For most of us, our computer or laptop is the hub of our digital clutter. With the amount of documents and files we are constantly accessing, it is not surprising that our folders and desktop quickly become disorganized. It is more difficult to visualize digital clutter, but it is still consuming valuable space just like physical clutter does. Here are steps for clearing out your digital clutter on your computer or laptop:
- Sort your files into categories. Especially if you use your documents folder as a general location for all file types, sort your files by type (documents, music, photos) and category (travel, finances, work, etc.). This includes sorting files on your desktop.
- Create folders for each category. Once you have determined the various file categories you have, create folders for them and place your files in the appropriate place.
- Organize files within folders. Within each folder, go through each file. Delete files you no longer need (or old versions of documents). Organize files you want to keep (chronologically, by active/archive, etc.).
- Create a standard file naming convention and implement. It’s important to name your files in a standard way to help you reference documents quickly. It can take a long time to re-name all of your files, so try setting aside 30 minutes a day to work on this.
- Set a maintenance schedule. Add reminders to your calendar (monthly, bi-monthly) to make sure you maintain an organized computer or laptop. You should also get in the habit of backing up your device at the same time, to ensure you never lose anything important.
- Repeat for other digital devices. Digital clutter gathers in all of your devices; try these steps for your phone, tablet, etc.
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