Well, um, okay… but how do you make a fresh start when you are completely buried by digital chaos, and the onslaught only seems to be increasing, certainly not slowing down!?!
Here are some tips to help calm the digital chaos – with these tips, streamline the incoming information so that you can deal with less digital clutter!
Week 1: Stop the obvious stuff
- Unsubscribe from email lists, groups or systems that you never read or connect with regularly. Let’s be realistic – how often do you go to that “I’ll get to it later” folder? In my case, that would be never, even with the best of intentions!
- Sort your inbox and look for duplicates, and remove at least one of them – it may be coming to a different email address, doubling the time you have to spend dealing with it. Ditch one copy and prevent the duplicates going forward.
- Remove or block rarely used programs and apps from your key work surfaces, screens and windows.
Week 2: Build a clear structure
- Develop a folder naming structure to make it simple, fast and obvious where to find the things you keep, and where to put things that you want to keep. Apply this same overall structure to all your digital platforms, computers, laptops, tablets and phones.
- Give files simple yet specific names so that searches for keywords display the correct results.
Week 3: Image Mayhem
- Keep the best images and delete the rest! You will never care that you have 7 of nearly the exact same photo. Pick one, and ditch the rest of them.
- Tackle your images in small chunks, as many times as necessary to get through them all eventually. Maybe you can get 30-45 minutes once a week, or every time you are waiting in line somewhere or waiting on hold.
- Save the best images and all your important files in at least one other place or system, such as an external hard drive, on an auto backup service or a cloud-based service. Hard drives DO fail… it is not a matter of if, but when.
Going Forward – Create the habit of naming and storing digital information so that you can access it quickly and easily. The volume of images, videos and information is increasing exponentially. Getting a structure into place and then using it is your best strategy so that you can find, use and enjoy the best of what you keep.