Step 1: Clean up Your Desktop
If you didn’t take any summer courses, your desktop possibly looks like the Internet blew up all of its cat pictures onto your computer. It is time to either delete what you really don’t need or organize it all better. Pretend that your computer’s desktop is a physical one, would you be able to work or even move if you had piles and piles of photographs or documents everywhere? No. All of those old documents and files need to either be deleted or sorted into new locations.
Also make sure to empty your recycling bin. People tend to forget about it completely and this could free up quite a lot of space. This is another reason why your desktop search brings back zero relevant results. It won’t work well in chaos.
Step 2: Clear Out Old Files
Now that your desktop is clean, you are not actually done. You need to go deeper into your files and folders and clean up anything that wont be needed or necessary. The main idea behind this is so that you can later on, quickly type up what you need in the desktop search and have the right file show up. Old class notes and documents shouldn’t really be deleted. If you don’t want to keep them on the computer, back them up into an external hard drive; you never know if you will need to look something up in the future.
Anything that you know for sure will not be needed, just delete. Go through all of your folders and delete absolutely everything that has no use to you. Optimize your PC for the use of a desktop search, because later in the semester it will save a whole lot of headaches.
Step 3: Create a System
This is the most important step in this guide. Say you have five classes, create a system of five folders to store all of your information and notes. If you need to keep school documents separate from work and personal content on your computer then create a folder titled SCHOOL and within that folder make a subfolder for each class you have this semester.
Another important point of this step is to name your files correctly. Don’t just use words like “random” and “stuff”. This spells disaster for any desktop search. Name each document with the class name, and a date. You could even create more subfolders in the different class folders by separating files by months (although this might be a little extreme for most). You will see how much better your desktop search will become, and how much time you will save by keeping with your new system. You just need to make sure that you stick to it. It will be worse if half of your computer is in order and the other half is in complete chaos.
Just keep things clean and organized, so that the desktop search tool can do its job, and you can continue to stay productive without wasting time trying to find a file you absolutely knew was in that location. A system, and a continuous clean up as you go through your school year will make life so much easier.
Good luck, and have a great school year!