As a business owner (especially an online business owner) our whole life can live on our computers. We have so many different kind of files we use for running our business and the more organized these files can be the easier our lives can be.
Organize Your Computer Files
There is no “perfect” organization system for your files. You have to decide what works for your brain and for your tasks. Also, different files may take different approaches. For instance, some files make more sense to be organized by date where others it makes more sense to be organized by use/topic.
- Step 1: decide where the main file lives, is it on your desktop, is it in your documents file, is it in a cloud program.
- Step 2: your main file categories. This might be a file folder for your business, one for personal files, one for family, etc. What are the big categories that are stored on your computer?
- Step 3: create sub-folders, sub-folders, and sub-folders. Within your business folder, what other categories will you break your files into? This is what works for you. But keep in mind the less a folder is a catch-all the more effective it will be to find stuff. Each sub-folder can then be broken down into further sub-folders. Some sub-folders make most sense based on topic, but for some, it may make sense to base it on dates.
Tip: While it might “fit” into a subfolder, also consider how often you need to access that file. If it is a file you use weekly you may not want to hide it 6 file folders in. You may consider making a folder of favorites or weekly files. For example, I keep a file folder labeled Blog Post Graphic Templates, which include the Photoshop file template for my blog post graphic, FB post graphic, and IG post graphic which I use each time I create a blog post. I have a separate file folder labeled Blog Post Graphics with subfolders for Instagram & Facebook, and within those, the blog posts are broken into months.
- Step 4: Naming of files. All files should be named as descriptively as possible, so avoid anything like document 1. Come up with a set naming system so that finding files will be easier.
Organize Your Photos
While you might consider your photos the same as files, I don’t. As someone who needs pictures for Instagram and blog posts, I need pictures organized differently than other files. I need more options which is where a photo app/software comes into play. I personally use Lightroom (Adobe), and the key to making sure I can actually find my pictures is tagging them. So while the file structure is my date, what allows me to find those coffee shots is tagging them with keywords as I import them into the program.
Other programs to do this include:
Most cameras you buy also may have a program you can use, I know the Canon camera I have came with a photo management program.
Make sure to delete multiple photos, and any photos you know are trash (too dark, blurry, etc). Set aside time to download and quickly delete photos you don’t need/not usable. Photos take up a lot of space, so be diligent.
Organize Your Bookmark Tabs
And if you aren’t using bookmarks (OMG what are you doing).
I’m a bookmark abuser and I just stick them all under one big list. And then I find myself scrolling, scrolling looking for the one website I want to visit. Many of the bookmarks are not things I need or will use even every month. Use the bookmarks manager to clean those bookmarked sites up.
- Step 1: Do you even need that bookmark? Delete ones you no longer need or use. Also should this be saved to notes or Pinterest instead of bookmarked?
- Step 2: Make sub-folders. Decide between topic categories or usage. Also if you use the shortcut everyday then consider adding it to the bookmark bar not a folder.
A NOTE ON THE ABOVE:
It may be daunting to try to organize a whole year or plus of stuff…so don’t.
- Start a system you can stick to.
- Figure out your file structure, and stick to that, just start using it.
- Figure out a photo program, and start using that.
- Hopefully you don’t have SO many bookmarks but if you do start with those you find yourself using and organize as you use.
You can slowly organize your prior files and pictures as you find the time. For files, dump them into big folders to prevent them from taking up so much space in your main folder or desktop, but don’t worry so much about trying to organize all the THINGS at once. As you use files, then organize them moving forward. You can also set aside 10-15 minutes a day to try to go through those dump folders.
For more tips on getting organized follow me on Pinterest: