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3 Ways to Organize Your Computer Files


Environment has a strong effect on the way we work. Lighting, sound, cleanliness, culture, and many other factors influence our productivity. But have you ever considered how your PC Desktop organization affects your work? Do you think there is any significant benefit to having a clean file structure?
The best way to find the answer is to test it on yourself. The following are some helpful tips to keep your virtual space in order. Keep in mind that this blog post is in no way expansive or all-encompassing. It is meant to show you the basics - point you in the right direction. My hope is that the three mentioned items will spur you to find your own ways to be organized.

Use Naming Conventions

Have a clear system in naming files. There are various ways to optimize your naming system, however all naming conventions need to ensure that files are...

  • Unique
    • You should avoid any two files having the same name. That will only create confusion, and you will most likely overwrite files that you need.
  • Informative
    • Don't use arbitrary names. It's not helpful to always be opening a file just to determine what it contains.
  • Consistent
    • This is huge. Consistency is the glue that keeps the other traits together. Once you have a naming convention, stick with it.

There are other characteristics you could add, but these are the three that I personally use.

Nest Folders

Let's say that you have an awesome naming system, and you're being consistent. That still may not be enough, because your files could be scattered all over your computer. You want to group similar items together.
Every business can be branched into departments or sections. Use your business' natural hierarchy to organize your own files. For example, I am mainly involved in two areas of Igniting Business, namely web solutions and technology services. Thus, my personal file structure is organized to mirror the currently running business processes.
The key is to keep things simple. If your coworkers and boss can understand your folder structure without explanation, then you have succeeded.

Save Files Properly the First Time

The desktop should not be used like a bus station. Unless you are very careful, your "buses" may never leave the "station." When you are in the process of creating or downloading a file, always save it to the proper location the first time. This will keep your desktop clean, and will be more uplifting to see every day.

Reality Check

It is difficult to make these things a habit because life happens. It's the same problem you may have when trying to keep your house or car clean. We usually don't intend to create clutter, but it happens due to the rhythms of life. Yet every time you make the effort to clean your house, you wonder why you didn't do it earlier.
My encouragement to you is this: use these tips and ask yourself if they help you. Don't worry about perfection because that's not what organization is about. The purpose is to help yourself be a good steward of your time and energy.


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