File Management Tips: How to Organize Computer Files

File Management Tips: How to Organize Computer Files

October 26, 2018

Organizing your computer files can feel like an impossible chore.

But you're wasting your time and your productivity every time you have to search through your computer for a specific file you need. Though getting started might take some work, organizing your computer will make things easier in the long run.

Keep reading to learn how to organize computer files in an efficient way.

Don't Save Files on Your Desktop

You shouldn't store any files on your desktop. While it might seem convenient, it's not an organized way to keep track of your documents. As you fill the desktop up with more and more files, it'll get harder to find what you're looking for.

Instead, use your desktop for temporary storage. If you know you'll be working on a specific document for several days, you can leave it on the desktop so it's easy to reach. As soon as you're done with it, you should move that file to a different location.

Create a "Root" Folder for All Your Files

This is the folder will hold all your files and other information. If you use a Windows computer, you could stick with the default location called "My Documents."

Keeping all your documents in the same place means you always know where they are. You don't have to search for something in an obscure location or worry about losing important information.

Put Folders Inside Your Folders

Leaving all your files in one large folder won't do a better job organizing them than the desktop. That's why you need to create new folders inside your root folder.

For example, a student might make a folder named "Fall Semester 2018." Inside this folder, they could put other folders named after their specific school classes. Someone who owns a business might make a file called "Invoices". Inside this folder, they might create folders called "2017," "2018," or "2019."

But don't go overboard.

Complex layers of folders can get confusing. It's easy to lose one folder inside of another if you have too many different folders piled up.

Make Naming Folders Easy

Make the names of your folders clear and simple. Don't use abbreviations unless you know with certainty you'll remember what they mean in the future. So stay away from obscure names. Think of labeling these folders how you would label moving boxes or filing cabinet drawers.

Organize As You Go

You should always file your documents as soon as you create them. Don't save something with a default name and leave it in a random folder somewhere. Get used to clicking the "Save AS" button so you can both name everything right away and put it where it's supposed to be.

Backup Your Files Frequently

You never know when something could happen to your computer. Backing up your files means you always have another copy of your documents even if you lose them.

And these backups shouldn't be few and far between. Find a backup method that works for you, and make backing up your documents a frequent habit.

How to Organize Computer Files

Learning how to organize computer files might take some getting used to, but it can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run. Instead of searching for the document you need, you'll know exactly where to find it every time.

Want to stay organized in other parts of your life? Take a look at these apps that might help.

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