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Organize Your Digital Life

By Monica Friel 

What is the state of the files on your computer? Is everything filed where you  can reference and retrieve it quickly? Rather than wasting time logo_brownin a state of chaos, invest time in organizing a system for digital files on your computer. Here are some tips to get you digitally disciplined:

  • Categorize: Think about the types of files you have and group them into a handful of main categories. Do you have a functioning paper filing system? Look at your paper files and create a similar digital system.
  • Detox your Inbox: If your email is out of control, it’s wasting precious time each day. Don’t just delete email you don’t want to receive, make sure you scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe. Keep your inbox clear by saving items as documents and removing what you can. Email is a constant process, so designate time each day to keep your inbox to a minimum. It will actually save you time in the long run.
  • Photo overload: Many people feel the need to hang on to every single photo ever taken–whether digital or paper–for an eternity! Remember, if you keep too much, you can’t find what’s really important. Saving photos is a significant part of your history, and it’s great to have a digital timeline of events. However, it can get out of control if you don’t have a system. Organize your photos chronologically and remove what’s duplicate/unnecessary every time you import.
  • Gain control of your computer desktop: Does your desktop turn into a dumping ground for files you don’t want to waste time filing? This is a good place to store items temporarily, but only temporarily. Take a look at your desktop and regularly file anything left on it. Just like your actual desktop, it’s a work surface not a storage area.

If you find that you always need more cloud storage and must always buy the devices with the most storage available, maybe you’re hanging on to too much. By taking these important steps to minimize your digital life, you’ll lighten the load and feel better for it. Digital clutter is similar to household clutter. You’re more in control when you know where things are and have a simplified system. Take the time today to get your computer files in order and see how eliminating what’s not needed and finding good, efficient places to store things will lead to better organization overall.

Monica Friel

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