When you have a ton of files on your device, it can take a while to find exactly what you’re looking for. In 2012, the International Data Corporation wanted to determine how much time people waste. Get this: Researchers found that IT professionals spend an average of 4.5 hours a week looking for documents alone.
If it takes tech experts this long to search, imagine how long it takes everyday folks. If you’re wasting a lot of time looking for files on your computer, it’s time to form a game plan. We recommend setting up a file management system.
It might not be the most riveting use of your time, but it’s more helpful and efficient than skydiving. A solid organization system cuts down on clutter and saves hours of your life. Follow these steps to set things up the right way.
Is your cloud full of clutter? Here’s what to do
First, you need to create folders. Try and think of this as a digital filing cabinet. You probably have all sorts of files on your system.
Do you have photos, documents, music clips or videos? Start by creating general folders based on the format of each file. Then, place all the videos into one folder, all the documents into another folder, etc.
It doesn’t have to take forever. Whether you’re on a Mac or Windows computer, you can follow one of these keyboard shortcuts:
- To select files grouped together: Hold Shift and select the first and last item. This highlights everything between the two.
- To select files grouped apart: Hit Ctrl and then click on each individual file.
Then, drag the files to their designated folder. Now that you sorted the folders logically, it’s time to get a little more into the weeds.
Second, create subfolders
It’s not enough to dump everything into one general folder based on format. Consider that your starting point. Next, you should distinguish between the content of those files. Let’s say you’ve separated your photos from everything else.
Now that you’re in your “Photos” folder, create separate subfolders dedicated to vacations, birthdays, dinners and so on. You want to put everything in a specific place, so it’s easy to hunt down later.
The same goes for documents. If you’re digitally storing financial records to make tax season easier, start creating subfolders for each year. If there are any audits or mistakes you made when filing taxes, you can begin setting the record straight ASAP.
Keep going until you have made all your folders as specific as possible
While working on this, you should create a folder naming system. Keep it consistent so you don’t get confused down the line. In the tax example above, you could name one folder “2021_Taxes.” Keep the format with the year first and the underscore to help your future self find what you need in a snap.
Sadly, this effort will be for nothing if you don’t back up your files now. Ransomware attacks are more common than ever, and they’re attacking everyone and everything. Fuel pipelines, meat companies and even hospitals aren’t safe.
That means you’re at risk, too. If you don’t have safeguards in place, it’s time to start backing up the files you spent so much time saving and organizing. There’s no better way to do it than with our sponsor, IDrive.
Fight back against ransomware. Secure your files ahead of time
Every once in a while, the computer you rely on can fail you. No, it’s not the hardware or the software — it’s malicious viruses or even ransomware that takes over your system.
Imagine a hacker gaining access to your computer and denying you access to your data until you pay a hefty fee. Don’t leave your computer unprotected. Defend your data with IDrive.