January is “Get Organized Month” – Tech Edition

Picture a vast black hole. Now envision a stack of papers the size of the White House being sucked into the swirling depths of that hole. That is what it’s like to be looking for a file on my laptop from Freshman year or a specific email in my Gmail account.

If this is sounding familiar, it may be time to get tech-organized.  There are plenty of downloadable solutions out there for your organization needs, like Evernote, but putting your existing files in order is a good measure to take as well. Even if your laptop and other devices are fairly ordered we’ve got a few tips and one download worthy app to help you cut out some of the e-clutter and always stay on top of things.

Files that are being used are often transported from your laptop to other computers and devices can end up existing in various states of being updated, especially if you are doing group work. Another issue is that sometimes if you’re in a rush you just save document s to a generic My Documents folder, making the file hard to find later.

One simple solution is to use the Google drive, available to anyone with a Gmail account. I personally am not a fan of this application because it’s very slow and you lose old versions of documents you’ve been working on. One Download-Worthy solution is using the Memory Stick App (free) for iPhones, iPod Touch, or iPad. The Memory Stick App allows you to copy files between your computer and your devices through iTunes. Basically, it functions exactly like a memory stick that you will always remember to bring with you. Files you are currently working on will be available on the go so you can make create or make quick edits to text files. The files on your computer are then updated through the cloud and vice-versa. Now you can stop emailing yourself 100 different versions of that essay—all with the same filename.

E-Mail is easily the worst offender when it comes to digital clutter. For accounts that get a ton of unnecessary emails I recommend one of two options:
1. Utilize email filters. This is a good way to direct mail from unwanted senders straight to the trash. Geeksugar has a step-by-step tutorial for Gmail here.
2. Give your inbox a top to bottom scrub with the Mashable E-mail Master Cleanse (but I do recommend marking emails unread instead of deleting them so you don’t lose anything important!)

Back Up your files as often as possible- speaking of not wanting to lose anything important! In the very least, back-up important things from this semester by saving them to the Google Drive or in some other cloud device (i.e. Dropbox). Last year my laptop got stolen while I was in the middle of working on a 10-page paper about the Jewish Diaspora. Not exactly a topic I wanted to cover twice! I also lost all my pictures from that semester and all my homework assignments from that semester— a bummer when it came time to study for finals. Case in point, back those thangs up.

Now that you’re inbox is clean and your files are living happily in the cloud, you’ve got plenty of time to play app games and read on your Nook. You’re welcome.

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