Computers are designed to store digital files in an organized and efficient manner. However, we humans have the amazing ability to get things disorganized too quickly sometimes. How many times have you been looking for a particular document – and just give up and recreate it or download it again – if that’s an option. With digital files one of the most common problem is that you didn’t start organizing at the start and now your files are all over the place. Another common problem is not understanding the technology.
Don’t Overcomplicate Your Filing System
As you add files to your computer for your business, you want to make sure to label them with a name that will make them easy to identify and easy to find also. If you have both personal and business items the first folders I would create would be to keep these all separate. It’s also important to not go overboard with the creation of folders and sub-folders. Too many folders and subfolders just become more digital clutter.
Create folders in a way that is easy for you to navigate and understand.
Delelop an Organized File Structure
There are so many different ways you can structure the files on your computer, and you may need to try more than once before you find what works best for you. Start with broad files and then create sub-folders as needed. The best way to keep work and business apart is to create their own folders For example, you might sort your might create a folder for PLR and then create sub folders either by provider or by subject manner. I also rename the PLR to make it easier to find. One of my recent downloads was all initials, and while this may work great for the product creator, it doesn’t for me – so don’t be afraid to make it work for you.
While you don’t want your system to be too complicated, don’t be afraid to give it some depth.
Merge or Combine Related Files
When you download files to your computer, especially PLR, it is often in a zip file. Then you need to unzip that into a new folder – this can quickly add up to lots of folders. And if you have multiple zip files for the same product, as you often get with photos, combine them on your computer as soon as you have unzipped them. Also add to the folders that make sense and then when you are looking for a document or photo it will be there waiting for you.
You can consider categorizing your files by date or subject matter, or whatever makes sense to you.
Delete Old, Unused Files
Just like with real paper that you need to get rid of, the same is true for digital files. Eliminating these unused files frees up space, as well as making your filing system more organized. When you unzip a file to its own folder, delete the zip file right away. When you open a PLR package that has Pages for Macs, and Word for PC users, delete the set that you are not going to use. If you can get rid of these files now – you will have less digital clutter in the future. And the internet is constantly changing, if the information is outdated, delete it.
Make sure to check your downloads folder on a regular basis.
Stick to Your System
Even if you organize every single file on your computer to your liking, it won’t last if you don’t have a system to deal with the new items being added to your computer. It’s essential that you label and sort new files as they come in, otherwise, you may end up with the same mess or worse.
Make sure they end up in their proper place in your filing system, immediately.
Computers make our life so much easier and digital storage allows us to have so much at our fingertips – just create a system and stick to it to keep your life and business organized, uncomplicated and convenient. Your computer wants to help you – it has built in systems to help you, let them owrk for you. Organize your digital files in a way that works for you, you know yourself best, so play to your strengths.
I’m Lori Winslow, the Organized Solopreneur. I help solopreneurs get their business and their life organized. To get started, pick up a copy of my Top 10 Ways to Get Your Solopreneur Business Organized.