Jan. 28 2015 07:57 AM

Hints to help you save time and computer space

messy computer screenAh, a clean desk. No piles of brochures and papers surrounding your computer. Few farm offices can claim a pristine desk appearance much less a decluttered computer. But, there is hope. Some may have made a 2015 resolution to organize their work area, but many may be asking "Where do I start?"

Recently, I ran across an article on how to minimize digital clutter . . . the files that are sucking valuable storage space from your computer. For a computer with limited space for new files, the quick answer would be "buy more space." That is like purchasing a bigger house only because your small one is in disarray. You'd just be making more room for more clutter.

Here are some of best-selling author Joshua Becker's tips to minimize digital clutter:

1. Inbox. It seems managing inbound emails has become a dreaded task. To keep the inbox in check, promptly answer the emails that require less than two minutes of time. The more involved emails can be moved to a "work in progress" folder and handled later. (But, don't forget about them.)

2. Documents folder. This can be a catchall for any memo you typed since you first bought your computer. Are valuable files in there? Absolutely! But, I venture to guess there are plenty of old files that could be deleted and not only make more space available, but make it easier to find the important documents.

3. Old software/programs/apps. Uninstalling old programs (including old versions of programs you currently use) can make more space available. Dragging the shortcut (alias) to one of these programs to the trash does nothing. You need to uninstall (remove) the actual application (which is the real culprit) from your computer.

4. Desktop icons. It's out of control when the icons are being saved on another layer of icons. Take the time to file (or delete) them. When you are excited to work on a project and the screen pops up with a patch-quilt of dozens of icons, it reminds you of your disorganization. Clean so you can begin with an optimistic outlook.

5. Folder structure. Develop a sensible hierarchy for folders so you can easily find files. Searching for a file by what you might have named it is a huge time drain. Rename folders with titles for ease of locating them later.

6. Photos. We love them! But, do we need to keep them all . . . blurry, eyes-closed and errant snapshots of our feet? Delete the unusable ones at the time of import so you can find the best photos easily when you want them.

To read all 25 of his tips visit: http://on.hoards.com/min-clutter
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The author is the online media manager and is responsible for the website, webinars and social media. A graduate of Modesto Junior College and Fresno State, she was raised on a California dairy and frequently blogs on youth programs and consumer issues.