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Lean Digital Storage as the New Lifestyle

After the popularity of ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo‘ on Netlix, people become very obsessed with organizing and tidying up. Fortunately, me and my sister are raised up by our mom who is naturally neat. Sometimes extremely too neat. My mom hires two maids to clean our house everyday. She watches their work meticulously, if anything does not meet her hygiene standard, she will ask them to redo it. She changes our bed sheet weekly; put each stuffs on categorized compartments; she also discovered the method to remove stain on the marble that is quiet difficult more me to clean. Thanks to her, our house is always clean and comfortable. For me, it is not difficult to follow Marie Kondo. I just need to apply my mom’s habit. The only different that my mom never sells her stuffs although it are no longer used. She believes in long term investment. She is planning to keep it to her granddaughter or grandnephews.

Because her likeliness to my mom, I thought Marie Kondo was overrated. Basically her method is just my mom’s daily cleaning protocol. However, I must admit that the impact is positive. Suddenly there are so many people start selling their used items to garage sell or second-hand shop. There are lot of books sold to teach people on cleaning and tidying up as a pleasure. Its title is The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living. I remember even its cover design looks simple, neat and bring happiness visually.

Unfortunately, neither Marie Kondo or The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living mention anything about cleaning up their PC desktop. I am always bothered by the appearance of desktop PC with a lot of shortcut of software, folder, and files. First, it looks horribly unorganized, you might have difficulty on searching your work like searching a jeans under the pile of used clothes. If this is happening often, you do not realize, it impacts to the quality of your productivity. Second, it is prone to data loss. Files that are kept in desktop is saved on RAM. It is just a temporary memory storage which means, once your PC is shut down, you will loss your data entirely forever.

I know some people have the comfort on working in the messy PC. I do not force you if that kind of lifestyle is easier for you to articulate. But in my opinion, when you work in  a team, you should not confuse your teammates with a confusing file management. A neat PC arrangement will improve productivity and avoid mistakes. My method is not 100% perfect and applicable to anyone. But I hope, this post can inspire you not to forget tidying up your PC too. Working in engineering requires me to work in front of computer daily. It is important for me to make arrangement, so my computer becomes a poka-yoke work medium.

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10 X 3 Rule

I limit maximum 3 columns and 10 rows of shortcut on my desktop. It will be the place where contains software I use regularly and temporary files. Afterwards, I move the files to hard-disk and put into the folder I have categorized. Even that, desktop is the location of my second important software. My primary software are located on my taskbar. For the taskbar itself, I limit myself for not having more than 10 shortcuts. Additional point, I use neutral background such as scenery that is not too distracting, so I do not feel stressed immediately once I turn on my PC and able to focus directly to the on-going job.

Data(D:) as my Central Storage

Data(D:) is my home for my work. I number the folder and categorize them. I tried not to reach more than 10 categories on the main folder. For the sub-folder and files inside those folder, I make another arrangement, which I explain on the next section.


This is my format on saving my programming work. It is really helpful when I need to archive the past work and compare with the current work. Sometimes I share this format with my team, so in case of any improvement, they also do not suffer difficulty on searching the file they need.

Start Delete Spam and Unsubscribe

One day, I figured my drive capacity is over limit. When I checked, I just realized there are a lot of spam coming from website I absentmindedly agree to make subscription from 2011. That my mail contains more than 20000 spam. Since then, I start deleting unimportant emails and flag the important emails sent from my friends and my family. Also start to stop the subscriptions.

So those are my basic starts on achieving a lean digital storage. I still have more challenge such as combining files from other people that are named randomly. How about you? do you have better way to achieve? I would like to know!

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