If you're like most people, your computer is probably a disorganized mess of digital files.
It's time to take stock of everything you purchased, downloaded or saved to your hard drive last year.
You might just be shocked to discover how much money is hiding in your files!
You may also be losing valuable time (and money!) if you feel overwhelmed every time you sit down to your computer. With multiple tabs & browsers open, files all over the place, and no real starting point or direction - just how productive are you?
Ideally, while you're reviewing your current file structure and going through your hard drive, you'll set up a system to avoid this "digital mess" in the future. Everything should have it's place!
I'll share how I organize my own files (and would love to hear how you do as well), and I'll explain the money hiding on your hard drive - so you can find it...
Rules & Systems For Organization
I have a rule of thumb about purchasing & downloading products: "Only buy what you need right now, to achieve the one thing you're working on right now. Period."
When I do purchase a guide or some other type of product, or even download something free, I make it a point to read it immediately - and implement as I study.
Most of us learn best hands-on, applying what we learn as we go.
It's totally pointless to read a how-to guide, and NOT implement what you're learning. That makes your purchase an expense… instead of an investment.
My rule is to get an ROI (Return on Investment) as quickly as possible! Even if it's a free guide I'm reading, I fully intend to get a return on the time invested.
That said, we're all guilty of buying things that end up collecting dust on our hard drive, that we either set aside for later - or get distracted and forget about altogether.
I'm sure you can relate...
It's Time To Do Some Digital Organizing!
You likely have a good number of reports, courses, products, etc that you have downloaded over the past year or so. I'm very "out of sight out of mind" myself, so I like to keep my priority work files in a very visible place.
I have a folder on my desktop for "Work" and inside that folder I have a folder for each niche or project I am working on. I also have a folder labeled "Study" for tutorials & guides. Inside each folder are more folders - by topic or file type.
Once you have a structure set up, you can place your files & downloads in the appropriate folders and keep things neatly organized from that point forward.
You also need a solid, secure Online Data Backup Service which regularly backs up your files and your file structure. Open that link in a new window to find out why.
Notes, Ideas & "Stacks"
I've been in business 16 years as of next month, and up until last year I was "hooked on paper." Yes, even with a computer in front of me all those years! Notebooks, legal pads, post-it notes, scraps of paper I wrote ideas on - you name it.
These ultimately became "stacks" on my desk and all around my home office. I'm sure if I do some digging I could find notes dating all the way back to 1997. LOL.
Then... in stepped Evernote. It's free, cross-compatible, and will sync across every device or computer you use. Perfect! I gathered all of my (current) notes and papers and put them all into Evernote - into neatly organized Notebooks, labeled by topic/project. If you haven't done this yet, I HIGHLY recommend it. It has improved my productivity and efficiency dramatically!
I also have a file in Evernote labeled "links" where I put links to every tab or page I don't need to complete the ONE thing I am working on at the moment. This minimizes the number of tabs and windows open on my computer, which greatly improves focus and minimizes that dreaded feeling of overwhelm.
Now my desk space is clear, my computer desktop is neat, and my browser is only showing me what I need to work on at any given time. Nice.
The Money Hiding On Your Hard Drive...
If you get organized and start running a more "minimalist" system, you'll experience increased productivity and start earning more money when you sit down to your computer to work. That's a straight up fact. It's working for me!
But in addition to that, you likely have tons of money-makers hiding on your hard drive. Once you start organizing all of those files, take note of everything you have. You likely have reports, guides, products, notes & ideas, PLR content, etc.
Prioritize those files according to what's most important to YOUR online business right now, and dig in. Choose a guide you downloaded and neglected... and READ it.
Be sure to implement what you learn every step of the way. That way you're getting the quickest possible return for the time invested.
For example, maybe you downloaded List Building For Bloggers last year, but did you read it? And if you did, did you implement all of the great advice Phil shared?
If you didn't, it was a wasted expense. If you did, then you should be seeing a very nice return already. Fortunately, you can turn any of your past "expenses" into very nice investments... just by applying what you learn.
One of the things I discovered while doing my own "digital organizing" is that I still had a lot of PLR Content on my hard drive that I purchased and hadn't used yet...
PLR stands for Private Label Rights, and it's something I use quite a bit - along with other content creation resources. It's a bit controversial. There's a great discussion about it here on my blog in a post titled Should You Avoid PLR? If you haven't read that yet, check it out. I share live examples of how & where I use PLR Content, and tips for making the most of it.
If you have a lot of PLR on your hard drive like I do, I highly recommend Peggy Baron's guide on How to Re-Write PLR Content so that it's both Google and Kindle friendly. It even comes with a handy tip sheet for quick re-writes, and a bonus guide on creating opt-in incentives using PLR you've downloaded. Good stuff!
I'm using her guide myself to motivate me to make the most of my PLR investment (so it's not just an "expense" and collecting virtual dust). Working with an outline - implementing as I read - is much easier than thumbing through it all on my own!
NOW Is The Time
This is a great time to do some digital organizing and really make the most out of all the brilliant ideas you jotted down - and all of the products, tutorials and guides you downloaded over the last year.
Set aside some time and make it a point to turn all those ideas, downloads & expenses... into profitable investments.
p.s. I'd love to hear how you organize your files, or any "rules" you have in place to make the most of your downloads. Leave a comment below- let the discussion begin!