icons into different categories, and then drop them into your different corresponding folders. Not only will this organize your desktop, but suddenly you’ll be able to see that gorgeous preset mountain background that you picked out a month ago.
- Rename Your Files
Standard Naming Conventions are a great way to ensure that you never lose a file, even if you have to use your computers built-in file search. This technique also helps you to remember what files you’re looking for. In order to pick a name, consider the kind of information included in the document, when you use the information, and what the information is used for. A good example of an SNC is “date,year_document type_company/personal use."
- Location, Location, Location
Choosing a spot to save all of your important documents can be kind of tricky, especially if you have a lot of sensitive or private information. There are a number of options though, including an external hard drive, the cloud, or, if you are working for a company, perhaps their internal server. External hard drives are great if you are working from home or if you work in a creative field and you are dealing with larger files that could take up a lot of storage space on your computer. They also allow you to transport files from one machine to another, so if your computer crashes, you'll still have all that valuable data.
If your organization doesn't have some sort of document management software in place, you're more than likely losing countless hours of productivity. Products like M-Files make your clutter convenient, diving deep into file metadata to organize your documents and emails.
So, with these tips in mind, why not set aside a few hours this week to deep clean your desk AND your desktop? We bet "future you" will most certainly appreciate it. Happy cleaning!