Electronic clutter is often overlooked because you can’t see the physical piles. If you look at your computer desktop screen and feel overwhelmed with too many files and folders floating around, organizing your digital files can help to improve your productivity.
Improve Search Functions
Once your files are better organized and decluttered, your computer will have fewer files to search through, making it easier and faster to find what you need. Likewise, if you know which folder an item is located in, it will be easier for you to find the file and quickly access it, saving you time.
Take it One Folder or File at a Time
Schedule time to work on this digital clutter organization project, and look through one folder at a time. Delete any outdated content, or anything that you know you will not reference again. Deleting the excess is the first step to creating an organized system.
Visualize a File Cabinet
If you have an organized physical file cabinet, look inside it to see the names of folders and types of information you’ve stored inside. A computer file system is basically a digital file cabinet. Use a similar naming pattern and structure that you’ve used in your physical file drawers.
Categorize into Folders
Look at the categories of information you have stored on your computer. After you’ve done the initial delete and declutter, you should have a better idea of the types of information you store digitally. Label folders based on these categories, and nest related folders inside them. You can use any naming convention that works best for you such as by date, number, alphabetically, color coding or flagging certain folders.
Set Up Naming Rules for Files Going Forward
For example, will you date all files starting YYYY-MM-DD ? Will you list folders alphabetically such as Adams, John; Adams, Sam, etc. ? Determine what works for you and keep that similar naming convention when you create new files.
Schedule Regular Digital File Clean Up
After you’ve cleaned up your digital files, be sure to schedule regular maintenance time on your calendar when you can spend time sorting, organizing and cleaning up your digital file system to make sure it stays organized.
If you are located in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and need hands-on assistance in organizing your digital files, contact On Task Organizing for a free phone consultation.