Are you overwhelmed with digital media and e-content on your computer? Are your photos, movies and music in a giant digital cluster with an astute lack of organization? Is your overflowing email inbox threatening to destroy your motivation and consume your spirit? It’s is the perfect season for digital spring cleaning. Make it an annual task and you’ll stay organized all year round. Clean up your email inboxes, social media sites and media content and commit to better management practices to get a handle on your digital life.
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
- Go through your Facebook friends list and de-friend anyone you haven’t had contact with in the last year. Or just “hide” them in your newsfeed if you are afraid of offending someone.
- Un-follow Twitter users whose tweets don’t appeal to you anymore. Sort through the list yourself or use a service such as twitsweeper.com or nest.unclutterer.com.
- Designate a select time for social media and ignore it the rest of the day. For example, check your Instagram only in the morning or read your Facebook newsfeed only at night. Cut back the time you spend on social media and use the extra space in your day for something more productive.
- Go through your tagged Facebook photos to make sure there are no incriminating or unflattering images on your profile.
- Create key folders for important email messages and move important information into them.
- Instill a new habit of sorting through all your messages at the end of the day. Delete all unimportant messages, and file everything else in a tagged folder. Take control of your inbox and organize every message into a saved folder or the trash.
- Sick of promotional emails? Unsubscribe. It takes a few seconds but will save you time deleting pointless messages in the future.
- For messages that require action at a future date, use a service like Boomerang for Gmail to remind you later.
- Create templates for email responses that you use often. Do you find yourself typing the same response over and over? Use the messaging templates offered by your email service to save time.
Digital Media: Movies, Music & Photos
- Enter the cloud. Use services such as iCloud, Microsoft Skydrive, Google Drive or Dropbox to save your media and automatically sync any new additions with all of your devices.
- Use software such as Media Monkey to automatically organize and rename digital files onto your hard drive.
- Sort your photos by date for quickest reference; create a folder each month for random images and a folder for special events such as vacations. You can also sort photos by topic to assist in creative projects, such as: landscapes, family pics, close-ups, etc.
- Used colored text to organize your meetings and events into different categories, such as work, personal and family. With one quick glance you can determine what is on the docket for the day.
- Organize your contacts into different lists to make event invites and emailing easy. Create a list for family, friends, acquaintances, work contacts, etc.
Image: Garrett Gill