How many times do you go hunting trough a list of applications in your Start menu? Why does it take you 2 minutes to locate the program you’re looking for on your portable drive? How many applications do you need?

It hit me today as I was scrolling through the folders of Tools on my USB key at a client’s desk. I have 25 sub folders and 16 applications for troubleshooting and fixing issues.

I built this “Tools” folder up over time. I tried to account for any situation I might encounter and have a tool ready for it. However, in truth I can’t think of the last time I ever needed most of them. I’m also pretty sure I have some tools I have never used.

How many times have I hunted through this folder for my anti-spyware tool or disk defragment utility? Why do I spend the brain cycles and time hunting trough a pile of files I never use? “Because I might need them one day and I want them with me,” I tell myself.

*No longer.* Today is the day I take a hard look at what I have listed and delete what I am not using. If I ever need it, I can always download it and if I find myself needing it often, I will add it back. Programs will have to earn their place in my Tools folder. No longer will I add them because they look cool or might be useful one day.

The same thing goes for my desktop both at work and at home. I have a huge number of applications installed because I love to try out the latest and greatest thing. However, I rarely adopt a new tool into my life or workflow. I also never go back and delete the pile of unused applications from my hard drive either.

Today that all changes. Today I open up Remove Programs and ruthlessly go to work on anything I don’t remember using recently or can’t remember what it does in the first place. ((Caveat being ONLY do this if you understand computers enough to know what it is that you’re removing. You can do serious harm to your computer by removing something important))

The same thing goes for my Tools folder on my USB key for work. Any applications I can’t remember using get the boot. If I need them, I will download them again.

Today is all about saving bytes and brain cycles. Hunting through unused folders and applications wastes time and attention. And those are my two most precious commodities.