Are you one of those people who has every file on your computer’s desktop? And are they by chance all unhelpfully named “document1,” “document2,” “document3”? More to the point, when you go to find it, you think, “I know it’s here somewhere?” Well then, read on to learn how to organize your computer files.
Naming your file for future access is key, and the easiest way to do so is either when creating or downloading a file.
If your files need to be renamed:
On a Mac, click on the file name until it is highlighted. (Don’t double click right away or it will open the file.) Then type in the new name and press enter.
In Windows, right click on the file name, select Rename, type in the new name, and press enter.
To create and name folders.
On a Mac, be in the Finder, and then in the window, or folder, you want the new folder to reside. Go up to the menu bar and click on File and drag your cursor to New Folder. A folder will appear and be called, Untitled folder. Click once and the words will be highlighted. Now type in the folder name and press enter.
In Windows, right click inside the folder or desktop where you want the new folder to be. Choose Folder. A new folder will appear, enter the name and press enter.
Folders can be nested inside one another. This is where it becomes crucial to name your files and folders to represent exactly what they entail and to follow the naming convention you adopt.
For example, in your Documents folder, you may have a folder called House. In that folder you may have a Home Repairs folder, which contains documents of saved invoices and downloaded maintenance manuals. Naming each of the invoices and manuals according to what they represent will allow you to locate that document when you need it the most … and without panicking.
Still can’t find what you need? Here is how to search on a Mac (Spotlight) and Windows (search feature on taskbar)
On a Mac, to use Spotlight, which is available on any screen, look for a magnifying icon located in the top right-hand corner, and type in the file name to search on your computer. Spotlight can also search the web.
You can also search for a file by using the search box in your Mac’s Finder to search for a file either within that folder, or your entire computer.
In Windows, via the taskbar, in the search bar located on the left side of your taskbar, next to the Windows button, type in the name of the file or document you are searching for. When the search results appear, click on the file or document that matches your search name.
To simplify both your professional and personal life, the importance of naming a file cannot be overstated. You may want to devise a naming convention to keep files and folder names consistent, and therefore, easier to find.