No matter how weird or silly it may sound when said out loud, the truth is that in this day and age, much of our lives are in the digital/virtual world. You probably don't keep a handwritten address book anymore, you send e-cards instead of Hallmark cards, and rather than making use of accordion folders and file cabinets, you organize your work into virtual folders which clutter your desktop. When you set aside time to clean, you probably scrub your bathroom, kitchen, and vacuum the rugs. Do you ever clean up your digital life? Probably not. But, just like physical space, your digital space can definitely get cluttered and unorganized too. Keep reading for some tips on getting your digital life tidied up!
Create Folders/Clean Up Your Desktop
Rather than just saving all of your work under 'documents' and your photos under 'photos', make use of individual and more specific folders—the same way you used to organize work into paper folders. Not only does this make your desktop less of a headache to look at, but you'll have a much easier time finding the files you are looking for when you need them. Whether you want to create folders by date, project name, or topic is up to you. Find an organizational method that works well.
Delete Unused Apps
There's an app for everything, we know. Your computer desktop and smartphone are probably filled with apps—everything from nutrition apps, to video editing apps, to games. All of these apps take up storage room and slow down your devices. Take some time to sort through all of your apps and delete whatever you don't use frequently. You can always re-download an app if you find yourself really unable to live without it!
Stay on top of application and program updates. Not only will the programs run faster when updated, but they probably will have new features and capabilities too.
Condense Contact Lists
While it's true that you might not want to delete contacts because you never know when you might need them, chances are you probably have a lot of repeats, old numbers, and multiple numbers and emails for each person. Rather than keeping individual entries of all of this contact info, sort through your lists and combine all forms of contact for each individual person and save them all together. Your cell phone lets you add multiple numbers under one person's name for a reason! In the future when you are looking to contact someone, it will be much easier to do so when their information is saved all together than if you have to look through separate entries (ie: Susan Home Phone, Susan Cell Phone, Susan New Cell Phone, Susan Work Phone, etc).
Manage Your Email Account[s]
Are you someone who has more email accounts than you can count on one hand? You've probably got a couple of personal accounts (and you make a new one every time one account gets too bombarded with spam and sale emails), your work email account, and maybe a few other random ones. With so many accounts and so many new messages each day it can be hard to keep up. Start by condensing your accounts. Decide which accounts you really don't use anymore, but rather than completely deleting them, set up an auto-reply message that will direct anyone that emails said account[s] to your newer, currently used accounts. Additionally, get into the habit of sorting through your emails on a daily basis. You don't need to check your inbox eight times a day (well, you might...), but set aside some time each and every day to sort through, delete junk mail, organize important mail into relevant folders, and reply to what needs a response.
Backing up your files is soo important! It may seem tedious, and you may put it off until 'tomorrow, next week, etc', but when your computer or smart phones crashes and has not recently been backed up, you're going to go out of your mind! Make it a habit to back up your devices every week or two. Trust us, you'll be so happy you took the time to do this when you drop your phone in a toilet and can't turn it on anymore!