Tips for Organizing Electronic Files

It won’t be long before your computer gets cluttered with thousands of files. These tips for organizing electronic files should help maintain order in your hard disk.

Use the My Documents Folder

Whatever OS you use, there will be some sort of My Documents folder there. Use it to store your files. Make all the necessary sub folders. Create the folders in ways that can make retrieval easier. You can group them by project.

Name the folder Project X and store all the documents, spreadsheets and presentations there. Now create a separate folder for your draft proposals, notes etc.

Or you can store them by file type. Some find it easier to locate files if they’re arranged by type. Make separate folders for documents, graphic designs, pdf etc. You decide which of these tips for organizing electronic files best suits your style.

Assign Useful Names

Give each file and folder a helpful name. By this we mean something that will give you an idea of its contents. A few weeks from now you might be wondering what is in file21.doc or formula.xls. If these files are in the hundreds, you’ll never be able to check them out without losing time. On the other hand, naming it like Proposals for Increasing Interest Rates will be more insightful.

Don’t Mix Finished and Ongoing Projects

Set a folder where all finished projects will be stored. This is one of the most useful tips for organizing electronic files. This will prevent you from grouping the wrong files together, or worse deleting the wrong documents. This practice will also make it easer to back up files.

Separate Work and Home Files

Naming your folders properly should make it easy to distinguish between office and your home / personal files. If you’re still getting confused, create a folder. Name it office. Create another one called home or personal. Store all your photos, videos etc there.

It’s also a good idea to have two separate emails. You might already have a company email. Get another one for your personal use. Your company email should be used only for work. The other one will be for your personal email, newsletters etc.

Delete or Zip Old Files

Other tips for organizing electronic files we recommend are archiving old files. Over time, those folders will increase. Look over the files you haven’t used for several months. Zip the folders. Check the zip copies to make sure they work. If they do, you can delete those folders. If you need the files again, you can just open the zip files.

If the zip files become numerous, make a folder containing them. Don’t forget to give each zip a descriptive name.

What you’ll end up with will be folders for the current project and a finished / zip projects folder. You’ll have a home folder filled with photos, videos etc. each in their own subfolders.

By using these tips for organizing electronic files, making backups will be easier. Finding what you need will also be less of a hassle.

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