Organizing your electronic files
Why not take advantage of the quieter days before the Christmas and New Year’s holidays and take a few minutes to delete some of your old electronic files?
Don’t think about managing all your file folders — that can seem overwhelming. Just pick one folder to clean up or decide on a set amount of time you’ll devote to organizing. (Even 15 to 30 minutes can result in easier-to-find documents and more computer storage space.)
Locating the file management tool
- Go to Start
- Click on My Computer
- Go to the drive you plan to organize or clean.
Using the file management tool to move, rename and delete files
Now that you are in Windows Explorer, you can move and rename files to organize them logically. You can also delete unneeded or duplicate files to clean out clutter.
- To find the options for moving, deleting and renaming files and folders, use the “File and Edit” drop-downs at the far left side of the screen.
Tenets to guide you in the clean-up/organization process
- Delete, move or rename ONLY YOUR OWN files! These can be files on your H drive or files within your own folder on a shared drive. If a file you have created is used by others, check with your coworkers before making any changes.
- Be very careful when deleting a document to ensure you are deleting the correct document.
- Once you have created a final version of a work document, delete all the drafts.
- If you move a document, make a note to yourself so you can remember where you moved the file.
- If you created files with personal notes concerning a particular project and you know you will never use these again, delete those documents.
- If you downloaded documents created by another department for background or reference, and you never intend to use those documents again, delete those documents.
- If you have saved email exchanges about a project and you will not need these in the future, delete those.
- If you have photos or graphics that are copies of files already stored elsewhere, delete the extra copy.
- If you downloaded a large number of photos of a single subject, please save only the best photos. Then name and date them. (Groundbreaking_2011 is far better file name than DS101.)
Dec. 21, 2011
Published Dec. 21, 2011