It is Clean Your Computer Month and it is time to stop ignoring the “elephant in the room” that is your overstuffed, cluttered computer. You know we all have a computer that is full to overflowing with information, old files, old photos, things that you don’t even know why you’ve kept it. When your computer is disorganized it makes it hard to find information when you need it. Computer’s are supposed to make our lives easier, right? Well only if you set up a system that makes it effortless to capture and retrieve your electronic information.
That is why I want to share with you a 3 Week Plan for cleaning out your computer provided by SingleHop.
How I Clean & Organize My Computer
Because I run a couple of companies and need my computers to house files and photos for clients it is imperative that I have a system that makes this process as smooth as possible. You want to think of your computer files like you would a physical file. You need folders and categories for the main things you are trying to capture. For me I have my files broken down into personal and business.
My personal files are organized in a physical system (Freedom Filer) and I use MobilLogic to store that system in the cloud. I used to keep a replica file system of my Freedom Filer system on my hard drive when I first started scanning in my documents, but that has been replaced by MobilLogic. I use SafelyFiled to keep vital records.
For business related files – they are broken down by company, client and business related documents for my company. I use to keep all of these files on my hard drive but learned the hard way when one of my computers went down and died that this was not efficient. Things changed when I moved to using a Chromebook laptop that is entirely web based. I had to find online cloud solutions to house my files so that no matter what computer I used I could get to the information quickly. I have used Google Drive, Evernote, OneDrive and Dropbox to keep files synced in the cloud. As my needs change I can see where using a dedicated cloud provider like SingleHop would be very beneficial.
When it comes to photos I have Google+(Picasa), Amazon Drive, and Flickr. I also use iCloud for photos and videos on my iPad. I know that is a lot of places to have your photos, but the same thing is on every one because I believe you can never have too many backups. Plus eventually I’m going to get around to printing off these photos, lol. I will be doing a post about Apps to do just that. But back to this topic, photos need to be arranged by date, place or event if possible. If you really have time on your hands you can even break them down by person. But for now general folders like 2015, 2014 and month and place is fine.
Let’s Talk Security
The more sensitive your data the more security you need and you will need to think about that. You want a secure service hosting your files in the cloud.
The reason I moved to cloud storage solutions was after a incident where I had not one but 2 external hard drives to fail and wasn’t able to retrieve the information without incurring a huge expense. That was a while ago and I am sure that external drives are much better than they were a few years back, but I’m still a little shell shocked. Maybe one day 😉
So let’s get to this 3 week plan and get those computers organized! (I suggest printing it out and hanging it near your computer so that you can check off each task as you complete it daily!)
3 Week Plan Breakdown
*Each point is to be done daily. Refer to the calendar.*
Week 1: Organization
- Create an easy to use system to organize your computer’s folders.
- Put Desktop & ‘Downloads’ items into folders.
- Organize Photos into folders
- Organize Videos into folders
- Organize documents into folders
Week 2: Prioritize What’s Important
Week 3: Backup & Deletion
- Research secure cloud storage options & external hard drives/storage devices.
- Purchase space through a cloud hosting provider that fits your needs.
- Upload all ‘Archive’ folders to your cloud space
- Upload all ‘Archive’ folders to an external hard drive or storage device.
- Delete all ‘Archive’ folders from your computer.
While you are going through cleaning up your hard drive it is important to keep these questions in mind:
- What do I need on a daily basis?
- What works for me?
These important questions will help you to come up with a plan that you will have no trouble sticking to. Just because something works for someone else you may know doesn’t mean that it is the best option for you. So be sure that you evaluate what your needs are and what has worked for you in the past and what hasn’t. Being clear on this will help you make a custom plan for you.
If you have a computer that is full to overflowing and you are just at your wit’s end and need help getting everything organized and uploaded to a cloud solution or on an external hard drive you can order a tech consulting package and I will come in and get your computer in shape.