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Time to clean out your computer



February 8 is National Clean Out Your Computer Day. An annual reminder to delete old files, clean your Inbox and backup beloved photos is nice, but for most of us a once a year review is probably not enough.


There are two aspects to cleaning out your computer – digital and physical. Let's focus on digital organization and leave the vacuum cleaner and canister of compressed air for another day.


Most people have four digital dilemmas:


  • Email

  • Desktop

  • Files

  • Photos


So where to start? I start with file structure because once a simple, uncomplicated system is in place the other three digital dilemmas are easy to tackle.


First, think about what makes sense to you – items filed by year, category, type? Do you want to mimic your physical files or email archive? Whatever you come up with, make sure to use plain language for your folder names so you and others will be able to easily find important documents later.


Once you have your file structure set it's time to delete old, irrelevant and unimportant files. With those out of the way review remaining items, renaming and adding dates if necessary.