Think back to the days when we had to store everything locally on our computers. Thumb drives and external hard drives helped, but it was cumbersome.
Today, everything syncs right to cloud storage. Is it safe to store personal documents like your ID, financial info, or medical files in the cloud? Tap or click for the answer.
You might use the free Google Drive account that comes with Gmail. It fills up fast. Tap or click for tricks to free up some space.
Your cloud storage can quickly become a disorganized mess. Set aside a little time and clean it up. You’ll thank me later when you can tap on the exact file you want.
Folders are your friend
Go back to basics. It would help if you created folders with names that make sense. Your docs may automatically get pulled into folders, but that's not good enough.
Start by creating general folders based on the format of each file, including photos, documents, music clips, and videos. Place all the videos into one folder, Excel docs into another folder, and so on.
Use these keyboard shortcuts to make the job go faster.
To select files grouped together: Hold Shift and select the first and last item. This highlights those two and everything in between.
To select files grouped apart: Hit Ctrl and then click on each individual file.
Then, drag the files to their designated folder. Now that you sorted the folders logically, it’s time to get a little more into the weeds.
ORGANIZATION MEETS SECURITY: How to clean up your smartphone apps the right way
Second, create subfolders
It’s not enough to dump everything into one general folder based on format. Consider that your starting point. Next, distinguish between the content of those files. Let’s say you’ve separated your photos from everything else.
Now that you're in your Photos folder, create separate subfolders dedicated to vacations, birthdays, pets, or whatever makes sense for you. You want to put everything in a specific place, so it's easy to hunt down later.
The same goes for documents. If you're digitally storing financial records to make tax season more accessible, create subfolders for each year. Your future self will thank you.
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Keep going until you have made all your folders as specific as possible
While you're working on this, create a folder naming system. Keep it consistent so you don't get confused down the line. In the tax example above, you could name one folder "2021_Taxes." Keep the format with the year first and the underscore to keep everything tidy.
The same goes for your photos. Maybe your folder flow looks like this: Photos > Pets > Abby. I know all my pictures of my golden retriever, Abby, go right in that folder.
Your phone's photo library is good for more than just selfies and pictures of food for Instagram. Your life will be better organized with a handful of images at your fingertips. These can make travel more manageable or even help you out in an emergency.
Tap or click for the best ways to store your Covid vaccination card to your license plate on your phone while you’re thinking about it. They’ll really save you some trouble down the line.
What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim's national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television, or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim's free podcasts.
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com.