There’s no way around it. Organizing your files is a drag. There’s nothing worse than sitting in front of that glowing blue screen with bloodshot eyes sifting through old files, creating folders and making new space on your hard drive. We get it, it’s not a fun activity, but unfortunately it’s one you absolutely cannot skip. If organization isn’t your thing, we’re here to help. Here are some simple steps you can take to make your digital world neat and tidy.

 

Backup! Before you start deleting, moving and altering your files, backup your computer to an external drive. Save yourself from that heart-stopping moment of realizing the “duplicate” file you just deleted was actually that thing you’ve been working on for the past two months and absolutely cannot lose. Make sure everything is safely stored somewhere before you do anything.

 

Start with a plan. Going through each individual file without an idea of what you need to accomplish will leave you with a headache and no results. Use programs like WinDirStat or DaisyDisk to analyze your hard drive and understand which programs are taking up the most space, what you have duplicates of and what you don’t need anymore.

 

Work as a team. Establish a system that everyone in your company is on board with so you’re never creating duplicate files or scrambling to find something your coworker put in some unknown folder under an obscure name. Working with a drive that everyone has access to and is easy to navigate will serve you well in the long run. Even a Google drive will work, and it’s free so it’s actually a great place to start. Create all the necessary folders and establish a naming system for each individual file. These file names will need to be simple, unique and easy to find in a search, but most importantly, they need to be something that makes sense to everyone on your team, or else all of your work will be for nothing. It may seem tedious at first, but you’ll be kicking yourself later when it’s 11pm and you’re still searching for that seemingly invisible file in a sea of others just like it. Avoid the headache, it’s just not worth it.

 

Delete. Now that you’ve created a great organizational system, it will be easier to identify what stays and what goes. Do you really still need those stock photos of baby pandas from 2012? If the answer is no, send them straight to the trash (but if the answer is yes, we aren’t judging). Empty your trash, uninstall programs you don’t use and delete duplicates of old files you don’t need anymore. Freeing up space on your hard drive provides a multitude of benefits, some of which include:

  • Making it easier to find files by not having to sort through hundreds upon hundreds of unnecessary ones
  • A faster computer
  • Creating new space for more important and current files

Don’t be a packrat. Even digital clutter is still clutter. (Side note: if you’re unsure, don’t delete it. You can’t run out to the digital dumpster and save it from going to the dump like you can with actual clutter; once it’s gone, it’s gone, so be absolutely sure before you clear your trash).

 

Keep up the good work. Organization isn’t a one-time endeavor. If you want to really reap the benefits of good file organization, you have to keep up with it. About once a month, take a quick glance over your folders and files to make sure everything is in its proper place. This also gives you the opportunity to delete the files you don’t need anymore, creating space on your hard drive for more important things, like updated photos of baby pandas, perhaps. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting great work done, but don’t let it slip. Stay organized and stay headache-free.

GTECH Designs is a Baltimore-based digital marketing agency that is committed to helping companies and business owners drive brand value through digital channels. We do this by uniting your brand with creative concepts and marketing. The result? Better ROI. Let’s start a conversation, we don’t bite:) Give us a call on 410-775-4011 or drop us a line at [email protected]. We are also social, connect with us via :

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About The Author

Bola Olonisakin

Bola Olonisakin

Bola is the founder and principal at GTECH Designs, a digital creative agency that helps small and mid-sized businesses launch, grow and succeed. Her research and work in web design, social media and strategic communication have been published in numerous books and articles, and she’s regularly seen on stage at events around the country. She’s responsible for teaching GTECH clients how to blend strategic goal-setting with great design to create effective online marketing strategies. You can reach her at [email protected]