Get Your Computer Ready for the New Year Too!
Organizing your computer should be as important as organizing your paper records each year. We all will take the time within the next few months to get our paperwork ready for taxes. We go through receipts—or search for them, we collect the W-2’s and 1099’s. We get set up from the beginning for the coming year of record keeping too. We pull out the bills and information from last year and put it in a box in the garage or wherever.
Shouldn’t we be do the same on our computers? All year long we save things, whether emails, documents, or bookmarks. Why not clean out your online files at the same time you are cleaning out the physical file drawer. In another article I wrote, I asked how you maintained your email inbox.
This one will cover the next things on my list. I use a Mac, so it is usually easy to find things to sort and organize. As long as I limit the time spent to an hour at a time, it is something I enjoy.
Everyone should have one already, they are so simple and easy to use. These days they aren’t much bigger than a cell phone either, so space shouldn’t be an issue.
Since I’ve cleaned out my inbox to a comfortable number, next I would usually start thinning out the other folders in my email account. The trash and spam are emptied often, but the send folder can be thinned or deleted. Then I will go to the biggest folder, one like Receipts or Business Articles.
I like to save newsletters there for several months in case I want to refer back to them. Now with thinning in mind, I will delete most of the older ones with a title glance. I do love seeing the numbers drop in each folder!
This year the saved bookmarks is calling to me. Actually it’s been shouting for the last couple of months. I tend to save a lot of pages. Some I intend to go back to, some I want to remember the web address, some are tools I use. It gets very difficult to find a tool though when there are a few hundred other sites listed there as well.
That is actually next on my agenda, as soon as I finish this. Many can be deleted by name. Others I will have to open to see why they are there. If it doesn’t look like I can delete a bunch, categories will be made to store various ones in groups at least. I will try to be callous and tough though, to thin as many as I can.
Another area I like to clean up is photos. Once again, the Mac makes that easy since they are all in one place. Still many of the photographs are for articles. Once the article is finished I might have a collection of 10 or more pictures that I won’t need to see. So why keep them on the hard drive, especially since so many sync with the phone now. So the sorting will begin. I will pull off the ones that aren’t that good or that aren’t fun, family, and friends. Once they are downloaded to a thumb drive, AND I’ve confirmed they are on it, I will delete them from the computer. Don’t forget to empty the trash in iPhoto!
If you use a PC, I recommend you spend some time collecting your photos into one place. When I last had a Windows based program, I would find–or not find—photos in too may different places. Seeing how much easier iPhoto makes it by keeping them together, it would be worthwhile to move yours so they are together. You might also check for duplicates then as well. No need for them to take up extra space. Photos use a lot of room on a computer it seems. I always hope by thinning them out it will run faster and more efficiently.
The hardest work is over by the time you’ve finished that. For the next cleansing, I move to downloads and pull out any duplicates or any I’m sure I won’t miss. Documents is about the same, though there I like to package receipts into one annual file if I haven’t already done that. If I’ve written a lot to one person or numerous articles to one site, I will contain them all in one file as well with the year.
These steps help me see what I have and need on my computer. It also frees up space, let’s me find things faster with less searching, and makes me more productive. I can use all the help I can get!
Organizing your computer is important and and should be just plain fun. It has been for me since I decided on a MacBook Pro. I’ve had so much fun with it. I suppose intuitive is the right word to describe the computer and its system. Instead of searching everywhere for a missing file, I know right where it is. The documents and download files are so easily used. Naturally iTunes works smoothly with it. Everything syncs too, computer, iPad, iPhone. Photos are right where you think you would find them—in iPhoto.
Crop, lighten, edit, right in the program. If you are ready for a new computer, do give this one a closer look. It’s also amazingly lightweight. I can’t say enough about it.