This post was most recently updated on September 7th, 2023
[A collaboration post – all thoughts are my own.]
Is your computer out of shape or suffering from a disorderly desktop? How often do you organize your desktop?
As a freelancer, my computer is my number one assistant. And the first thing I see when logging in is my desktop. I like to keep my desktops empty or have only a few folders.
Is your desktop filled with folders, apps, shortcuts, and other digital detritus?
If so, it could very well have a negative impact on your productivity. You’ll spend too much time searching for files and worrying about a computer crash that would delete your data. Ugh.
Organize Your Desktop
A workspace, onscreen or not, that is a mess will make you feel distracted and scattered. But it’s easy to get lazy about tidying up your files and backing up your work. So, maybe it’s time to boost your productivity by cleaning up your hard drive and giving it a makeover.
Read on for some tips on getting your computer desktop organized. After you finish this, you’ll be able to work faster, easier, and safer on your newly organized computer desktop.
Delete unused files
Before you add more hard drive storage, it’s better to delete some unused information so you only keep the files you actually need and use. Open your folders and take a look at your files. Are there outdated notes, multiple files, or copies of old documents? Delete files you no longer need. Uninstall software you rarely use and get rid of temporary files.
Use a standard file-naming system
Whether you name your files by date created, by client name, by task name, etc., use this naming system for all your files and folders. It will make finding them much easier later on.
I like to name my translation documents as date created_client name_task name_submitted date.
You may have to rename many files to fit into this system. Take your time sorting through these files, and do it right. At this point, your computer desktop should be pretty clear of file icons!
Use your taskbar to minimize program icons
Take a look at each program icon on your desktop and consider how often you use it.
Currently, I have 10 program icons: File Explored, Google Chrome, Spotify, Adobe Photoshop, Notepad, Calculator, Foxit Reader, Sticky Notes, Aegisub (for subtitling film), and Notion. These are the programs I use on a daily or weekly basis.
To organize your desktop, pin your program icons to your taskbar. This will help keep your desktop neater and save you the hassle of finding programs because all your apps are in one place, instead of all over your screen.
Use a desktop organization wallpaper
Your desktop may contain wallpaper of your loved ones, your dream places, or your pet dog, but do you know that you can use your desktop to section your apps or files?
I don’t like having too many files on my desktop. But, realistically, you will still have some folders and files on your desktop. So, keep them organized using desktop organization wallpapers. It will add some fun and color to your screen and help you organize your desktop.
However, don’t go crazy and cover your desktop with dozens of file folders. Think of a filing cabinet that has six drawers, and make this your six main desktop folders. Within each folder, you will have subfolders. A few subfolders may even have their own subfolders. Keep it manageable and don’t go beyond three levels. Remember, you can always use “search” to find a file.
You can download these desktop organizations from here.
Set a decluttering schedule
Most people like to organize their files daily for 30–40 minutes. I prefer to do it on a weekly basis. I have a weekly blogging routine every Friday, and I organize my computer every Saturday morning.
You can set a weekly or monthly clean-up schedule to organize your desktop. To keep it this way, schedule 30 minutes once a week or month to do this task, and you’ll keep your desktop looking great.
Now, you should be feeling good because your computer screen is neater and more organized. Do you have any tips to organize your desktop that I haven’t mentioned above?