Lifehacker the bookTable of Contents → Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Organize Your Stuff

Every day you add to a personal library of stuff on your computer's hard drive and in your physical workspace--email, business cards, bookmarks, receipts, documents, news items, magazine clippings, photos, and files. The more organized you keep your personal information library--which represents hours of your work and life--the faster you'll be able to draw from it and act on it in the future.

Hack 52
Organize "My Documents"

"If you've had a computer for any length of time you know that your documents folder gets disorganized really fast. If your current file organization system works for you, congratulations. But if you frequently find yourself letting files clutter your computer's desktop, or if you spend time arranging files in a deep, complicated hierarchy of folders, it's time for a revamp."

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Hack 53
Instantly Retrieve Files from Your Hard Drive

"Every minute you spend on your computer, you're collecting more and more data, documents, and information to do your job and get on with your life. Instant retrieval of the bit or byte that you need right this very second is an essential requirement in the digital age."

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Hack 54
Overhaul Your Filing Cabinet

"One of the main clutter culprits in most offices is the To File pile. Often this heap spontaneously appears right on top of or next to the filing cabinet, which is pretty silly. Instead of adding stuff to the pile, why wouldn't you just file it? The reason is generally an unworkable, messy, overflowing file cabinet."

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Hack 55
Choose Secure, Memorable Passwords

"A good password is easy for you to remember and hard for others to guess."

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Hack 56
Securely Track Your Passwords

"Sometimes you just have to write down a password to remember it. Don't do it where others can read it, like on a Post-It note or in an easy-to-read text file or Word document. You can keep a secure and searchable database of those hard-to-remember passwords using free, open source software."

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Hack 57
Tag Your Bookmarks

"The web gets bigger every day, and so does your bookmark list. Stores your bookmarks online and associate keywords (called tags) to each for easy retrieval."

Hack 58
Encrypt Your Data

"Everyone has some files the person would like to protect from intruders or others who have access to one's computer."

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Hack 59
Design Your Own Planner

"There are lots of good reasons to ditch your expensive, electronic PDA for a paper-based planner system: cost, portability, and maintenance, to name a few. Paper-based planners never run out of battery juice or memory; they never crash or refuse to work the way you expect."