Organize All the Things on Your Computer
I know that I am not alone when I try to search for something on my computer and have to scroll through about a million random bits of screenshots and gifs in my downloads folder.
Just like other areas in our houses, the computer is something that needs constant organizing and vigilance.
Our computers hold all sorts of digital resources that we utilize both at work and in our personal lives. From family photos to financial records, the data we store on our hard drives can be very important. But, if your computer’s files are cluttered and disorganized, it can be difficult to find the file you need when you actually need it.
Here are some hints for tidying up the resources you keep on your computer.
Invest in an External Hard Drive
It is highly recommended that you back up your important content in the event that your computer takes a digger.
An external hard drive is an excellent way to store large amounts of content without bogging down your computer in the process.
External hard drives are especially useful for storing collections of things like photos, music or even videos. We keep our photo library on a 2TB external hard drive as well as using a cloud-based system as well (I’ll tell you more about that later). This will free up a significant amount of room on your personal computer, as well as ensure your content will be safe no matter what.
Trash Old, Unnecessary Files
After you’ve used your computer for some time, it’s almost impossible to avoid accumulating files that you don’t need anymore or that never were useful in the first place.
Not only can these files take up valuable space on your hard drive, they can
also make it hard to find the file you’re looking for. (remember that endless scrolling through your downloads folder?)
I recommend that you take a few minutes each day (until the job is done–and then 15 minutes a week to maintain) and go through the various folders on your computer and get rid of the junk.
Organize Your Bookmarks
An overflowing bookmarks bar can cost quite a bit of time when you’re looking for content you need to view frequently.
Remember that most web browsers allow you to sort your bookmarks just
like you would other files on your computer, including allowing you to create folders.
Use these to your advantage in order to create a bookmark system that is quick and easy to navigate.
I have separate bookmark folders for the kids’ schools, affiliate information, blogs I love to read, and online courses I am signed up for (I’m an education junkie!). I also have folders for all of the knitting and crochet websites I stalk. My actual bookmark bar (I use Chrome) holds the login pages for sites I use all the time–like Evernote, and Canva, and the login for this website.
Clean Up Your Filing System
Your computer uses a system of folders and subfolders in order to keep your files organized. Much like a filing cabinet, these folders need to be carefully organized and maintained in order to be used efficiently.
Try to consolidate your resources into a few top-level folders with other similar sub-folders within.
For example, you may have a folder called “work,” which contains other folders called “expenses” and “income,” and so on.
Helpful Computer Organization Tools
Some helpful tools you may want to consider utilizing to make organizing your resources on your computer an easy and stress- free task are Evernote.com, Google Drive and Amazon Photos.
These useful cloud-based applications allow you to create and store documents online and access them from any device. This way, there are fewer resources that are actually on your computer and in need of organization.
How I Use These Cloud Tools:
At any given time I may be working on a work computer, my Chromebook , my iPad, or my phone. If I want to be able to work remotely (and who wouldn’t?) it helps to keep my documents in a cloud-based system. I like Google Drive to store and share documents easily, and I rely on the g-suite software for word processing and spreadsheet and presentations.
I use Evernote to coordinate projects and keep notes on future plans. Evernote also syncs between my devices and allows me to work cooperatively with others.
Amazon Prime Photos offers UNLIMITED photo storage and it automatically backs up photos that I take on my devices. This is super great when I am on vacation and run out of space on my phone. I always just double check that they are backed up on Amazon Prime Photos and then delete from my phone, freeing up space. This was also a huge relief when my phone took a swim at the hotel on the last day of my work trip to Detroit this fall. My phone did not recover, but my photos did!
There is no perfect system or technique for organizing the many resources on your computer. What makes perfect sense to one user may seem taboo to another. The trick is to find the system that works best for you. And, once you’ve found something that works, it’s vital that you keep it up.