Spruce up your digital files

To keep your electronic files organized, you have to be ruthless and decisive. Use these quick tips:

Purge when you close projects. At the end of a big assignment, spend some time cleaning up the files. Delete duplicate copies and any other documents you will no longer need. Rename all the documents in a consistent manner (e.g., 2018_XYZ Presentation_FINAL). Then archive the folder in a “Finished Projects” folder.

Create a “Delete After ” folder. If you are afraid to delete a document, place it in this folder. If the date comes and goes, and you haven’t accessed anything in it, delete all the files.

Don’t be too specific when creating folders. Too many folders are unwieldy, so if the folder will only contain one or two files, don’t create a new one.

Delete old versions as soon as you create a new one. If you aren’t required to keep previous versions of any file, don’t. Clear out previous ones so that you’re always working with and only saving the newest version.