We’re almost to the end of 2014 and I bet you’ve started to clean and organize your physical space in preparation for the new year – but what about taking a moment to backup your computer and clear out all your electronic files from 2014?
There are a number of different ways you can do this, but I’m all about working smarter not harder so if you want to learn my top 5 tips for clearing off your personal hard drive read on.
First things first, don’t waste time unnecessarily sorting things that a working search bar can find. Instead of shuffling files around do the following…
Step 1: Purchase an external hard drive that’s compatible with your computer or commit to using a reliable cloud based system like dropbox.
Step 2: Take no more than 30 or 45 minutes to DELETE everything you don’t need a copy of. This free download will help you determine what to save and what to toss. When it comes to your computer, you should only save the most important emails, downloads, projects, presentations, photos, etc.
Step 3: If you don’t have digital folders organized that’s okay. If important documents are easy to find, move them to an “important” folder and save a copy on your external hard drive or dropbox. If important documents are not easy to find, then just save everything as is. Seriously, a working search bar will make all your files easy to locate – don’t create more work for yourself!
Step 4: You can decide to only save a portion of the files you’ve accumulated over 2014, but I’m pretty careful about what I download/save so I typically move everything over. For example, when you open my external hard drive you will see each year listed (2010, 2011, 2012, etc.) and within the year, there will be copies of the folders on my computer (documents, photos, downloads, desktop, etc.) so when I go to search for a past document I use the “search bar” which is usually located in the top right hand corner of your “Finder” or “My Computer” window.
Step 5: It is VERY IMPORTANT to double check to make sure everything transferred properly before you delete the copy on your computer’s hard drive.
Then enjoy your cleared computer for 2015!
NOTE: I also recommend using the bootable backup feature most computers offer – for example mac’s use a program called “time machine.” The steps outlined above are what I do in addition to that mostly because I want more control over what’s getting transferred. Those five steps make it easy for me to quickly access files that I might need to reference a few times a year. However it’s important to still run the Time Machine backups so that my computer can successfully reboot in the case of a malfunctioning hard dive or other emergency. These steps help me feel ready for anything!