Cleaning out your closet and tidying your kitchen are great ways to keep your life in order and feel a sense of accomplishment, but organizing your digital life can be life changing. The average American spends eleven hours a day interfacing with electronic devices of some kind. Now, more than ever, it’s important to organize your digital life to be happier and more productive. It’s amazing how small changes can alter your entire experience with your digital and electronic devices.
Here are ten ways to organize your digital life for #TechTipTuesday:
#1 Deal With Your Email
Dealing with your email is one of the most important parts of organizing your digital life, it’s first because it’s just that difficult for a lot of people. First, go through your mailbox and move your mail into folders based on year. Next, you should set up filters to deal with different kinds of mail as it comes in and unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t read. Now that you’ve pared down your inbox, it’s time to delete irrelevant and unnecessary messages. Your inbox should be in good shape by now, so it’s important to develop a system going forward. If you’ve already set up a to do list solution, then there is no reason to keep emails as reminders. Having an inbox at zero every week is the ultimate way to organize your digital life.
#2 Get a Password Manager
If you do nothing else to make your digital life better after cleaning up your email, getting a password manager is so important. Not only does it help you keep track of all your passwords, but it’s also a way to make sure you’re safer and more secure online. There are several options of paid and free password managers out there depending on your needs and specifications, but the important aspect is collecting your logins and passwords. Many of them will also analyze whether the password is good any more, and identify changes that will better protect your digital presence.
#3 Tidy Up Your Space
Once your digital life is secured, the real work begins. Just like when you’re organizing the rest of your life, cleaning up your space is really important. This is the time to clear up your desktop and organize your files. Having extraneous files lying around is unnecessary, so create folders for all the items that are necessary to save and get rid of the items that don’t need to be on your devices (this includes all those practice selfies on your smartphone).
#4 Train a Digital Housekeeper
After you’ve done the hard work yourself, it’s time to train a “housekeeper” to keep your digital devices organized. Programs like Hazel (Mac) and Belvedere (Windows) are available for you to set rules for new files and items added to your device, and then these programs organize those things for you automatically. Working in the background, these programs make sure your hard drive stays well-organized.
#5 Don’t Be So Social
Admittedly, there are far too many ways to be connected and social on digital devices. It’s important to concentrate your efforts on the social media platforms that you’re good at and get rid of the ones that you barely use, or use at a minimum. More than that, you should turn off your notifications. Your digital life is complex enough, you don’t need your notifications to clog it up even more.
#6 Centralize Your Tasks
Depending on your style, there are “to do list” apps out there for everyone. Centralizing your tasks and to dos is important to organizing both your digital and physical life. Who needs all those scribbled notes clogging up your actual desktop? To do list apps will help you keep track of your tasks and needs while removing the need to keep information in various other places across your digital life.
#7 De-Clutter Your RSS Feed
Perhaps you don’t use your RSS feed, but we all spend too much time surfing the web of things that interest us. It’s important to clean up this process. There are options like Bloglovin, Pocket, and Feedly that centralize articles, blogs, and other items of interest. The main point is that you should find a method for centralizing the news, blogs, and articles that you care about regularly, and then remove the rest from your digital life.
#8 Clean Out Your “Closets”
Everyone is guilty of saving documents for years and years that are totally unnecessary. Whatever you haven’t gotten rid of in your desktop cleanup, now is the time to throw away irrelevant software, files, and documents. Anything you want to save, but have no immediate need for can be saved on an external hard drive. Also, the same can be done on any of your other devices. This is your opportunity to get rid of unused apps on your smartphone and tablet while you remove pictures, recordings, and videos that you don’t need. We all know what it’s like to have no space on our smartphones, but not know what to do about it. The fastest fix is to remove data that’s taking up storage space by wiping the device completely of cookies, temporary files, and other data hogs. There are other less drastic options as well.
#9 Update Your Contacts
Do you really need the contact number for your coworker from three jobs ago? If you haven’t communicated with someone in over a year, there is no reason to have their contact information in your digital life. This is also your opportunity to integrate your contact information by adding email addresses to phone numbers, and making sure you don’t have duplicate information for the same people.
#10 Streamline Your Browser
Add-ons and bookmarks are easy to add one-by-one, but after a while you’ve got a browser bogged down by a bunch of useless weight. Organize your digital life by clearing up your web browser by removing all the unnecessary plugins, toolbars, and add-ons that you’ve accumulated. It’s even possible to add folders of bookmarks to your toolbar, but be careful with this option. Just because you can organize more bookmarked pages doesn’t mean that you need more of them. If you don’t use it at least weekly, is it really necessary?
How do you organize your digital life? What else can you add for #TechTipTuesday? Tell us in the comments!