Find information faster: Organize your computer

........Find information faster: Organize your computer

If you've been using your computer for more than 6 months, it's probably safe to say that you don't need all the files and email messages stored there. When left untreated too long, an unorganized computer will perform slower and make it more difficult for you to find the information you need. If that's the case, it's a great time to make sure your computer is cleaned up and ready to roll for your next upcoming project or assignment.

Clear out your old, unnecessary files.

So how long should you keep old files on your hard drive? It's kind of like cleaning out a closet? if you haven't used a particular file (or sweater) in a year, you're pretty safe storing it somewhere else. How can you tell how old a file is? Rest your mouse cursor over the file to see when it was last modified. For more information right-click the file, and choose Properties. You can see when the file was created, last modified it, and most recently accessed. If a file is old, not important, and hasn't been accessed in more than 6 months, it might be time to clear it out or move it to allocation to be advised by the ICT Unit
You're the best judge to determine which files to keep, but here is a list of items you might want to consider saving:
•Old Project-related files
•Plans you could leverage for future projects
•Important email messages (PST)
•Old Budget Information…….etc etc.

Back up important files.
The next step is to make sure that the old files are backed up. (We are currently backing up data for all the laptops in campus. For the desktops, we are in the process of acquiring additional storage and come next year we shall have all our data backed up on our servers). For your most important files, such as project files, key presentations, or large emails, you'll rest a lot easier if you have a backup copy stored safely away from your computer. This helps in recovering your data should you happen to lose your computer or if it should fail.
For more information on back up click here.

Clean out your email.
Do you have a system for weeding out and organizing your old email messages? Here are a few quick ideas for taming your Inbox and getting ready to handle those messages in the months to come:
•Create folders to store messages according to sender, topic, or date.
•Create email rules to file and manage your messages automatically. For example, you can create a rule to send all messages from your boss to a special folder.
•Go through your Sent folder in Outlook in and delete/archive items you no longer need (especially those with large file attachments).
•If you're sure you no longer need email you've deleted, empty the folder that contains it.

Organize and clear out your Internet files
With the new technology we all want to learn more and more every day. This being the case we've been doing a lot of Web searching and your Internet Explorer Favorites folder may be bursting at the seams. It could probably use some weeding out and organizing. To organize your Favorites in Internet Explorer, on the Favorites menu, click Organize Favorites.
While your tending to your Favorites folder there's some additional clean up that's easy to do. Start Internet Explorer and on the Tools menu click Internet Options. In the General tab of the Internet Options dialog box, you have two cleanup choices. These steps can help reduce some unnecessary files on your computer.
1.In the Temporary Internet files section, click Delete Files to remove all temporary files. (You can also elect to remove all offline content downloaded from sites you've visited.)
2.In the History section, click Clear History to remove the list of sites you've previously visited. Also make sure that you have the Days to keep pages in history: set to where you would like it.

For any assistance with the above please contact the respective ICT Helpdesks as follows
ILRI Kenya: or ext 3253; ICRAF: or ext 4207; ILRI Addis: or ext 2180
For any comments, a topic that you’d like us to feature or an ICT question you’d like addressed through this forum, kindly send an email to or simply reply to this email.