Computers have, without a doubt, made our lives easier. Spreadsheet, word processing, and database software programs have changed the ways in which we both do business and live our lives. But there is a small price to pay for all of these modern conveniences — yet another organizing task that must be mastered. However, by following just a few of the following tips organizing electronic files, you’ll have a nice and orderly computer in no time.
There is a tendency to save files on your desktop, and why not? When you sit down at your computer at home or at work, the desktop is usually the first thing you see. However, if individual files, such as Word and Excel files, are always saved on your desktop, you’ll soon face an overwhelming amount of clutter. If you use one file over and over again, such as a house budget file, the desktop might be the place for it to be. For everything else, use the desktop only for shortcuts to your software and for folders.
Folders are the key tips organizing electronic files. Create a folder for each major part of your work or personal life by going to My Documents, clicking on File, and then going to New and then Folder. For example, you might have the following folders named in My Documents: Money, Pictures, Letters, Music, etc. Creating folders inside folders is the next step. For example, in your Letters folder, you could create a folder named April, where you would save all of the letters you wrote for that month. If all of this folder creating seems cumbersome, it really isn’t; they are the fastest and easiest tips organizing electronic files.
As mentioned before, shortcuts can be handy to have on your desktop. If you find that you are writing a large amount of letters, for example, and you’d like a fast way to get to that folder, do the following: Go to the Letters folder in My Documents, and right-click on the folder. Go to Send To and then Desktop (create shortcut). When you go to your desktop, you’ll notice your Letters folder is now there, too.
A Final Hint
Just remember that electronic clutter can occur just as fast as any other type of clutter. Think of your electronic files and your desktop as you do all of your random stuff and that counter in the kitchen that seems to attract it all. If that counter becomes too cluttered, you can’t find anything. If you don’t organize your computer in a similar way, you’ll spend more time searching for the things you want, and less time working. So, each time you create a new file, save it in the appropriate folder right away. And be sure to organize your folders in the most logical way for you. You’ll thank yourself every time you turn on your computer.