Most people have lots of computer files totaling hundreds of gigabytes or possibly multiple terabytes. Files can include documents, music, photos, and videos. This weekend in the Weekend Series, you are going to clean up old computer files that you don’t need anymore.
Your Organized Files
As part of the Organized Life Series, you have already done most of the work:
As part of the Organized Life Series, you have created a system for your documents. You’re already organized your documents by doing the following tasks:
- File names – Your documents are named consistently and descriptively
- File structure – Your documents are in a well-designed and unambiguous folder structure
- File location – Your documents are in one location, and backed up locally and in the cloud
- Unfiled documents – If you have documents in Evernote, Google Docs, Adobe Creative Cloud, or some other technology that does not sync with your traditional computer file systems, you have organized them appropriately
- Desktop – You have an organized desktop system
You have organized your life, and organized your music, so you won’t have a lot to do with your music. You might have previously shared your iTunes library, but need to update to accommodate the iOS 8 iTunes family sharing.
You’ve scanned your physical photos and have organized your photos on your computer using Picasa.
You’ve organized your video media and have set up your media center set up so you can easily view your videos.
This weekend, you need to review your file system and make sure that everything is still organized and backing up to an external hard drive. Next month, we will Organize Your Cloud Files.
Ideally, you have two sets of documents: your active documents that sync across multiple computers in a service like Dropbox. In your local backup hard drive you should have archived all of the documents from all time that you want to keep.
This weekend, if your Dropbox account is getting full, archive items that you don’t need to access regularly. If you haven’t already, check out this Lifehacker article about How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service to make sure that you have all of the free Dropbox space that you can get.
Make sure that your local music files are still backing up to your archive backup.
You should have two sets of photos: your unorganized photos from cameras, phones, and other devices, and your archived photos stored on your external hard drive.
This weekend, go through your unorganized camera roll, delete photos that you don’t want to keep, and organize and archive photos that you do want to keep.
You can receive extra storage for saving your phone’s photos to Dropbox, but images and video will fill up your Dropbox account pretty quickly. After you enable it for a few days, turn the photo backup back off to save space. Instead, find another service, such as Microsoft OneDrive. The free plan starts at 15GB, and you can do several things to get more storage. Check out this Lifehacker article about How to Maximize Your Free Storage Space on Every Cloud Service to make sure that you have all of the free OneDrive space that you can get.
You probably take video on the same device that you take photos with, which means that your video is probably in the same unorganized camera roll with your photos. If you have a special video camera, you probably just use it for special occasions. Either way, organize your video into your archived video folders.
Weekend Definition of Done
How do you know you’re done with this weekend project? Use the following checklist:
- Files that you need to regularly access are available on all of your devices (Use Dropbox for documents and OneDrive for photos and videos.)
- Files that you want to keep are organized and archived to an external hard drive.
Next month, we will Organize Your Cloud Files.