There are so many ways experts suggest you store and organize digital files. So I have tried a lot of these suggestions. And I had a really hard time with most of the suggestions. I understand that you want to make your screen look pretty, but how do you actually create organization of all your stuff?
I found that it is typically recommended to create a pretty background, which I have. And to create files for your stuff, which I do. But how do you organize it? What are the steps one should take in order to organize all the digital files? The pictures? The documents?
I am breaking down the exact, step-by-step process I used to create order with my digital files so you can follow the process that works!
The very first step you have to do is take inventory of where you are storing all your documents. If you are like me, you have things stored in so many different storage places. So start with one place to digitally declutter.
What is currently on your computer? iPad? Phone? Dropbox? Google Drive?
We keep so many things stored in so many places that it is best to start by taking inventory of what you have stored and where.
I recommend making a list. Either on your computer notes, or on actual paper of where you store things and which spaces you want to organize. Not every area needs to be organized. I noticed that my Google Drive was super organized, but my phone and Dropbox were a mess. So I knew where I needed to start.
Select one place you are going to start your declutter. Repeat this same process for all the areas you want to get organized.
Delete things that are not important. I consider this part the declutter phase of organizing your digital files. Delete everything that you don’t use, need, or find useful.
As you are deleting things, you can also rename things so you can easily find them when searching. Those documents that you created but you labeled something obscure. Or maybe they were for a specific presentation and now you want to use them for something else. Simply change the name of that document so you can find it easier.
Where Are You Storing
Once you have deleted all the unwanted documents and you have renamed the documents that needed a better name, it is time to store the documents.
I have decided a while ago that I was storing all my work documents in my Google Drive. All my photos are in my iCloud and an external hard drive. And the only documents on my computer are things are need within the month.
Because I decided on specific spots to store things, I know how to create order with all my digital documents.
In my Google Drive, I have folders for projects. Then inside those folders I have smaller folders for more specific documents. For example, I have an entire folder for “social media stuff”. In that large folder, I have smaller folders for photos, long-form video, and short-form video. I also have a folder for things that have been scheduled within social media.
By creating more general folders, I am able to store like items together in the same location based on how I use the items within that folder.
Another example for creating and storing documents is your photos. I broke down the entire photo storing process I use: How To Organize Pictures On Your Computer.
This is the biggest, most important part of the entire process…you just have to start! I know it is so overwhelming looking at your list. And that feeling of overwhelm won’t go away by simply closing your computer.
Instead, set a timer for 15 minutes. Spend that time deleting unwanted documents. Continue to set timers for yourself with one small intention with each timer. What that means is give yourself a specific job to do with that time. Delete unwanted documents. Create new folders. Rename old documents. Sort photos into folders.
Whatever your intention for that time is, just stick to that. Don’t jump to others tasks. Just stick to one task per timer. It will help keep the overwhelm down to a minimum.
Keep Going To Organize Digital Files
Repeat this process until all your digital clutter is organized. Then, you can create ways to keep things organized.
Come up with realistic ways you can keep all your digital documents organized.
Will you go through things once a week? Daily? What about refreshing any documents you are using now but might not need in the future? Deciding what you are going to do to keep up with this organization is just as important as starting. Because you are creating a plan for yourself to keep things organized. You are not going to let things get disorganized when you have a system or routine in place.
So create that routine for yourself that you can actually keep up with.