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A New Lease of Life: De-cluttering your computer

By: | January 8, 2019 | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 comments

There are many things around your home, office, and garage that need de-cluttering. But often your computer can get off lightly.  Who knows what “clutter monster” is lurking behind that tiny computer screen?  And you are feeding it aren’t you? Oh dear! This is not just on your computer but often in the Cloud such as in Google Drive too. Let’s work on changing this!

Filing is something to attend to!

Over time you may have been filing things regularly but in a haphazard manner. You need a clear-cut course of labeling that works for you. Also, that is easy to locate items from. In some cases, numbers will work for some things or a search word. But it can be time-consuming when you have duplicates to go through. Or you don’t have an all-encompassing subject name. You can be as generalized or as detailed as you would like. Enough to be easy locatable but not so detailed that you are here till next year completing the folder and file names. You may have a love/hate relationship with organizing in any form but it pays dividends in headaches and time saved later.

Computer

Image Via Canva

Tips on Filing

You can often file things towards the front of a folder list to locate easily by popping in a 1 or an A. Consider doing this for those which are a priority to find and which you use often. For example, Spreadsheets, invoicing, budget, family genealogy, information for health, recipes or blog information files. But mainly you can choose to either file alphabetically or numerically in such a fashion that is easy for you to locate. My thing is not to over-complicate. Have enough information so that at some future time when you are looking you will be able to quickly locate what you are looking for. Don’t make it too difficult to understand either ie Unusual abbreviations. Remember you can use 260 characters in your file name. But you probably shouldn’t! This many is often not needed. The trick is to be consistent, however.

The main thing with filing is to start setting up the bones of your computer file system with folders and sub-folders.  Make them easy to remember. All files should first come under the main file My Documents.

Some example of the subfolders I use are:

  • 1 All Current Business / 1 Practical Organiser and Virtual Assist / Blogging How to boost traffic and I will file all under Blog traffic.
  • 1 All Current Business / All Invoices for All Years / Invoices YE 300619/ Inv541 Joe Blow 311218 $125.00 (Yes I do happen to have a Joe as one of my regular clients – but a different name!)
  • 1 All Current Business / Budget / Budget 2019
  • 1 All Current Business / Income Ideas. (Some are easy)
  • 2 My Writing of all Types / Articles I am currently writing. Also under this writing Folder, I have Z Tips on writing. I often will put a Z when I want a folder to be accessible at the end of the other Folders.
  • 3 Home Garden Hols Educ Recipes / Vegan / Gluten-free. Some are simple and don’t have as many subfolders.
  • 4 Health and Beauty / Beauty Tips
  • 5 Craft and Art / Stamping techniques

You get the general idea!

All folders are set up and I file straight away each time – so there isn’t any hassle. Where a fall down can be is when you are looking for everyday information when there may be lots of it on certain topics.

Then periodically (not just yearly) but quarterly or on a 6 monthly basis start organizing and sorting and deleting. (Monthly if you are well-organized) Getting rid of not needed content is rather like crossing items off your “virtual” list. (Note empty the Recycle Bin periodically too!)

Clear out the out-dated

You may have trending topics or ideas that you filed thinking they were the bee's knees but times change and so does your attitude to them. A new season and a new year are a good time to have a clean out of the out-dated.Click To Tweet

Caution though if you are undecided – leave the file. If in doubt don’t is my motto  Nothing worse than clearing something out that you then require at some future time. Yes! I’ve done that!

Make use of Folders but not too many

As in your email you can start to have an avalanche of folders and you can have issues with locating the “not so easy to locate” Choose the number of them wisely and rather think of them as if someone else might be able to go through to locate what they want easily.

Don’t have Sundry or Miscellaneous Files

That’s messy and you don’t know at all what is in there. Start pulling it to bits and delete, delete, delete those things which you are sure to have never looked at for a while. Or better start making folders for them and popping them in.

Using the Cloud

Using the Cloud to file items can be a bonus in many ways – most of all that you can be anywhere to access them and also the less risk of losing them. Here are some Pros and Cons here. to consider. Sometimes you may have issues with filing on your local computer and the cloud and not re-calling where.  That can be a muddle – so do have your system fairly clear-cut.

Final notes

Once your file folders are set up start filing properly as you work with information each day Click To Tweet This makes a periodic clean up not so necessary. But your good then aren’t you?! Maybe you could give us a tip or two as well. Love to hear how your computer filing is going. I often have Challenges on de-clutter or cleanups – would love to have you join my Facebook group.

 

 

See #bestpracticeforcleaningcomputerfiles so that the #digitaldeclutter doesn't take over
  1. A timely reminder although I do store as I go but I do need to delete some older ones 🙂

  2. What a great topic, Esme. We will feature this post as I am sure that lot’s more blogger’s will find this subject on filing very helpful.
    Kathleen
    Blogger’s Pit Stop

  3. I’ve been putting this off but your post inspired me. I use Google Drive and hit my limits a few months ago. I confess that instead of cleaning it up I paid for extra space. Sigh.

    A tip a friend shared was to name files by the date: year, month, day. Like 2019_1_11_Staff_Meeting_Notes. Then it sorts nicely in your folder.

    • Hi Terri. Yes your way of naming files will help but one need to purge and do housekeeping as well. I generally go though my files monthly but did not get to Nov and Dec so now behind.

  4. A good reminder. I need to do this on my external hard drive, it’s where I store backups but it’s a real mess at the moment. A good filing system will make thing s a lot easier.

    • Char, I think we are all guilty if this, or most of us anyway, so now it the time to get it sorted. Good luck.

  5. Right now, I have little (to no) filing system and a lot of old documents I no longer need. I clean up my work computer every year, but not my personal computer. I am going to change that. Thanks for the inspiration. I found your post on the Blogger’s Pit Stop.

    • Hi Christie – Thank you for popping over from the Blogger’s Pit Stop. I am so glad that this post will help you to do some filing. Just to let you know that EsmeSalon also has a weekly linkup – SeniorSalon. I invite you to also participate and share your posts here with us. You still have time for this week, as the doors are open till 8 pm PT tonight. I am leaving the link here for you, to have a look at and hopefully participate weekly: https://esmesalon.com/1-senior-salon-2019/
      Feel free to share the news with your own readers and on social media in order for others not familiar with SeniorSalon to come over and participate. I will be very grateful should you be able to share the news. Doors always open on a Monday at 2 am until Friday at 8 pm PT. I usually do a roundup post on a Friday evening at 9 pm.

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