If you are someone who wants to be more productive in your daily work, you should think about organizing your files on your computer.
It is highly likely that your files are all over the place due to default settings on your system. For instance, all the screenshots get saved to the Desktop.
Organization is important for productivity and also helps you find documents that you need faster.
Let’s dive in.
Tip 1: Create a structure that works for you
Decide on a structure that makes sense to you. If you are a freelancer, you might want to save files based on the clients and then have subfolders within them to further organize your files. If you work at a company, you may want to think about organizing your files by the project name.
Tip 2: Try date-based organization
Based on the work that you do, it might make sense for you to store files by the month and year so that it is easy to access.
For instance, if you work in sales and you use Zoom to have calls with the client, you will notice that Zoom sorts your recordings by the date so that you can always revisit it and you know when you spoke to the client.
This may not work for everyone, so it is important to perform some trial and error experiments to see what really works for you.
Tip 3: Explore file type based structure
Within the subfolders, you may want to have categories for the project or client so that you can tell what the subfolders contain.
For instance, you can name your subfolders – marketing, sales, development – so that you know exactly what the subfolder contains.
Tip 4: Purge your Mac
For you to be truly organized, you need to go on a cleaning spree to get rid of all the unnecessary files.
This includes getting rid of unused apps, games, temporary files, cache, hidden folders, and the like. One of Apple’s recommendations to help you manage your storage is to optimize it. If you use this option, you might notice that your storage is divided into volumes.
One is your main memory, and the others are ‘recovery, preboot and virtual volume.’ It can be quite tricky to delete them since some files are crucial to the operation of your laptop. But some expert tips on how to delete other volumes on mac can help you fix this without needing to go to an authorized center.
Tip 5: Backup all your data
Before you start with organizing all your files and deleting them, make sure you have a recent backup of all your information. It is recommended that you use Time Machine since it takes a snapshot of the system, and it is easy to restore an earlier version if you end up deleting important files by accident.
Apart from using Time Machine with an external drive, you should also think about using cloud storage services to ensure you don’t run into an issue if your drive gets corrupted.
iCloud is an easy choice since it is part of the Apple ecosystem, but since you have to pay for the subscription, you might want to look at other freemium cloud services like Google Drive.
Steps to follow to stay organized
Step 1: Don’t store anything on your Desktop
Make sure anything you download has a home. If it doesn’t exist, create a folder. Avoid saving anything on your Desktop. Having lots of files contributes to visual clutter that can cause fatigue and make it difficult for you to focus on work.
Step 2: Don’t keep anything in your Downloads folder
Similar to the Desktop, skip the Downloads folder. Try to save it directly to the folder where the file should go. If it is a temporary file, make sure to go back and delete it.
Step 3: Send files to the folders they belong to
You don’t want to waste time cleaning up your laptop every 2-3 months. It is better to create a process so that as soon as you create a document, you save it in the folder it belongs to.
Step 4: Do some light cleaning every week
You should spend some time every week making sure that your processes are working as expected. If it needs tweaking, figure out what is not working as you expected and make those fixes.
Step 5: Don’t have too many folders
Having folders is good but having too many of them is counterintuitive. If you have a lot of subfolders, it gets very difficult to find the file. Don’t create a folder if you can’t store at least 10 files in it.
To sum up
Getting organized is hard but staying organized requires you to commit to the process. Make sure you choose a system that works for you instead of following someone else’s productivity hacks blindly.