I have a real problem with saving drafts of things on my desktop, for a number of reasons:

  1. My desktop is stored centrally on the university’s system, so if I log in remotely from my office, it takes an age to load.
  2. I save stuff on my desktop to print, as a draft, to compare, for notes, and then forget about it – so at a later stage I’m scared to delete it, Just. In. Case. (don’t get me started on my Recycle Bin issues)
  3. This then makes me incredibly disorganised, and makes items 1 and 2 worse and worse.
  4. My desktop ends up looking like this:
I will totally, definitely, need all this stuff one day.
I will totally, definitely, need all this stuff one day.

So I’ve now started a “one-in, one-out” policy. Files should be deleted as soon as they’ve served their purpose but in the likely event that this doesn’t happen, I’m forbidding myself from saving any more files there until I remove at least one superfluous file. Which means I have to actually go through past drafts and figure out what they were for and if I still need them (I have NEVER gone through the digital dross and found anything useful. Not once.)

This is just one step towards a more organised life. Digital clutter is just as bad as the physical sort!

N.B. Given that I wrote this post at work, the rule also applies to this file. Email to myself and then delete. No exceptions.

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