Whether you’re working, playing games, updating social media status, surfing the web, or streaming the latest season of your favorite show on Netflix, doing system maintenance and organizing files and folders will be the last thing on your mind.
Backing up data, getting rid of unnecessary files to free up a few gigabytes of storage space, running antivirus programs, defragmenting hard drives; these are tedious but necessary tasks if you want your computer well-optimized. Below are a few tips that will help you organize and maintain your Windows PC.
Organizing Important Data in Your Computer System
Before you can effectively backup your data or sync your files to another system, it has to be well-organized to avoid potential issues in the future. This is also essential for a well-maintained high performance machine.
Reasons why organizing data is important:
- Locating files manually becomes easier.
- Finding groups of similar files is a lot less stressful.
- Moving important data to a new computer will not be a hassle.
- Syncing files and other data to other systems is easier.
- Determining which files to backup is quick and simple.
Organizational tips to help you get started:
1. Decide on an organizational system that works for you and stick to it. Choosing the right organizational system takes time. You have to figure out what works for you and what does not. Once you’ve decided on a filing system, stick to it. Otherwise, all these will be pointless.
2. Choose a root folder for your files carefully. Don’t be afraid to use subfolders. Think of the root folder as the gateway to all of your data. If your hard drive is partitioned, for instance, you can choose whether to use drive C: or D: for your root folder. If you choose the latter, then your structure should look like D:\My Files or D:\<Your Name > if the computer has multiple users. Once you have your root folder, organize files contained within it by creating subfolders and housing files of similar purpose in their designated folders.
3. Avoid grouping files based on file type. Instead, group your files based on purpose, i.e., your work files should be in a different folder from your family vacation photos, and your mp3 files should not be in the same folder as your video collection.
4. Name your files and folders intelligently and avoid long filenames. Names like New Folder (2) or Document2.doc are lazy names. That extra 20 seconds you spend thinking of a meaningful name for your file/folder is nothing compared to 30 minutes of scouring through New Folder (2) all the way to New Folder (12) just to look for a single file.
5. Separate software application files from the data files you’ve created. When you install a particular program, the components needed to make that software function properly is called application files. Some software programs will store saved files in the same location as the application files, as a default save location. Take a few seconds to check where you’re saving your data file to be sure it is in the right location.