Computers can slow down over time, and the best thing to do as designers (or general users) is to keep the darn things in good shape. This means cleaning up your digital work area just as you would your desk. This video talks about the main areas you need to keep tidy as a web designer:
These areas include:
- Cleaning up your Adobe apps
- Uninstall other unused programs
- Unsync Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive folders you no longer use. They’ll stay on your account, so you will effectively have archived them. Then remove them once all is safe.
- Get to Inbox zero (if possible) and empty your trash.
- Run defrag on your machine.
- If you have security software, run the full scans you always put off.
Cleaning up Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) Apps
Simply uninstall whatever program you’re not using at the moment (i.e. Illustrator) using the Adobe CC app interface. It takes moments to install or uninstall even the largest programs, and it won’t delete your files. The only thing being removed is the program itself. It will disassociate your files (meaning if you double click a file it won’t know what to open it with), but as soon as you reinstall it, those files will work again.
For example, I regularly install and uninstall InDesign because I don’t use it year-round.
Uninstall Other Unused Programs
Uninstalling other non-Adobe apps that you’re not using will free up a crazy amount of space. For example, if you’re like me and installed the Evernote Windows app on your machine, as well as the regular Desktop app, but always use the web version, there’s not really a reason for the other two to be on your computer, is there – Wendy.
I also found a bunch of old games I’ve installed over the past few YEARS. Bye bye WoW. I will miss you.
Unsync DropBox (or whichever backup-to-the-cloud system you have)
First, make sure you’re doing it in a way that won’t also delete it off the cloud, but yeah, there’s no reason to have the last 3 years’ worth of design work on your computer. Keep the recent(ish) stuff, and delete the rest once you’ve got your backups. It’s accessible enough being Dropbox’s problem.
Get to Inbox Zero
I know this sounds impossible, but we’re cleaning house here. Put as much as you can in the trash and then empty it. Yes it will be gone forever, but we want to get rid of as much as is realistic here. Don’t throw out client emails that might bite you in the rear later. CYA people. Once you can empty the folder, do it. It’ll reduce your email program’s footprint, which is the whole goal.
Defragment and Optimize Your Drives
Running “defrag” on your main drive will improve it’s ability to deliver files to you in a quick fashion. Basically it’s putting all the fragments of files from all over your drive into one nice streamlined place (digitally – it’s not changing up where they are located on your file system, just how the hard drive stores them).
Run Security Software
While we’re at it we’ll check for any nasty viruses floating around. Chances are low you’ll have one if you have a program like Norton’s installed, but still do the Full Scan when you’re ready to shut down for the day. You probably don’t do it as often as you should and it’ll leave you with a clean slate tomorrow morning.
And that’s it. It’s not quick, but, it does make a difference. It’s worth doing for the sake of all the other hours you have to spend in front of the screen. May as well make it as least painful as possible, right?
Leave me a comment about how you keep your workspace happy. Like and Subscribe and I’ll see you all next time!
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