Evan's Computer Recommendations

End-of-the-Year Organizing

During the course of the year, your normal use creates many files that accumulate on your Hard Drive (HD). With the current huge HD sizes now-a-days, this isn't a problem for the HD...it's a problem for you in finding files either quickly or at all.

It's not hard to do a little organizing at the beginning of each year to help keep you organized.

The basic thought is to move all the current files into separate folders and label them something like: 2006

If there are files you know you will continue to use, go ahead and move them. When you call them up the first time in 2007, go find it in the created 2006 folder, then save it to the default folder where it's normally kept for 2007. The reason for this is simple...you have a backup copy saved at the end of the year.

Here are areas that could/should be addressed:

It really doesn't make a difference which E-Mail program you use (Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Notes, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc) except for the method by which you do the creating/moving.

The process is still simple...create a new folder that says something like IN2006 then move all the messages in your current Inbox into it. If you haven't ever done this and have messages prior to 2006, maybe name the thing "Prior to 2007."

Remember, to easily move messages, use these options:
1. Click on any message like the top one. Scroll to any other message and hold down Shift while clicking on it. That will select all messages inbetween the two clicked messages.
2. Hold down the Crtl key while clicking...that will select multiple messages.
3. Click on any message and hit Crtl-A. That will select all the messages in that folder.

In Outlook, you might need to add that new 2006 folder to the view in the left pane.

MS Office Data
Programs in Office like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint usually store their data files by default in your My Documents folder under the Documents & Setting folder. This will be a little harder to move. Personally, I changed the default file location from D&S's to a separate folder I called Data...with sub folders for Word, Excel, etc. But hey....

Call up Windows Explorer (WE) and look under the C: Drive for Document & Settings. Then find your login ID (maybe your name...or "Owner"). Expand that and look for My Documents. You should see all your Office files in My Documents (doc, xls, or pps files). Create a new folder under the My Documents folder and call it something like "2006 Data." Then, with WE, find all the office files and move them into it. This will take a little doing and if you have the option, find your IT guy to help you for the first time.

Personally, I do not create that many new Office documents such that I only move files over every two years.

You're probably into digital photography by now...but, what are you doing with your scads of picture files?? I would recommend first moving them to your HD from your camera into temporary folders. I keep about 10 or 15 such folders since I'm almost always behind in processing pictures.

I also have folders on my HD already made for each of my most frequent shots...like 2006 Family, 2006 Sailing, 2006 Rugby, 2006 Miscellaneous. Getting the point here??? When you get that few minutes, go look at the pictures in those temporary folders...delete those you don't want and move the rest to where they belong.

Now is the time to create new folders for 2007.

Just a note...while those pics are in the temp folders, I also crop and reduce them in size. But, that's up to you and not a part of the purpose of this message.

It's up to you to know what other data you keep that should also be shuttled off into annual folders. Remember, this isn't backup work, but it really helps with backups since you now have separately identifiable folders that aren't changing.

Good luck.....

This page last updated 12-4-06