Organizing Your Computer

By Eileen Bailey

Today, we use our computers on a daily basis and often depend on them for our business and personal life. We notice when they become sluggish and begin to run slowly. Taking some time to organize the files can increase their speed and help us to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. 

The following steps can help you to keep your computer running optimally: 

  • Clean out old files. By right clicking on a file and clicking on properties, you can find out a lot of information about the file. Check to see when the file was created and the last time you used it. This can give you an indication of how important the file is. Although there are certain files you may want to keep, such as tax returns, many files can be deleted after six months.
  • Create a folder for each person who uses the computer. Files can be saved to individual’s files rather than to the general “My Documents.” This can save time in looking for a particular file or when cleaning out folders. (For example, children’s school projects can normally be deleted once handed in or once the school year is over.)
  • Use structure in your individual folder. For example, make additional folders for different things you may save. Folders may be named “Proposals,” “Personal,” or whatever names you need according to your situation. This, again, can help to find information quickly.
  • Use short file names whenever possible. Windows will accept long titles, however, short names make it easier to read.
  • For documents or files you need on a regular basis, save them directly to your desktop.
  • Back up your files on a regular basis. You can use a CD or an external hard drive to keep a copy of your files. Computer crashes can be devastating and time consuming to correct, however, it is easier if you know you still have important documents. You can simply copy and paste your documents into the back up media.
  • Create folders in your email program to sort out emails as you receive them.
  • If you use Outlook you can set up rules to allow emails from certain people to go directly into a folder.
  • Delete emails in “Sent” on a regular basis. Sent emails containing attachments take up unnecessary room as you have the file stored on your computer and again in your email.
  • Empty the “Trash” in your email on a regular basis.
  • Delete unnecessary emails. Go through your folders to determine if you still need the information.
  • Set aside time each week to go through your emails and delete what is no longer needed. Make this a part of your routine.
  • Delete your “temporary files.” This is done by clicking on “Tools” then “Internet Options.” Click to delete temporary files. You can also clear your history or limit the amount of time a file is kept in history. This screen also allows you to delete cookies stored in your computer.
  • Create folders on your desktop and place documents, links or other pertinent information in the folders. This allows you to quickly find the information you need to complete your projects for today.
  • Make computer maintenance a priority to maintain your computer’s performance.

 

See also:

Organizing Your Office

Organizing Your Monthly Bills

Everyday Organizational Tips

Tips for Simplifying Your Life

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