When we know that we have a certain file saved on our computer, but we are not able to find it or when we have to make backup copies is when we remember to how easy it would be if all our files were well organized. Because chaos, usually, is not the best.
If you think that the time has come to get serious about disorder, anarchy and the mess of files on your computer, you have come to the right place. Below we gather a series of tips to know how to organize our files. You and your computer will thank you, we are sure.
Chaos usually doesn’t help
There is life beyond the folder downloads
It can be very tempting to pivot all of our activity in a team around the folder downloads, but in the long run it is a mistake. This directory is usually the gateway to our computer for everything we download or save, especially through the browser, but should have a more limited function than we usually give you.
It should be, if we make an analogy, like that pile of recently received letters that we can accumulate in our home or the pile of documents to be classified that every table in an office has. The folder should simply be a place to receive the files, use them for what we need and process them. If they are disposable, we delete them, if we need to save them, we move them to a suitable folder.
Create the folders you need (and a storage room)
To create the perfect folders we must think about what we usually do with the computer and the type of files with which we usually deal
Assuming we can’t leave all files in downloads (the desktop is not worth it either, it must be taken into account) there comes the point where we must create a series of folders in which to store all our files. Which and how many? It will depend on what we usually do with the computer and the type of files with which we usually deal.
The most interesting thing we can do is stop and think about our day to day in front of the team: what types of files are the ones we use the most, in which categories we could classify them, how often … With the main folders identified, for example Photos, Invoices, Reports… they should be created and left at hand. If we talk about labor issues, you can also create folders for projects or clients. The possibilities are great. The rest, what we are going to use, can go to a folder that we will call Storage room, Stock or similar. It will act as a warehouse, keeping everything that we use little or that we classify very occasionally.
But one thing must be clear: we must create and keep in sight the essential folders and classify by large groups, not overly specific typologies. If not, we will end up with a perhaps endless number of folders. Create subfolders within the main ones, but don’t go overboard either.
File names are important
As we said at the beginning, it is frustrating to know that somewhere we have a file that we are not able to find. Therefore, in addition to creating folders to properly classify files, we must not stop paying attention to the names that we give them.
It is useful to think, before renaming a file, in the words that we would use to search for it in the future; those terms will be appropriate
These names they can follow a common nomenclature that we want to give you, always following the same scheme that can include the type of files, what it contains … The most important thing is that they are words that later facilitate the search. So they should not be elaborate and should be part of your vocabularies. It is useful to think, before renaming a file, in the words that we would use to search for it in the future. The names should be descriptive, in short.
Periodic review of the correct organization
Having a hierarchy of folders, a saving process, some guidelines for naming the files … in short, a method, in theory everything should go smoothly. The reality is that this is probably not the case and, on a daily basis, files escape us here and there, that have indecipherable names, and so on.
Thus, It is also important that we set ourselves one day a week to take a look at everything and see that it is correct. And, if it is not, then get down to work and leave everything in its proper place. As if we did a weekly cleaning in the house. In this way, we will not get to the point where everything is chaos and fixing it is an almost impossible undertaking.
The search must be our friend
With all the clear guidelines, the last tip is that we use the search of our system. Probably until now it did not help us much, but once everything is in order, searching becomes a habitual and useful activity, the results of which will show us that we are doing it well or that, perhaps, there is still something to adjust.
It is worth finding out and knowing that, beyond writing a search term, the most popular operating systems allow us to do advanced searches to further refine the characteristics of what we want to find. Familiarizing ourselves with this tool is also essential.