COMPUTER 101–How to manage computer files

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

How to manage computer files
Think of your computer as a complete office, whether it be home or business. The software does the work that you tell it to do. Your built-in filing cabinet tries to keep your data organized, yet we humans often tend to get around to putting things in the appropriate and most convenient place for us. Thus, eventually we have a mess. For example, my clothes closet is like a museum of years of lost style and sizes. I am using this at-home time to get it together. Oh well, I’ll stick to your computer for now.
I am making some assumptions, so bear with me. If you are working on a PC, you have a task bar at the bottom of your screen that runs the length of the monitor. The right side has start up shortcuts and the left have shortcuts to apps you use most often. You should have a yellow icon with a blue bottom clip holding these folders together. This is referred to as your File Explorer (aka…your filing cabinet). This is where all your files and folders are held.
There are four main drawers in this virtual cabinet. They are named Documents, Videos, Pictures, and Music. Over the years Microsoft has added some extra locations but they are not the main filing system for your own creations. When you type a document, the intuitive computer wants to save each one to the documents folder. The other categories attempt to help you save things in the same manner. This is the start of the mess. Over time you have perhaps hundreds or thousands of documents. The same is true with all those pictures you took over the years.

Let’s get organized
Open the documents folder in the File Explorer. By default, your files are alphabetized and dated and can be viewed that way if you go up to the top of the screen and choose View and then Details. Now you have columns of sortable files. This action applies to all four of your categories. Let’s say you have 50 separate documents that are recipes. Great. Go back up to the top of the documents folder. We are going to make a new sub-folder right in this master folder. Tap on “new folder” and then type in Recipes. Tap Enter. This sets the folder in place. Currently it is an empty sub-folder within the documents master folder. Select one or more of your recipes (don’t open it; just tap once to highlight it). Now tap on “cut” at the top of the screen. Double click the folder called Recipes to open it. Select “paste” and the selected files will be moved from the long list of documents to the sub-folder. Got it? There are many more ways to accomplish this, but it is best to stick to one manner for now.
Use this method to create new sub-folders within each main category, such as Pictures, and organize the files there in your new sub-folders. Just to be a bit confusing, you can nest as many sub-folders inside each other as you want to keep things organized. In my Pictures main folder, I have a sub folder named for each year then sub-folders for each month inside the year folder and perhaps another sub-folder that is named an event. Now is when visuals would be wonderful to explain this. Need assistance? Give me a call, text, or email. I love getting things organized. I am telling myself to lock myself in my closet and get that done. Oh, well.

Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes
New classes with be held throughout 2020 as soon as the center reopens. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information. Included will be Windows 10 Computers Basics, Facebook, Microsoft Word, Google Docs and iPhone/iPad. If you have a topic and know some folks who are interested, please call the Senior Center and ask for
Susan Jenelle (419-885-3913).
Limited seating is filling fast so call ASAP to reserve your spot. We are considering an Excel Club. Interested? Call the SSC.

I make house calls (I enter with a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades and general software or hardware issues. I can be your resident “Geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570. Do not forget to sign up for my free newsletter at Subscribers will get a copy of this article plus added hints, tips, and trusted/valuable web-links.

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to
or call her for assistance at 419-318-9112.
Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text or email away.

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