Organize With Me Challenge | Part 2 | Computer Files

Now that our receipts are nice and tidy, let’s move on to the next part of the Organize with Me challenge! (If you want to know what this is all about and/or to check out Part 1, click here!)

Since computer files are something that you don’t really see a lot of the time, it can be easy to neglect their organization. After all, if you need to find something specific you’ll find it eventually, right? We could literally apply that philosophy to any type of organization and leave everything a mess, though. Not only will you be able to find whatever you may need quickly once we finish, but you will also get rid of unnecessary files along the way and make your files and folders look aesthetically pleasing, which is always nice.

Everything in its place

First things first: how many files are on your desktop? Reassess why they are there and move them to Documents/Pictures/Videos, as appropriate. It’s not a good idea to store files on your desktop because you can easily delete them by mistake and they can make your computer slower (Source). It’ll also be easier to find files because you know they have to be in the appropriate folder rather than randomly strewn on your desktop. If you really need to keep a file in view on your desktop, create a shortcut by right-clicking the file in question.

Now continue placing all the files you might have incorrectly placed in the appropriate folder. Sometimes we save pictures in the Documents folder or vice versa, so make sure everything is in its place. Make sure to check your Downloads folder for files as well.


Image: Scott Webb

Create general categories

The next step is to make large categories, in which we will include sub-categories, but more on that in a moment. Some examples of these “big” categories could be Finances, Paperwork, University, Projects, Work, etc. Within these, place the more specific folders. For example, in the Paperwork folder you could include Bank, Health, Work and Housing.  For photos, it’s a good idea to sort them by year and then inside these, by occasions or trips.For music, you could make folders for artists that you have numerous songs from.

Fix any inconsistencies or strange names

While you’re at it, rename files with cluttered names with too many underscores or irregular capitals. This is, of course, optional but will make it all look nice.

Create good habits

Now that your files are spick and span, it’s a good idea to maintain it and avoid doing the whole tedious process again. The simple solution from now on is to make sure to save files in the correct location and you’ll never have to worry about it again!

Back up important files

Before we finish, if you have any important files on your computer, you should back them up. You can do this with an external hard drive or CD and make sure to keep it in a secure location. Here are the instructions for how to back up files on Microsoft.


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