Spring brings out the need to clean and organize. So why not spend some time going through your files on your computer, creating an archive, backing up your data, and removing files you no longer need?
This will save you hours of time in the long-run and a little cleanup will make your work-life so much more efficient and stress-free. Need some tips?
Following are a few must-do’s for computer spring cleaning.
- Backup everything! Upload all photos, files, favorites, videos, and music to an online backup service. Every anti-virus company has one and there are several options on the web. I use my Microsoft Skydrive for photos, videos, and non-confidential documents. I use iTunes for music. And Shutterfly and Facebook for my favorite photos. All work-related files I post on team SharePoint sites. Then I backup my entire computer on 2 different external hard drives in case 1 ever breaks. I put them in a safe for protection against water, fire, or theft. I do this religiously every 2 weeks. It takes about 2 hours one evening while I read or watch tv and gives me total peace of mind.
- Export important emails to PST files. If using Microsoft Outlook, it is easy to do! Save the PSTs in a folder on your hard drive and back it up. Delete duplicate folders or emails you will never need. Delete all deleted emails and all sent mails that are more than 45 days old.
- Go through all work folders and create folders named “archive xxx project”. All old files can be dragged into the archive folder and backed up or deleted. Only the files that you are using or that are most recent should be in your project folders. Too many files with similar names can cause version control issues and result in time wasted opening and closing old files to figure out which file is which. Always make sure you are using the latest ones.
- Think about how best to organize your folders and files. Does your current structure make sense? Are the names of folders helpful or should they be renamed?
- Finally, create shortcuts for the folders and files you use the most so you can access them within Windows Explorer in 2 clicks or less.
This should reduce the amount of time you spend searching for content and make you feel so much more organized. Hope you have an enjoyable, stress-free, and orderly spring!