“I am thankful for the most important key in history was invented ... It’s the key to order, sanity, and peace of mind. The key is ‘Delete.’”
Comedian Elayne Boosler’s quote is intended to be humorous but it is a fitting prelude to a serious article about the little-known Clean Out Your Computer Day.
In 2001, the Institute of Business Technology deemed the second Monday in February as the time to do some electronic housekeeping. The fact that COYCD is relatively unknown shouldn’t keep computer users from adhering to the underlying message.
“It is important for employees to participate in Clean Out Your Computer Day because, as we all know, there is only limited space on your machine to keep important files and documents,” said Jonathan Glaze, U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command information technology specialist. “Many times we have employees that fill up the storage on their computers and then they start storing personal files on their organization’s [shared drive].”
AMCOM employees are reminded that the shared drive is intended for documents needed by the organization or office as a whole, not for personal use.
“Another key thing to keep in mind is not only deleting unnecessary files but also organizing the files that you do need to make them easier to find in the future,” Glaze said. For example, create subfolders for a particular year and/or for project name.
Email storage is also a big concern and source of wasted digital space.
“We are allocated a limited amount of storage for emails and now is a good time to clear up some of that space,” Glaze said. “We all have emails that we get on a routine basis that are taking up space in our mailboxes and could be deleted. Take this time to delete any nonbusiness-related emails and to make .pst backups of any emails that pertain to old projects or are older than one year.”
Glaze said this applies to individual files as well as shared files.
Though there are safeguards in place to protect sensitive information and limit its access to those with a legitimate need to know, Glaze said it is still incumbent upon each employee to be good stewards by deleting any files no longer needed on personal and shared drives.
“Most people don’t like to hoard and want to continually remove clutter in their homes; we should treat our computers the same way,” said AMCOM Chief Information Officer Shirley Perkey.
“The key is [not to] make Clean Out Your Computer Day the only day that you work toward this goal,” Glaze said. “Use this day as a jumping off point and make daily strides to accomplish your goal of having a more organized computer and storage locations.”
So mark your calendars: Feb. 8 is the day for digital cleanup.