The “Delete Later” Folder

A Better deleting and archiving workflow.

A Better deleting and archiving workflow.

I am following the PARA method for maintaining files everywhere. (Regardless of any method you follow, this “workflow” will help you to a great extent).

When files are no longer needed— I move them to the “Archive” folder.

Between ‘delete’ and ‘archive’.

The main purpose of archiving is — for future reference. But, half of the time I don’t want to hold on to the files forever.

The point is I don’t want to archive it. But I need it for some time (for a quick reference — just in case).

I move those files to the “Delete Later” folder that fits into the above use case. Especially the emails I receive.

Benefits of having a “delete later” folder.

  • Escape the conundrum of whether to delete a file or move to an archive.
  • Another benefit of using the “Delete Later” folder is, when I ran out of storage I don’t waste time selecting files to delete from the main “Archive” folder. Instead, I just delete all the files from the past years in the “Delete Later” folder.
  • By moving files quickly to delete later, you don’t worry about maintaining a file structure for files that is less important in the future (i.e. important for the time being only). One less thing to worry about.
  • Unlike deleting them, Your files are safe. Did you know? Files deleted from any service like Gmail, Google Drive, or iCloud may not maintain them roughly more than 30 days. There is no permanent recycle bin in any service.

In our case, No worries when moving them to the “Delete Later” folder when you are afraid of deleting them or losing them.

Researchers have found that our brains struggle to process and organize excessive digital possessions, leading to decreased focus, increased stress, and even feelings of guilt.

For me, a good file management system should be simple to follow (or organize) and easy to retrieve. Ironically adding one more folder (“delete later”) to my file system simplified my process (rather complicating it).

In e-mail management.

In E-Mail management, I use a ‘label’ called “Delete Later”. Moving emails to this folder gives me more peace rather than archiving them. Don’t get me wrong. I do archive emails. But not every email.

Tip: If you Gmail, Move emails (that you are not sure of deleting and archiving) to the “Delete Later” label instead of just labeling it.

“Delete Later” helps me to declutter better and faster without the mental anguish of losing them.

You should not think more than a second to decide the location to put the file in. Likewise, decide in less than a second when you’re no longer in need of certain files.

Now delete them without guilt. Delete = Moving to the “Delete Later” folder.


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