The following is a guest post with four steps to getting rid of your digital clutter today from regular contributor, Morgan from Morganize with Me.
I struggle daily with digital clutter, mostly with the plethora of photos and emails. So, one of my goals this year is to better streamline both of these areas. And I’m guessing that I’m not alone in this. Therefore, I wanted to share some of my tips with you in hopes of helping you too!
Set up multiple email addresses and folders
One thing I’ve done is set up multiple email addresses. I have a personal email I use for family information, things like appointments and activities. And a second personal email for bills, utilities, and charities. Then I have a general work email for work and client information and several more for different work categories. And finally, I have an email I’ve designated for newsletters or things that I’m subscribed to. By segmenting my email addresses to different priorities, it helps to keep my inbox organized, and me happy. I also only have a few of these email addresses on my phone and then all of them on my laptop. This helps me spend less time on my phone checking my email.
Then, I have folders set up within my inboxes. My general habit is to read an email and either: respond, delete, file, or keep it in my inbox. For me, my emails in my inbox are my active “to-dos.” When I’m finished with an email I make a point to either delete it or file it. This then keeps my inboxes minimized and manageable. And by filing emails away into folders that I need to retain, it makes it easier for me to retrieve things if and when necessary.
Delete, delete, delete
With your photos, make an effort to delete those that you no longer need. We tend to keep many more on our devices than we need to! Also consider setting up a system to have your photos and important files automatically upload to an external drive. Or consider setting a reminder on your calendar to do this as a regular part of your routine. If you do this on a more regular basis it won’t be such an overwhelming task. (Yes I’m speaking from experience.)
This goes for emails too. Don’t keep emails that you’ve already read or responded to or no longer need. If an email has had your attention and it no longer serves a purpose in your life, let it go! Make a point to clear out your mental and digital clutter!
Unsubscribe and unfollow
Be the gatekeeper of your inbox and your screen! Carefully weigh who or what you want to eliminate from your life (or your inbox).
There is a great free service called Unrollme.com. It will help you to clean up your inbox. Often we lose track of all that we have signed up for and this can help you to reevaluate. Another thing I do is I make a point to unsubscribe from anything as it comes it that I no longer want to receive. Or, I will update my preferences to my email address that I’ve designated as my subscriber email. This one change has made a big difference in the clutter in my inbox. Streamline how it makes sense to you! Remember that all of those messages are competing for your time.
Pass on the passwords
Lastly, make a cheat sheet or a guide for your loved ones. This way if anything should ever happen to you, your family would know how to access any of the digital information that they may need to find. So much is done online now and without the available information it could potentially cause some unnecessary stress.
Wherever you are at right now, with your digital management, I encourage you to work in baby steps. Work one week at a time to streamline and simplify. You’ll love the feeling that comes with less digital distraction in your life.
Morgan is a professional organizer (chaos calmer), writer (list lover), and exercise enthusiast (fitness fan), keep up with her on her site, Morganize with Me. Be sure to check out her Book, join one of her Challenges, listen to her Podcast, check out her Shop, and her latest offering The Organizing Box!