File have a nasty habit of getting very messy, very quickly, especially if you are a keen downloader, photographer or music buff. If your folders look like the computer equivalent of a teenage girl’s bedroom, take a look at my guide to keeping your files in top condition.
Get rid of the duplicates – this should definitely be step 1 in any re-organization. Duplicate Cleaner is top of my list – it’s fast, free and has all, if not more, of the features of its pay-for cousins.
Protect sensitive data – if you want to prevent your info from falling into the wrong hands, erase any secret files that you no longer need with Freeraser. Now create safe folders for the files you do want to keep with My LockBox.
Get rid of unnecessary folders – use Suction. This pint-sized app will suck the files out of your folders, so it’s prefect if your folder structure has become messed up over time and you want to start over.
Take care of major renaming – Batch File Rename Utility will help you get your file management back on track. It’s perfect for large collections of photos or music and is really flexible, so you’ll have no problem finding a quick and easily-accessible naming convention for your files.
Move blocked and locked files – they’ll only hinder your spring cleaning, so try using Unlocker Portable to shift them out of the way. If you get too enthusiastic while organizing, Recuva is your best option to recover deleted files.
By now, your files and folders should be model examples. Keep them that way by installing a few apps that will allow you to handle your file management like a pro. Q-Dir is a file explorer that’s a step up from Windows Explorer – it gives you considerably more control over your files, and will even let you color-code them, which I find really helpful.
Last but not least, help yourself find all these beautifully managed folders Google Desktop is a powerful search utility. It’s as user-friendly as Google’s other products and if you’re still struggling with pre-Vista search, it’s a revelation.