In this video we are talking about how to
organize your computer desktop so you can find things, you feel organized, and things
are just very visual. The biggest thing here that’s made a big difference
is that our graphic designer named Matt created this really cool background image with colored
sections. They’re kind of like different containers. If you would like a copy of this file to use
on your own computer, there is a link below where you can download it for free and see
if it works for you. It has been a night and day difference for
me. Okay, so the background is organized just
like you would organize your office. All of the project papers together like papers
and folders, all of the files in the filing cabinet together, and then everything on your
desk together. Desk is like frequently used files, papers,
programs. Keep all those things within reach, and everything
here is visible. If you’re using it, if you frequently access
it, keep it visible. If it’s not something you frequently access,
keep it inside of a file folder or keep it another level deep. Just the things that you absolutely need on
the desktop. Nothing more. Okay, so the right side of the background
image has all of my projects. So these are work projects, personal projects. Doesn’t matter. They’re just projects. So there’s seven different sections in the
project section, so you could call them containers or bins or something, and so in each of the
project sections, the very first thing is a file folder. Now, as you can see, this doesn’t look like
your traditional yellow file folder. That’s because I customized all the project
file folders. It’s probably different for every computer. I went ahead and I right clicked, I hit “properties,”
I went to “customize,” I hit “change icon,” and I just picked an icon that felt like was
more fun than the yellow folder. Now, the naming convention that I use here
is I do “dash dash project dash dash,” and then the name of the project, and I use whatever
name makes sense, but I always make sure to do “dash dash project dash dash,” because
when you have Windows Explorer open, it’s going to automatically sort … Sometimes
it sorts alphabetically. Sometimes it sorts by file folder or something,
and so I found that if I do this naming convention, it will put all the projects together. And when all the projects are together, it
just feels so much more organized, it feels clear, and there’s zero confusion. Okay, so that’s the project folder. Okay. So to the right of the file folder are all
of the open files for the project. So once a file is done, no more action is
needed, I will go ahead and I will drag the file to the project folder, and so now it’s
inside the folder. Now I can’t see it, it’s not on my desktop,
which is great. I don’t need to see it if there’s no action
needed. All I need to see are the things that I’m
currently working on. Now, once the project is done, then what I
want to do is I want to move the project folder to the filing cabinet and file it away, because
again, I don’t need to see it. It’s done. I know where I can find it if I need to access
it a year from now. So I just drag it to the appropriate folder
in the filing cabinet. So I’m just going to drag this one into ATV
Programs, and now project one is blank, and now I can start a new project in that one
section. And one more thing I want to mention. So for file names, again, I just name my files,
whatever is going to make sense to me, whatever makes sense right now, and whatever is likely
to make sense like a year from now for my future self, because I’m always thinking about
my future self. “How can I eliminate confusion for my future
self?” Now, if you have a lot of the same file types
or just a lot of one type of file, and you want to use a naming convention, I would highly
recommend using a naming convention including high level category, subcategory, version,
date, title, whatever makes sense to you. Just figure out what’s going to make sense
to you and then do that naming convention. So in the filing cabinet, you have files to
one day reference, files that you need to save for documentation purposes, or just things
that you’re not using right now, but there’s a good chance you’ll need them in the future. So the file cabinet is divided into two different
types of files. One is work files, and then the second one
are personal files. And again, I customized all of the file folders,
making it a little bit easier to differentiate work from personal. So all the work file folders are butterflies
and all of the personal file folders are hot air balloons. And so the naming convention that I use for
all of the file folders in the filing cabinet for work, it’s “dash dash ATV dash dash” and
then the name of that folder. So programs, photos. I have a miscellaneous folder, marketing and
design reviews and so forth. And again, they are named so when you pull
up Windows Explorer, which I’ll show you right now, if you pull it up, it’s going to automatically
sort. So it’s going to put all of the work file
folders together, all of the personal file folders together, and then all the project
ones together over here. Same thing for personal. I do “dash personal dash.” There’s no dash dash, because it didn’t fit,
so I just use one dash, and then whatever makes sense for those files. And so down here I have scanned documents
and scanned photos, for anything that I scan that’s going to be saved to the computer goes
to those two file folders. Those are kind of like a holding tank. If I double click on there, I can see things
that I’ve scanned that I have not moved over to the appropriate file folder. So for all of your file folders, what I would
recommend doing is keeping the labels broad as opposed to specific. The more specific you get, it just means more
categories. It’s going to clutter up your desktop, so
I’d rather keep it broad, and then if you need to get specific within the one file folder,
then you can just have a sub folder inside that file folder. What I do not do is I don’t have a folder,
a sub folder, a sub sub folder, a sub sub sub folder, because it just gets too confusing. I just have a folder, a sub folder, and then
the files are inside there. On occasion you will see a sub sub folder,
but it’s very rare, because I don’t like to just … If you have so many things to open,
it’s so many clicks to get to one file, I feel like it’s not efficient. So that works for me. But you know what? Just see what works for you. So at the bottom part is the desk. So the desk has all of my frequently used
programs and frequently used open one-off tasks. It’s kind of confusing. One-off tasks. So tasks that are not related to a project. They’re just one-off files, and they’re open,
they’re active, there’s still action that’s needed, or I reference them often. So those are just down here, again, naming
convention, whatever makes sense to my current self, what will make sense to my future self,
those are all down there. And so what I do is every month I get into
the habit, I say every month, but sometimes I do it weekly, sometimes I do it every two
months, but just get into the habit of, if you’re finding yourself in a hurry and you’re
just saving all kinds of random stuff to your desktop and not giving it a full name, and
you’re downloading files, they’re ending up in the wrong placement here, take five minutes,
if that, and just drag and drop things where they belong, and it doesn’t take that much
time. And when you do that, you’ll find that you
can quickly find the things that you need because you don’t have clutter in the way,
and you just feel more efficient at your computer. So again, if you would like to download this
background image for your computer and try it and see if it keeps you and your desktop
more organized, I will put a link below to where you can download it for free. Matt, our graphic designerm has created several
different color variations so we can switch it up when we just need a fresh start. So I will include all those color variations
as well. I hope you found this video helpful. Thank you for being here, and I will see you
soon. Take care. Bye bye.

How to Organize Your Computer Desktop, Files, & Folders (Part 10 of 10 Paper Clutter Series)

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