If getting your electronic files organized is one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2015, you might be wondering how to get started. File organization helps you quickly locate what you need and eliminate anything that is superfluous. These five tips for organizing your computer files will eliminate electronic clutter and help to save your time and energy.
Touch It Once
According to Jane Porter on Fast Company, one of the most important rules of organizing your computer files is to “touch” each item only once. This strategy will help you get through the virtual pile of computer files in a much faster way. Don’t think about each file too much as you’re deciding whether to keep it or delete it.
Files that are corrupt, incomplete or obsolete can likely be deleted. If you already have multiple backup copies of the same file stored onto external devices or in the cloud, you can delete the copy from your hard drive to enhance your PC’s performance. Eliminating these excess files results in less visual distraction and can restore much needed hard drive and memory space on your device.
Whenever possible, set up automated file sorting and storage. This is easy to do with programs such as email where you can have different mailboxes for each type of message based upon the subject line or sender. Instead of having to manually sort each message, the program automatically does it for you based upon the filters you have set. You can do this with other programs as well by setting up algorithms for file maintenance, storage and deletion. Having the process automated frees up your time and helps to guarantee that your files won’t pile up waiting on you to sort and organize them individually.
If you have a large number of files to sort and organize, your energy may be quickly zapped. Dedicate a specific block of time each day to attend to this task. Ideally, the last 30 minutes of your work day could be spent on this, as sorting and organizing files should not require a lot of your mental energy. Quickly eliminate any useless files. The faster you move through the files, the more motivated you will be to get the job done. You’ll see that you’ve made substantial progress toward completion of the task after each organizing session.
Use Efficient Storage Tools
After sorting through your files, you’ll need an efficient storage solution to keep them organized. According to FileFacets, cloud based storage solutions are ideal for maintaining a hierarchical file organization system. Cloud based solutions allow you to run de-duplication programs, eliminate unimportant files and share files with other members of your team or organization.
Once you’ve gone through these five steps, you can then set up good file organizing habits. The greatest part of the work will be finished and you’ll just need to maintain it.