February 09, 2013

Posted by Sherri Flemings | File under : , , ,
At work my computer is very organized. My projects are all stored under a projects folder, my tools and shared libraries are kept together, and my desktop is not usually cluttered. I make time between projects to clean out old files and development tools so I can make way for the new stuff. I have a pretty good system... at work.

At home, well, something went terribly wrong. I let things pile up on my desktop, I wasn't diligent about uninstalling things I downloaded for testing. I wanted to change, really, it was driving me crazy, but the task seemed daunting so I ignored it and watched my hard drive fill up slowly over the past 2 years until I finally had to face this mess that is my computer.

I spent a fair bit of time googling, to see how other developers organized their stuff... yet I didn't find anything  that was particularly useful. I find it interesting to learn how colleagues organize their information and tools, and although a lot about organization is up to personal taste, I think there are some best practices that we can learn from each other by sharing what does and doesn't work for various situations. I thought I would start up a series of my ongoing experience to seek the holy grail of computer organization.

I made the decision to reformat my computer and start from scratch. I won't be detailing how to reformat and backup, there are plenty of references on those subjects, but I will talk about the steps I took to prepare for reformatting and how I organized my backups. This series is about the process, the how and why of computer organization.

I have outlined this series into the following articles:
I would love your feedback. Do you struggle with keeping your computer clean? Do you have tips or suggestions? Is there a software tool you use to help you stay organized? 
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2 comments:

  1. I'm crazy excited about this endeavour of yours. My organizational systems always start off well and then spiral into an uncontrolled mess over the course of years. I'm all ears!

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    1. Thanks! I love getting organized... it's the staying organized part that sometimes is a problem. Once the initial series is done, I plan to revisit the state of my computer every few months to see how it's going. I've also got a few simple scripts and tools that are helping out so far, I'll be writing about them soon :)

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