I mentioned yesterday that this year my main focus will be to get control over my digital clutter. Rather than just forge ahead and only give you guys updates on what I’m reducing, I thought that maybe I should write a piece here and there about what areas that might be an idea to declutter. Just in case someone else wants to join along.
Today I want to talk about PC/MAC Desktop clutter.
A lot of people store files directly on their Windows/Mac desktop, instead of saving them to some sort of document folder, (e.g. My Documents etc) as it makes things easy to reach.
Unfortunately what often happens, is that the desktop becomes cluttered, difficult to navigate and sometimes even distracting. Distracting, because all the icons can remind you of other things you need or want to do, and before you know it.. you’ve wasted time… not working on what you turned on the computer to do in the first place!
You should not underestimate the power of a clean desktop. Just like a messy room can make you anxious and stressed, so can a messy desktop.
A clean desktop is kinda like having a clean room. It can make your mind calm, clear and focused.
There are also a couple of technical reasons for why you should not use your desktop as storage:
In the text that follows, I’m talking about Microsoft Windows operating system (OS), since this is what I have. I do not know if it is the same on MAC OS. Regardless of OS, I think this is a valid consideration to take.
On Microsoft Windows versions older than Windows 8, your Desktop is not protected.
There are no file protection – mentioned on PC World, some directories, like example “My Documents” are not affected by System Restore. Files stored on the desktop on the other hand, are affected by System Restore, which can result in files disappearing.
and no file backup as default – A lot of file backup programs ignore desktop by default. Most backup programs will however allow you to change the settings to include it, but you have to actually do this.
On Microsoft Windows versions 8 and 10, backups are handled a little different than before, and I’m not sure, but I think maybe these newer OS backs up the desktop file as a default (that is, when you actually do a backup). But again, I’m not sure! To eer on the side of caution, I’m following the old time rule of not storing documents/programs/videos etc directly to the desktop.
What I do, if I want quick access, is to use links instead. I create an icon which links to where the document is stored on the PC.
Also a very cluttered desktop will slow down a computers startup time. Which means, cleaning it up, can help speed up your computer boot up time!
- Delete and clear away items/icons on your Desktop that are no longer relevant or important.
- Save items you want to keep, to folders like “My Documents”, “My Pictures” and so on – To save: Open the document, press File, Save as – give it a name and put it in the relevant place.
- Only keep icons that starts up software programs, or that links to documents/videos/photos etc that is stored on your computer hard drive.
You are the cutest little thing, and I love you dearly. You have served me well over the years, and I’m really sorry, my “little red one”, I think it’s time…
A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article “I’ve got my weekend cut out for me“, about setting up a computer, and some of the work involved in moving from an old to a new. That weekend I spent my time swapping over from a computer I had borrowed, so I could get it out the door 🙂
Today (and the next days) it’s time to tackle my cute little red 13,3” laptop!
Copy everything off the old and start the hard work of sorting out what to put on the new. I’ll pretty much be following the same procedure I wrote about last time.
So far I have moved about 56 GB of data, and it’s still going strong. Turns out there is loads of photos, videos, oh yeah, and music…
I already have backups of most, but for the job at hand – I’m copying everything to a separate folder on the external hard-drive, just in case.
I can see my next task, of sorting my external hard-drives, looming in the horizon 😉 I’ll be needing at least a month, at some later time, sorting out my external hard-drives (I have several). I have to consolidate my backups and make sure I don’t have a zillion copies of everything. But, that’s another task, for another day 😉
So what am I doing with my “little red one” when I’m done? Well…
I could clean it up! It might be useful as a backup (if I could make it work properly) but it’s 7 years old, and setting it up with the latest updates and drivers, would take a bit of time.
Or, I could send it out-the-door as an items in my decluttered pile.
I haven’t really made up my mind yet, it’s a cute little computer, I really like it, and it’s hard to part with 😉
I might keep it a little longer, until I’m sure my new one works the way I want it to. I’ll let you know when I’ve had a think about it, and by the rate the backup is going… I have several days to mull it over 😉
One computer out-the-door 🙂 Remember I told you my weekend task was to clear out a computer, well it’s done and tomorrow morning it’s leaving the house with me.
I’ve removed all the software I installed, and all the documents I created. I used it for a video project of mine, and it turned out there was about 66 GB of data, to transfer. Since my new computer only have a 128 GB solid state disk, there wasn’t really room for all my video projects. So to make sure I have “redundancy”, I stored the files from the borrowed computer on two external hard-drives.
Why two? Well, I want to make sure, that if something happens with one of the hard-drives, I have one more chance 😉 I know this sounds excessive, but having been around computers for a few years, I know that hard-drives can go “belly up”. There are, after all, moving parts in most of them.
A lot of people, do save backups of pictures, video and documents, on a CD/DVD, memory stick or an external hard-drive. And this is a good thing to do, you never know what’s going to happen to you computer, and having a backup is great.
But if you have that picture, video or document you don’t want to loose, on only one device, I would recommend that you consider making one more copy, on a separate unit. Wouldn’t you just hate, if something happened to your device, and you no longer could access that priceless picture of a family member, that are no longer here, or that video, of your child walking for the first time…
I know I would!
What about you – do you have backup of your “would-hate-to-loose” documents?