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Cleaning Your Computer Clutter

OrganizedDesktopI learned something quite shocking to me the other day.  Some people don’t know how to organize their computers!  Having the IT background that I do, this was completely shocking to me!  I figured everyone knew that they should organize their files.  As I found out though, most people don’t!  I don’t know how you find anything on your computer!!  So today we are going to discuss the ways to get your computer in tip top efficient shape.

Unwanted Programs – These days when you purchase a computer it comes LOADED with JUNK!  Usually the first thing I do when I purchase a new computer is wipe the entire thing clean and install a fresh copy of the operating system.  I don’t recommend this for everyone, as I’m Microsoft Certified, and I know how to do these things.  If you can though, I definitely recommend it.  It will make sure that there is nothing extra floating around your hard drive.  If you can’t do this, go into your control panel and into the “Add or Remove Programs” in Vista it’s called “Programs and Features”.  Now again you need to be careful as to not uninstall things that you need (like my Sister did one day.  She really puts up with a lot with me, as whenever she tries to do stuff on the computer after having watched me do it, and then she messes it up, I have to roll my eyes, and tell her to “MOVE” like Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy.  Sorry Amy, I try not to do it, it just comes out).  If you truely don’t know what you are looking at in the Add or Remove Programs, take note of the things you think you don’t need.  Then go into your start menu and try to run the program.  If it looks like a game or a program that you will not need, then go back and uninstall it.  If you can’t find it in the start menu, I would just back away.  Unless it’s a toolbar like “Yahoo Toolbar” or general things like that.

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Files – Is every file you have ever created just hanging out in your My Documents?  Get that stuff organized today!  I have SEVERAL folders, and folders within folders to help with this.  Some recommendations for you are Personal (under personal I have folders called Bank, Taxes, Church, and Recipes), Business (under business I have folders for different types of businesses that I have such as Web Design, Daily Home Planner, Organized Mom, and a folder for stuff I do for businesses that aren’t mine such as Tekanix, and OnDemandROI.  Still under that I have even more folders, such as under Daily Home Planner I have folders for Logos, Letters, Our Website, Installs, Help File, Demos… etc).  There are folders for My Music (which of course is organized, but itunes did that for me!), Downloads (where I stick everything I download), the list can go on and on.  Another area of your files you can organize are your photos.  I have a folder for Maddie, and in the folder it’s organized by year.  You can also have folders for extended family, scenery, etc.  This way you can always find the photos you are looking for!

Desktop – This is the one that makes me cringe whenever I see one with files ALL over the place!  I never keep anything on my desktop.  I have links to the programs I use most in my Quick Launch on my toolbar.  To add a program to your quick launch right click on the program (from your Start Menu), and select “Add to Quick Launch”.  Your desktop is usually covered up anyway, so how often do you really click on those icons?  Also, if you are storing documents on your desktop, they are just asking to be lost.  Move them to your My Documents, and get them organized.  Your desktop is not a place to keep files, it’s your tablet from which to launch and use programs.  There is one exception to this rule.  If I know I’m going to only temporarily keep a file, then I will add it to my desktop so I remember to delete it when I’m through with it.

Once you have finished cleaning up your programs and files then I recommend running a Defragmentation of your hard drive.  Since you have deleted and moved several items your drive may end up fragmented, so run a defrag and I’m sure you will be surprised at how much more quickly your computer runs!

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