How to Organise Your Computer Files
A lot of the creatives that I know find organising their computer files a complete nightmare. In my upcoming podcast episode with Victoria Jowett, she said that her desktop was like a virtual brain dump. The problem with virtual brain dumps is that unlike your brain, your computer doesn’t have an advanced indexing system - you have to make it yourself.
If I asked you to dip into your computer files and find an invoice from 3 months ago or your logo in a couple of different file formats, would it make you come out in a cold sweat?
Being able to find everything you need on your computer within a few clicks will save you time and mental energy.
How to organise your computer files, documents and folders
Write down the big, key areas of your business. Here are a few to get you started
Look at those key areas and decide what goes inside each one - try not to get too granular. Below is another example.
- Brand style sheet
- Font files
- Logo files
- Business card, Business flyer, Thank you card designs
- Product descriptions
- Product images
- Pricing spreadsheet
- Supplier spreasheet
- Supplier quotes and order forms
- Whole sale account details spreadsheet
- Wholesaler order forms
- Marketing plan spreadsheet
- Marketing Images
- Blog post drafts
- Finance tracking software link or spreadsheet
- Tax details
Now, start completely fresh. Create a folder on your computer and name it your business name. Inside this folder make a folder for all of the areas of your business you listed above, inside those folder create the sub-folders also listed above and so on until you have a folder for each item in your list.
Now, start dragging all of your documents and files into your new folders. Make sure you clear your desktop and any other folders of files that are floating around on your computer. Drag, drop, repeat! You’ll need a cuppa and your favourite music or podcast on for this bit.
Once you’ve sorted all of your floating files into your new folders go into each one. Do they still look really busy and messy? Ask yourself what folders you need within the folders that are looking messy.
Back-It-up! I can’t stress this enough. I would also back it up twice. This might sound completely ridiculous but I once had a situation where my laptop and external hard drive both failed on me at the same time, the-same-time. I cried!
[OVER TO YOU]
- Fire up your computer and get sorting
- Use your new system. At first it might feel like a struggle, you might not like the structure but if you stick with it your system will become second nature and you’ll be saving time and mental energy by the bucket load.
- If you're still struggling with it after a few weeks, experiment with moving folders around if it makes more sense, just avoid reverting back to the digital brain-dump situation.