I have a new computer coming in a few weeks and each time I get a new computer I think I am going to get a little bit better organized. Mostly it works just never as much as I want it to.

This time I am trying to clean up some of the electronic noise I have around me. I am curious as to what habits other people use for some of these things.

1. Email.

Are you a tosser or a keeper?  I’ve got mail going back 10 years, which is really bad. Most of it did not need to be saved. I’m in the process now of going through a few old email boxes every night and tossing all the old stuff that really shouldn’t be saved.

I do have the habit of using my email boxes as a file system so I try to have the same names on mailbox folders as I do on the folders in my documents folder or in my physical file cabinets.

I use Outlook for my email and I am learning how to leverage that program for better time management. For instance, the journal function within Outlook will automatically record each time I open and close a file. Which means I can write a book and know how many hours/weeks/months/years I spent on that part of the project. Which may or may not be a good thing.

2. Documents folder on my computer.

As I said, I have the file names here mimic my mailbox folders and my physical file cabinet. One trouble I seem to be having is that I have way too many folders. I don’t know any way around that.

3. Digital photos.

I am always afraid of losing a photo and as a result I sometimes end up with 2 or 3 three copies of the same picture. This happens a lot when I am saving inspiration pictures for the house or garden.

I have to clean up the mess from the past so I have started just dumping things into general folders (house, yard, family, etc) and will have to slowly sort through them and get rid of the duplicates. But I am not sure how to keep myself from getting into the same mess in the future.

How do you organize and keep track of your digital photos?