Organizing My Phone and Computer

by - 8/08/2018

101 in 1001 #70. Organize my computer and phone files, photos, etc. || Completed August 8, 2018

I've had my laptop since 2009, when I graduated high school. It was my birthday/graduation present as I headed into college, and it has served me well for these last 9 years. It's starting to slow down a smidge, but given that now I really just surf the internet and write blog posts on it, it still functions well enough to do what I want. 

The one problem? I haven't organized my files since I got it.

In the rush of writing papers last minute (as I was prone to do), and downloading dumb memes off the internet, I just dumped things on my desktop or kept them in my downloads folder. Same goes for my phone. I didn't spend time keeping my photos organized, or deleting duplicates, or going through old apps that I didn't use. I hated the clutter, but I just ignored it most of the time. Until I put it on my list, and I started to feel motivated to do something about it. 

I really should've taken a before screenshot (I never learn, do I?) but this is what my desktop looks like now! I had so many random files just dumped on the desktop, hundreds of weird random things in my downloads folder, and tons of old files from school that I really didn't need anymore. I ended up clearing out about 30GB of space on my computer! Kinda crazy, and it's definitely running a little faster now!

As part of this process I also wanted to tackle my photos. I organized my old photos into some folders and deleted a bunch of random ones I had accumulated over the years for really no reason. I was getting ready to go through each of my 4,000+ photos on my phone, when I heard about an app that might help me out. 

I listen to a podcast called Happier, hosted by Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. On the podcast they often discuss life hacks to make your life easier and happier. Some of things they talk about are a little trivial, but they mentioned the Flic app right when I needed it! It's basically an app that helps you go through your photos and delete them quickly. It has a swipe feature (much like Tinder-- or so I'm told, I've never used it. ;) which allows you to quickly go through your photos from each month and swipe left to delete and swipe right to keep. 

One thing that happens a lot with having an active 2 year old is I end up taking 20 similar pictures to get a good shot, and then I really end up only having one good one. It feels daunting to choose the best one, but for some reason this app made the process really easy! I ended up deleting over 1,000 photos from my phone and only kept ones I really loved. I shelled out $2.00 for the premium app because the free version limited the time on the app. It was worth every penny! Now at the end of each month I get a reminder to go through my photos again and it's so easy!

This is what it looks like once you've gone through each month. So pleasing. :)

Another thing Apple just came out with that's been super handy in keeping my photos organized is the Photos app on the Mac. It now just automatically syncs my phone photos to my computer so I don't have to worry about sending them to myself; they're just already there! You can also search by date, location, or even by person (they have face recognition!) so I don't really feel the need to put my photos in specific albums. This basically did the job for me.

Other items of note I did during this organizing process:
  • Jim and I put all our passwords together on a secure app so we can access them from anywhere. They used to be on the sticky notes on my laptop... which was great, when you were using the laptop. Not helpful anywhere else. :)
  • I went through every single app on my phone and deleted ones I never use, and also put everything into folders.
  • Organized all my notes on my phone into folders
  • Organized all my school files on my computer that I wanted to keep
And that's it! This was a reallllllly satisfying process and kinda nerdy but I've been so happy with the results. It weirdly feels like a weight off my shoulders.

Happy Wednesday.

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