I’ve been going through a computer asset audit and I’m finding tons of great e-courses, PDFs and checklists that I had forgotten about. I’m always signing up for a free checklist or PDF, reading it once and then “saving” it. But you know what really happens, don’t you? I never looked at those again. I put them in a “safe place” – never a good idea for me. All of those products are assets that I’m not utilizing.
Do you lose track of your downloads and courses, too? Then it’s time for a Computer Asset Audit. Here’s what I’ve learned as I worked on mine.
How to Start Your Asset Audit
I started with an spreadsheet. Don’t do that! I quickly realized that I wasn’t ready for an spreadsheet yet. The first thing you need to do is re-organize the files on your computer – a daunting task. This wasn’t a fast project for me. I’ve been collecting those goodies for years and stashing them in dozens of different folders on my computer.
A better place to start is to simply create a new folder called Asset Audit. Then create some sub-folders. Write your sub-folder list on a piece of paper and think it through. There are a couple of ways you can go with this. (See my final list in the image on the right.)
- You can sort by basic types of content, for example: Courses, PDFs, Spreadsheets.
- You can be a bit more specific and sort by topic. For example: Blogging, Social Media, Video Training.
I started with basic types of content but switched to sorting by topic. Aren’t you glad I’ve already made these mistakes so that you don’t have to? Your folder titles will be based on your own interests and content.
Find Your Stuff
This is where the going gets tough. I have not found a fast way to do this. Here are a couple of strategies to use for this step.
Open the Folders One by One
Open every folder on your computer and look for PDFs, documents, Zip folders, courses, and spreadsheets that you have downloaded OR created. While I was doing this I found dozens of freebies that I have created for my clients. Now I have them all in one folder and can start re-using them as opt-ins and downloads. (As I write this I’m embarrassed about how disorganized I’ve been! Good grief!)
Use Search to Find Your Assets
I used this strategy after I had already searched through all my content. I searched for any PLR that I might have missed. You might decide to do a search first rather than as a final step. I did both because I didn’t want to miss anything.
Set a Goal
Finding my stuff took me hours. I worked on it an hour at a time and jotted a little note to myself about where I stopped. Here’s a tip: Don’t get sidetracked by reading any of those PDFs or documents that you find. Don’t waste time by evaluating them. A few times I did that and I lost focus on my task.
I set a goal of finishing the audit in two weeks. I planned to work one hour a day. I marked my Google calendar with Asset Audit daily for 2 weeks. Some days I worked longer and other days less.
One of the things that kept me motivated was the excitement of finding “great stuff” that I had forgotten about. I didn’t let myself actually open the files, but I did rename those files so I can easily get back to them. The PDF called entre-reading-guide-50-books.pdf now has the number 1 at the front of the title: 1 entre-reading-guide-50-books.pdf which keeps it at the top of the list in Resource Lists. So any file with a 1 in front of it is important to me.
More to Come
This isn’t the end of the audit process for me. Now that I’ve found all of my stuff, I will weed out anything that is outdated or no longer relevant. I intentionally chose not to do that as I was finding my stuff. Then I will audit all of my graphics – another big task that will probably uncover all sorts of hidden gems.
You might also need to audit your monthly and annual expenses to find training or software that you’re paying for but not using. I already have a spreadsheet of all of that.