Part 1 of this blog focused on cleaning your physical workspace. Part 2 focuses on cleaning your virtual workspace and electronic devices.
Clean Up Your Digital Files
It’s easy to put aside cleaning up your digital files, especially if you have plenty of storage on your computer. The drawback, however, is that if you save documents in random places on your computer, it can be time-consuming and difficult to find them.
In simplistic terms, compare your computer’s storage to a standard file cabinet. The best method for storing papers in a file cabinet is to designate different drawers for general categories of information. In each drawer, use file folders to further organize papers into specific categories. For example, if you have a drawer for tax returns, then having a file for each year’s documents in that drawer would make it quicker to find your tax information. You can apply these same concepts to your computer.
Digital folders and subfolders help you quickly locate information. You can create them in your email program as well as for documents, photos, and other digital files. Once you’ve developed (or reorganized) your digital filing system, be diligent in saving files to their specific folders.
Take time to delete unused/unnecessary files and email accounts. Uninstall apps and programs you no longer use and check to be sure you have updated versions of those you do use. Clear cookies/cache and remember to back up important files to the cloud or an external hard drive.
Organize Your Desktop
Organize your computer’s desktop. Clutter on your work desk is distracting and likewise, clutter on your computer desktop can be distracting as well. Review desktop files and remove outdated or unnecessary files. A new desktop background might help motivate you to get this task done!
While you’re digitally spring cleaning, you might want to update your passwords. Although some accounts require regular updating, you likely have some passwords that have been used for way too long! Changing your computer, email, and other passwords limits the time hackers can make you their next victim. Do not use the same password for different accounts/programs and do not use overly simple passwords (such as “password”). If you have difficulty remembering all your different passwords you might want to use a digital password vault and/or keeping them in a written form – in a safe place, of course!
Scan for Viruses Regularly
Remember to regularly run a system-wide scan for viruses and run a cleanup utility to improve computer performance by freeing space on your hard drive.
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