Most people starting an online home business do so while working a full-time job, and therefore being organized will help you make maximum use of the few hours a day that you have to dedicate to your work at a home internet business. Getting and keeping the contents of your computer organized will save you heaps of time, and it is a great idea to set up a good filing system so that you do not waste time looking for web addresses, passwords, files, ebooks, emails, images, etc. Suppose you are starting an online home business that involves joining a few affiliate programs. In that case, you will have many important information and emails coming in that you will need to refer to. Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you have saved a certain file or bookmarked an important web address and being unable to find it.
Firstly, the initial information you will receive will be in the form of emails, so it is strongly advised that you set up folders in your Outlook to file the emails in the relevant folders. If you join several affiliate programs, open a folder for each program. To set up a new folder in Outlook, click on File in the Menu Bar (the top horizontal menu); in the drop-down menu, click NEW, then click FOLDER.
A little window will open entitled CREATE FOLDER, and you then type in the box entitled FOLDER NAME, the name you would like to give this new folder. Then click OK. This way, you can set up sub-folders too. For example, you may have a main folder called XYZ Affiliate Program. You could create subfolders under that for Admin emails, another for Sale Notifications, and another for New Signups. In your Outlook main window, select XYZ Affiliate Program, right-click, choose New Folder, and type in the title for your subfolder.
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If you make an error or your subfolder appears in the wrong place, do not panic. Just right-click on the folder and click delete and try again. Or, if you want to rename the folder, right-click and choose to rename, and enter the correct name. Setting up folders in Outlook will save you a huge amount of time when you need to locate a certain email, and you will find that your Inbox is not full of emails you have already dealt with or read. There is also the search function in Outlook, should you need it. File the emails in their folders as soon as you have dealt with them. Do not forget to file the emails in your Sent Box into their folders. Often it is your reply to an email you will be looking for.
Your Favorites in Internet Explorer, or whatever browser you are using, is another place you need to keep well organized as this will save you so much time and frustration. Again, set up folders and subfolders if necessary. Using Internet Explorer 7 in the Menu Bar, click on Favorites, then choose to Organize Favorites from the drop-down menu. In the small open window, click on New Folder, and a new folder will be highlighted where you type in the name. You can also move, rename and delete folders here as well. Or you can select the Star Icon for Favorites, so they open down the left-hand side of your screen, right-click on a folder and choose the option New Folder and type in the name.
Right-clicking on a folder and selecting Sort By Name will organize the contents of that folder alphabetically. Under My Documents, open folders to file all the information relating to your work at a home internet business, for example, your ebook downloads, articles reviews you may write, Excel spreadsheets, etc. Another idea is to open a Word document or Excel spreadsheet to note the affiliate programs you join, their web addresses, referral URLs, and your username and passwords for each program. I work with Notepad as it opens quicker and saves it to my desktop for easy reference.
A couple of computer protection and maintenance tips: Install good virus protection on your computer and keep your Firewall turned on. To help keep your computer running well, regularly delete your Temporary Internet Files in Internet Explorer by clicking on Tools. Internet Options from the drop-down menu, and under Browsing History, select Delete, and then under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete. You can also delete your Cookies here too. Do not forget to use the disk defragmenter regularly (once a week), especially if you download new software or have automatic software updates from Microsoft. Just click your Start button, click on All Programs, select Accessories, then System Tools and Disk Defragmenter. It is advisable to shut down all programs, including temporarily disengaging your Screensaver while using the disk defragmenter.
To disengage your Screensaver, click Start, Control Panel, Display, and in the Display Properties Box, click Screensaver, and in the drop-down menu under the computer icon, select ‘none’ and click Apply. Remember then to go back and reinstate your Screensaver once the disk defragmenter has completed its task. Just a word of warning here, if you do not defrag your hard drive regularly, you will experience your computer slowing down, and more frustrating is that the defrag process can take hours. If this happens, leaving the disk defragmenter running overnight is advisable while you catch up on some well-earned sleep.
You will, in time, develop your way of working, but initially, when starting an online home business, everything is new. A little confusing, but you will find it helpful if you get yourself organized early and get into the habit of filing items where you can find them and keeping your computer in peak condition, thus avoiding slowdowns and downtime. Cynthia Minnaar owns and is the webmaster of http://www.cyns-home-biz.com, the online home business site for ideas to start an online home business, opportunities, internet income training, online home business tools, ebooks, and articles.