Getting Rid of Computer Clutter
Like a desk full of files and paper clutter, your computer can easily become a wasteland for all that you are working on. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not stored somewhere in the vast archives of your hard drive. In fact, every time you visit a page on the Internet, your cache file stores an impression of the page until the day you go in and clean up the residual.
Don't wait until your hard disk sends you an S.O.S. Read through your files and messages and decide in real time whether you're going to store or delete each one. Do it a little bit at a time, several times a day, and soon you'll be on clutter-control autopilot!
What about all those “critical” files that you absolutely can't delete? For these, you should develop a filing system that is intuitive enough to help you quickly identify such files as you need them. For instance, just as you have an “in” basket on your desk, you might also consider having an “in” file in which you temporarilyplace all of the files you are currently working on. When these projects are complete and you are ready to move the files to an archive, create a system that is intuitive. In other words, with folder names that are easily identifiable once you start searching through the archives to find a file you may have created and saved more than a year ago. For files older than a year, consider developing a folder system that is organized first by year, then by project name. This will help keep you organized and productive, and will alleviate the clutter of worry in your own “hard drive”—your brain!
To keep your computer hard drive from getting overloaded when you have lots of files to store, add a zip drive to your computer and do regular backups to your system. This will also help prevent data loss should your system crash.