As Spring arrives in the southern hemisphere, it’s time to think about the annual tidy and declutter at home, but what about your digital life? There has been a huge increase in the number of people working remotely due to the pandemic and lockdowns, and we know that the more we work online, the more ‘virtual clutter’ we create … making us more distracted and less productive.
I know it can be a bit overwhelming and time consuming to get your online life in order, so I’ve summarised some ways you can tackle it below … no Spray’n’Wipe required!
Unsubscribe From Newsletters and Promotional Emails
When a marketing email hits your inbox, consider if you really want to see it. If you find yourself skipping these emails time and time again, unsubscribe right there on the spot! Only keep the marketing emails you really want to read.
Clean Up Your Email
This can be a huge task depending on how hideous your inbox is looking! If you decide to go with fast and dirty [i.e. just deleting emails you no longer need] try sorting your inbox by the sender then you can see all the emails from the same person grouped together. This can make clearing things out much quicker. If you want to take a more structured and long term solution, read my tips on attaining The Elusive Inbox Zero.
Organise Files and Folders
Now you’ve wrangled your emails it’s time to tackle your files and folders. There are two options here … longer term solution or just fast! If you just need to have the ‘air of organised’ create a folder for the year and drop everything in there to be sorted later. If you’ve got time to put a longer-term solution in place, carefully filing important documents will take a little more time. Review the documents you need to keep and create a folder structure that works for you.
Get Your Passwords in Order
If you’re not using a secure password storage system, I would suggest you grab one (I use the free version of LastPass). Once installed, it will log your passwords as you use them on your system. But, if you’ve got a notebook with all your passwords written in it, open your vault and add them manually … then you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing your passwords are not only secure but totally organised!
Remove Unused Apps and Accounts
Starting with your computer and then, if you’re feeling brave, moving onto the rest of your devices, uninstall apps and software that you no longer use. It’ll help free up storage space and declutter your digital life even more! It’ll also help with your productivity …No more having to search through thousands of app icons to find the program you want, and no more accidentally opening your favourite game that looks oh so similar to Canva! Don’t be afraid to delete all the free apps and programs on your computer that you never use as they can distract you from your work. You can always download them again if you ever need them in the future.
Clean Up Your Desktop
This is a no-brainer … Putting files into random folders on your desktop is the same as shoving stuff under the bed, it looks better but doesn’t fix the problem. Better to implement a filing system [see Files and Folders above] and move most of the files and folders off your desktop.
Organise your Bookmarks
We all know how brilliant bookmarks are, don’t we? But when was the last time you reviewed them and deleted any that were no longer relevant? I don’t know about you, but I’ve got bookmarks from research I did last decade! So, to get these in order, go through them and sort them into three categories:
- Bookmarks Bar – save items to the bookmarks bar that you use every day – that means they’ll be front and centre when you open your browser each day
- Folder – create a set of folders for links you need less regularly and give them obvious names like ‘social media’ or ‘stock photos’ then add them to the bookmarks bar
- Delete – delete any bookmarks that are no longer relevant, or you just don’t need any more
If you don’t have time to do a complete overhaul of your bookmarks straight away, create a folder called archive and add all the bookmarks you don’t use daily. Over the next month or so, if you go into your archive folder to get a bookmark either move it to the bar or to the relevant folder. Then at the end of the month, you can just delete the archive folder because you’ll know there’s nothing in there you need.
So, there you have it, a sure-fire way to get that fabulous feeling of being super organised in your virtual world … time to celebrate!