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Officiency in the Media

Organize Your Computer

by Elizabeth Wells and Melinda Page

Mark Lund

Real Simple Magazine
Real Simple, www.realsimple.com
March 2006

You finally have your home office arranged just the way you want it: a place for every paper clip and every paper clip in its place. But your computer screen is another story. Icons crowd the desktop, your e-mail in-box is bursting at its virtual seams, and you can’t find anything. K. J. McCorry, author of Organize Your Work Day in No Time (Que Publishing, $17, www.amazon.com), offers these simple tips for keeping your computer screen tidy.

  • Save your desktop for files that need immediate attention. Stash everything else — including correspondence, spreadsheets, and that funny video your mom sent — in an appropriate folder on the hard drive, or just delete it.

  • When answering e-mail, rename any messages you save so that subject lines clearly convey the contents (no more “Re: Re: Fwd:”).

  • Think in an “un-English” manner when naming documents and photos. For instance, instead of calling something “Letter to Janet,” label it as “Janet_letter_Nov 3 2005.”

  • When you open a folder or a directory, the files are generally sorted in alphanumeric order. If you place an underscore (_) at the beginning of a file name, it will float to the top of the list. (No more scrolling to find ToDoToday.doc.)