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DIYHow to Organize Your Computer Files in 2021!

How to Organize Your Computer Files in 2021!

How to organize your computer files in 2020! When you purchase a computer whether it be a laptop or a desktop, something that most of us don’t really consider is how we are going to keep our files organized.

Over time your desktop will slowly start to disappear resulting in a scattered mess of files! This can be overwhelming to fix once you go too far down the rabbit hole of not having an efficient organization system set in place. In this guide I will show you how to setup a workspace so that you can find the files that you need to help you work more efficiently. This guide is more suitable for Mac users but the system applies to all platforms regardless. 

Step 1: Declutter

Are you a file hoarder or do you keep unnecessary items on your computer? This is the part where you clear out your entire computer that is eating away at your storage. Something that I struggled with at first was deleting thousands of files. I felt that some of these documents might be important at a later date. If this is you, you can make a folder of all of these files and transfer them to a USB drive or other external hard drive. Deleting clutter is the best path to creating a structured and organized file system.

Step 2: Naming Files and Folders

Okay.. I have to admit that this part is extremely boring and tedious if you have thousands of files to go through but it is unfortunately part of the process. Being organized means having all of your files named and put into their own designated folders. If that picture from your vacation last summer is named 324ew3w.jpg….. then we need to go through and re-name those files into something that works for you. There is no clear cut path to file organization so you need to name files that you will recognize and be happy about within your organizational structure.

I setup a folder named “Personal” which can be placed anywhere on your computer. Mine is housed under my main directory “Baily.” I then dragged the “Personal” folder to my left side bar in the finder window. Within my personal folder are all of my designated folders that relate to that named folder. In here I like to keep some of my personal documents and anything that doesn’t really have to do with work or school files. This exact structure will apply to every single folder that you setup whether it be for school or work. I like having certain folder in the quick access side bar for files that I frequently visit such as Photoshop, client work, plus many other things. 

Step 3: Tags!!

Remember those colored dots on your computer? Did you use them to make your files pretty and colorful? You may have not been using them the way that they were intended. They’re here for a reason and they are some of the most powerful organizational tools in my opinion for organizing your computer the best way possible.

Tags are meant for you to find certain files as quick as possible. It is also a great way to track your progress on projects or anything else you are working on which is what I currently use them for. 

How to add tags

Adding tags is easy once you get the hang of it! To add your first tag you will want to navigate to the files or folders that you want to have a tag. Then click on the tag icon at the top of your finder window.

Here we will be adding the tag “HELLO” for example purposes to the folder “Logos” located inside the “Photoshop” folder. The purpose of tags is making it so that you are able to see every single item that is tagged with that specified tag so you can see them all in once place. Tags ignore whether or not your files are located in certain areas or folders. They will still locate them and file them in once place for easy access. 

Here we can see the tag we just made along with some other tags that I use on a daily basis. The folder “Logos” now has a yellow dot next to it that indicates that it is now tagged and can be located to the right under the “HELLO” tag under tags. I currently use tags as a way to keep me up to date on things that I need to do. I use them for keeping track of projects I’m currently working on and even if I need to sort some files into designated folders. The sky is the limit so choose what you want to do with tags to best fit your organizational structure.

Step 4: Be Consistent

It can be super easy to fall in the trap of ruining your organizational structure. 

Make sure to:

  • Not let files pile up on the desktop
  • Ensure every file has a designated spot
  • Make it a habit to go through your computer and delete unnecessary files every month
  • Stick to your organizational structure

With these steps you will be more efficient at completing work and you’ll also feel refreshed knowing that you have a spotless computer to use each time you need to work on something. This is the best way to organize your computer files in 2020. Good luck!

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