7 Reasons to Organize Your Digital Life
June 24, 2019
Guest blog by Kacey Mya, the blogger behind The Drifter Collective
Clutter creates disorganization. It impedes your productivity and makes you feel exhausted. But clutter isn’t just physical stuff like junk mail, dirty clothes and piling dishes — it can be digital items too. Spam email, saved documents, cluttered social media feeds and so much more.
Luckily, these digital tools can also be used to create an effective organization system that works for you.
1. You Can Control Your Feed
Social media is no fun when your feed is clogged with posts, stories and ads you don’t really care about. Go through your various accounts — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. — to see what you can cull. Go through your online friends and cut those you don’t care to interact with. Keep in mind others can add you to groups without your approval, meaning your feed could be clogged with ads and posts you didn’t sign up for. Go through your saved groups and pages to unsubscribe from those you aren’t interested in.
2. You Can Take More Photos
Have you ever gone to take a photo with your smartphone or camera only to realize the memory is full? It can be a bummer, especially when you have a great shot lined up. Prevent future photo mishaps by organizing your photos and deleting those you don’t want. Take advantage of the cloud to create a storage folder that doesn’t take up precious space on your device. Or invest in an external hard drive that allows you to store digital files separately.
3. You Can Prioritize Your Emails
When your inbox gets clogged with emails, it makes you more susceptible to spam and data-stealers. Delete emails from senders you don’t recognize. Some major red flags are asking you to provide or verify personal information, suspicious links or attachments and copious grammatical errors. Run-of-the-mill spam — business ads promoting a product or service — can be avoided by opening the emails and clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom. This should prevent that specific business from contacting you further.
4. You Can Track Your Finances
With the right digital tools, you can declutter your life and take control of your finances. Use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of your earnings, savings and bills due. Use a calendar with automatic notifications to remind you of payment due dates. Set up an automatic payment plan through your bank or credit card to avoid the stress of late fees. Keeping track of your budget manually can be a hassle, but with a digital solution, the process is simple and streamlined.
5. You Can Declutter Your Computer
Does your computer run slower than when you first bought it? Chances are the system has become bogged down by too many files. Go through your computer’s various folders, including downloads and desktop items, and delete anything you no longer need. Files of immediate importance can be kept on your computer while record-keeping information can be stored on a flash drive or external hard drive. You can also defrag your computer, which reduces the number of fragmented files on your computer stored in separate locations.
6. You Can Turn Off Notifications
Notifications are annoying and can pop up on your smartphone, desktop and internet browser. It seems like there’s no escape. Luckily, there is a way to completely turn off notifications — or at least minimize interruptions from the ones you don’t care about. On your smartphone, go into your settings and click on notifications. There, you will see all the apps with permission to send notifications to your phone. On your computer, open up the settings in your internet browser to determine which websites have access to allow pop-ups.
7. You Can Protect Your Passwords
Unique passwords are necessary to protect your personal information, including bank accounts, credit cards, social media profiles and so much more. But you don’t have to manually keep track of all of your passwords or save them directly to your browser, making it easy for anyone to gain access. Instead, use a smart password manager, like LastPass or Sticky Password, to safely keep track of all your accounts.
How to Organize Your Digital Life
Digital clutter can be just as frustrating as physical clutter. Sure, it may not be invading your home, but it is taking over your computer and making you more susceptible to spam and viruses. Take action now by following the seven tips above to organize your digital life.
Start simple by going through your computer files and moving unneeded data to an external hard drive or the cloud. Open your device settings to turn off notifications from unwanted websites and apps. And protect your passwords — and your personal information — with a smart password manager.
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