One thing I’ve added to better organization is keeping my software installers up to date.
How many of you re-install your operating system on a regular basis, or perhaps have someone around to do it for you? I only do it when things get so bad I have no choice.
Things change so darn fast and my computer is like a 16-lane expressway in rush hour. Changes in organization, incomplete projects, abandoned projects, 50 unanswered emails? How well is this present arrangement serving what I’m presently doing, planning to do? And gee whiz, how did all this junk get in here?
Everyday I try to knock at least one thing off the long list on my bulletin board. When I add one thing, I try to knock off two. It sounds logical. At that rate I should get to the bottom someday. How many years I’ve had this theory I can’t remember.
So, on the path to better organization, I made it back around to my Installers folder. I keep three of them; software-CD, software-free, software-purchased. Somewhere along the road of operating system re-installations, it occurred to me that it would make good sense to keep a folder of installers instead of re-downloading them every time, so that’s what I do.
Once a month I whiz through there and download updated versions of all the programs I have and want to keep. If I’m forced into a re-installation through catastrophic failure it makes it quite a bit easier. If I can see it coming, it’s easier if I have my accustomed programs ready to go. At the same time I prune out all the junk I’ve tried and don’t want anymore.
Some installer files are somewhat obscurely named. It’s a good idea to drop each of these into a folder with a name that tells you what it actually is.
I also keep a sub-folder in there for the Portables. Yesterday, I spent the entire day re-doing my PortableApps. The reason it took me the entire day is that I had purchased a new flash-drive. A 4 GB Sandisk, retractable with key-ring instead of neck strap, the whole nine yards, except titanium built to withstand the weight of a small car, all at an irresistibly low price.
I also keep copies of all the important CD software I have because you just never know when a CD will go bad. My operating system disk, for instance – toast, I found out today. Good thing I have a spare. I put these into zip files to save on space.
(This is also a good time to make sure you have all your serial numbers in a handy place like KeePass.) Just insert a disk, right-click and click Open instead of letting it auto-run. Copy all that to a folder and zip it up. Voilà, extra copy.
Back all this up to your external-drive, or Mozy or wherever you back things up to. You do back up your data, don’t you … ?