Organize Files with The 5S Philosophy
Digital workspaces start to become an indispensable part of our lives. People are beginning to spend more collaborative work time on the computer and online rather than in the physical world. Businesses, whether large corporations or small and medium enterprises, have computerized and cloud-based systems. Unfortunately, our digital workspaces have started to become cluttered.
Digital workspaces start to become an indispensable part of our lives. People are beginning to spend more collaborative work time on the computer and online rather than in the physical world. Businesses, whether large corporations or small and medium enterprises, have computerized and cloud-based systems. Unfortunately, our computers have started to become cluttered.
In this age of paperless transactions and home-based online work, office floor spaces have significantly shrunk and become less cluttered. But our digital workspaces—especially those within our control like our desktops, drives, folders and subfolders—have become disorganized in its place. However, there’s a proven method in the physical space that we can use to keep our files and folders organized…
The 5S of Good Digital Housekeeping
First, go through all of your digital files and folders. You can go through each drive and folder and sort files by date created or modified in reverse chronology. If you’ve never opened and used a file in a long time, chances are you never will. Evaluate and delete stagnating files.
Now take whatever is left of the folders and files and arrange them in an efficient manner. Move folders around if you need to. Streamline subfolders. Make them as few as possible while being detailed enough to locate files easily. Everything should have its proper place.
Empty your digital trash bin regularly. Uninstall unused programs or ask IT to do it for you. Remove shortcuts from desktop that have become unnecessary because of your efficient digital file structure. Move desktop files into your new subfolders. The desired outcome is that your desktop looks clean and “nearly new.”
Ensure that everything is in its proper folder. You may add tags if they help further classify files. Set a standard when naming and renaming files, especially for different versions and editions to facilitate referencing and retrieval.
The final stage is to be self-disciplined enough to sustain what you have accomplished so far. Remember to stick to your system and find ways to continually improve on it. Regularly check for unused files and programs to delete.
Congratulations! You have just learned a tested and proven system that has kept our physical workspaces productive over the last three decades. You are now ready to adapt it to keep your digital space efficient.
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