In case you missed it, last month we sourced questions from ScanSnap followers on social media and had them answered by our resident organizing expert, Heather Walker, founder of Functional Spaces Organizing. Here’s another question that followers asked.
I need help with digital file organization (the home screen on my desktop is a mess), where do I start?
Sure you want to organize your computer, but you’ve got to start with a backup plan – in case the worst actually happens (which is highly possible in the realm of technology). “Back up your data” is as critical in this era as “Wear sunscreen.”
An external hard drive is an excellent way to store large amounts of content without bogging down your computer in the process. External hard drives are especially useful for storing collections of things like photos, music or even videos.
Backup complete? Great! Let’s Move On.
Trash Old, Unnecessary Files (Windows or Mac)
After you’ve used your computer for some time, it is almost impossible to avoid accumulating files that you don’t need anymore (or that never were useful in the first place). Not only can these files take up valuable space on your hard drive, they can also make it hard to find the file you’re looking for. If you haven’t accessed a file or program in a long time, consider whether or not it is still needed. And if not, say goodbye.
Other files you may not have created but that are safe to delete include any temporary files (*.tmp), downloaded program files (Like ActiveX controls and Java applets), temporary Internet files (like cached pictures) and set up log files (Log files generated when you originally set up your operating system.)
Clear your Computer Desktop – Mac
Does your computer desktop look like a mosaic in an art museum? Let’s work on that next. Close any open windows. Then, click the desktop itself to be sure you are in the Finder – if you have a Mac.
Now – on to the Mosaic!
-Drag each important project folder to the Sidebar and drop it into the desired location. Notice that a horizontal line shows where the folder will go after you drop it. If you need, resize the width of the sidebar by dragging the vertical divider at its right.
-When you save a file, use the Sidebar in the Save dialog to navigate to the correct folder quickly. To move an item to a specific folder on the Sidebar, drag it to the folder and drop it when the folder is highlighted.