Recent technological advances sure have made people’s lives easier and even better. What used to take up more office/room space can now be confined inside the laptop, PC, smartphones and similar gadgets which take only little spaces in a room. Photos, documents, music albums, books, games, and even artworks become just clicks away; no more rummaging through boxes to look for old photos and files, no more mounds of paper prints, no more visual muddle. However, there’s a hitch in everything. Aside from the apparent disadvantage of not being able to actually hold these files by the hand, they create a commonly ignored but seemingly serious dilemma–the digital clutter.Everyone who has gotten himself into the technological world encounters this problem. Just yesterday, I spent almost all day cleaning up/organizing the disk drives of my laptop, even my external hard drive where I back up my important files. This, in my opinion, is quite a rigorous job. When we’re in a hurry, we save the files we create wherever it’s convenient, in my case, the desktop or documents folder. I encounter no problem regarding this if I get back to the file at once since I’m still able to recall where I put it or what file name I saved it under. The problem comes after a certain amount of time in this routine when I see files and folders in every corner of the desktop or documents folder window screen-submissions, files for uploads, pdf downloads used for research, photos taken from the internet, more than half a dozen folders under various names that all meant “to sort”, and more. Had it been in an actual room, it needs serious organizing and cleaning up.Of course, such a situation can be avoided, but urgent situations are also inevitable. Take doing online research for instance; sometimes we only have very limited time on the internet that we have to download PDF files and copy+paste online resources in a jiffy, we may not be able to change the file names of downloaded files at once, or save documents under appropriate names and in the right places. I had this experience during my thesis research phase, I downloaded and saved lots of documents and chucked it in a desktop folder named “THESIS”. Yes, I successfully put it in one folder, but it’s inside that folder where the actual dilemma starts. During times like this, I often wonder if I’d prefer a cluttered room with all the readings within my reach or a messy computer screen full of teeny thumbnailed files.What I do to cope with this? The trick is with the date.Photos.I arrange photos by date and put them in folders much like storing printed photos in labeled boxes.1. I create a folder named with the year (e.g., 2013).
2. Under the year folder, I create the months folder with the month’s order number prior to the name (e.g., 01_January).
3. I make the folders of the dates of days I have photos taken, along with the date I assign a name for the particular activity of the day (e.g., 01_New Year with my family).I got this from my sorority sis, although she eventually deleted her old photos. I’ve been doing this to my photos since 2008. This way, I easily find my way back to the photos I want to view randomly or purposefully. Doing this has also helped me many times to remember dates of particular activities in the past.Videos.I basically organize my videos the same way I do with my photos, only slightly different. I skip the third step for the videos since I don’t take many videos everyday. Instead, I name my videos with the date before the actual video title (e.g., 01-01-13_New Year’s Fireworks).School files.Back in college, I used to arrange my files by subjects and by semester. The thesis year was an exception since there was way too many files and it was too tiring to locate the folders.1. I create the folder for the academic year (e.g., AY 12-13)
2. I create the folder for the semester (e.g., 1st Sem)
3. Under this folder, I create folders for the subjects (e.g., Ar146)And then I plunk the files in respective folders.For other files, I haven’t really looked into them yet. Of course, for other projects I also put them in the folder with the date I created them, and when I revise them I save them in the folder with the date I made the revision. This way I can track my progress.A clean and organized workspace gives a person peace of mind. A clear mind promotes faster and more efficient work. A happy work condition promotes progress.