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Spring Cleaning Your Digital Files

SprSpring Cleaning Your Digital Filesing is the perfect time to get a fresh start on things.  And spring cleaning isn’t just for your home; a good cleaning for your digital desktop and files will do you good too!

Perhaps you are like many of us who save files and don’t always keep them organized.  Or give them a name you can’t remember.   Perhaps your desktop looks like the one to the right.   If so,  you need to get on board with some spring cleaning your digital files.    Here are some digital cleaning ideas to get you ready for a fresh new season of success:

Start by Deleting

Take 15 minutes to a half hour and start deleting.  Delete files you saved to your desktop or other places for short term use.  Delete anything you have used and no longer need.  Pictures, screenshots, word documents, PDF’s, etc., delete what you don’t need.  Delete any duplicates you might have of the same file.  Delete any pictures where the subject is blurry or out of focus.  Delete any photos that you don’t know the people in them.

Organize

Once you have deleted items you not longer need, it is time to start organizing what is left.   If you already have folders these items can go into, move them to the correct folder.

Create Folders

If you don’t have a folder or file designated for items, create new folders on your desktop or other location to put items in.  I have a folder for each client and then inside each client folder, I have a folder for each year that I worked with them to put items into.   If you do more than one service for a client you may further break it down into the service.

Create A System

Don’t save documents with names that will be difficult to find, remember, search, etc.   If you give something the name of “letter”  you have no clue who it was for, what kind of letter, etc.   Devise a way of naming files when you save them so they will be easier to search.  An example would be, Client name – Project name – date.  This way when you search you could search by client, or project or date and probably find it easily.Name the folders and organize according to what seems natural to you.

Name the folders and organize according to what seems natural to you.    For instance,   I put all photos into a folder titled photos.   Then inside I have client and holiday named folders.   The last day of every month, I go into my photo folder and sort into the proper folder.   This way photos are not cluttering my desktop and I know where they are.   But if I let a month go by and don’t file into the correct folders, hunting photos becomes difficult.     I created this system so they would always be easy to retrieve for whatever I might need a photo for.

It is important you have a system for saving files and keeping them organized or you just move a mess from one place to another.

Stick with the System

Once you have a system for saving and organizing your files, you need to stick with the system.   I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people tell me they have a system, but they just don’t follow it.    They have the folders created, just are not sorting and putting the files where they belong.

Since you are spring cleaning your digital files, now is the time to start following your system.   This will make next year’s spring cleaning much easier.

Don’t Forget Backup

You also need to have a good backup plan in place.  All those documents and photos sorted and organized will do you no good if your computer crashes and you lose everything.    A good backup plan saves you time and money.   Either backup on an external hard drive or to a cloud drive.   Some people use both.

One Last Item

Now that we have your desktop and files in good shape, now is a great time to take a few minutes to spring clean and update your website.

A great website is not only your digital business card; it can also help to grow your brand. Make sure your website is SEO optimized. Review each page to see if your content needs to be updated and look for spelling errors.  Does your site need to be completely refreshed with a new layout?  If you need help, hire a professional for a few tasks that you don’t know how to do on your own.

 

When things run efficiently, you have more time to focus on growing your business.  Take a little time to get these digital files and your web page cleaned up and you’ll be able to head into spring with a fresh outlook for your business.