Top 7 Ways to Tidy Up Your Digital World

I’m just 1 person who tries to keep both offline and online worlds clean and organized. That’s easier typed than done. My inbox is usually a mess, my files are everywhere, and I often have to search to find what I need when I need it. Please learn from my laziness and keep your digital world tidy. Here are some ways to do that.

Top 7 Ways to Tidy Up Your Digital World

  1. Get your inbox under control. Maybe you’ll never reach Inbox Zero (the state at which your inbox contains no email), but there are still ways to get it under control. Use folders and tags to categorize your email into categories. Use stars or flags to indicate important email messages you don’t want to lose, and then remove those indicators when the email is no longer of importance. Unsubscribe from any mailing lists you tend to delete without opening. 
  2. Rename and organize your photos. If you’re trying to find a specific photo, wading through a sea of files with names like IMG85737_83950927.jpg isn’t going to be helpful. Group your photos by subject matter or event to help you narrow the search. Give your photo files actual names like SarasBdayParty01.jpg and DisneyDay3-HollywoodStudios.jpg. Be as specific as you want, but don’t make the file names too long, because some file systems only show the beginnings of the names. 
  3. Declutter your desktop. Many of us use our desktops to store important files; I know mine right now has a few images I needed for social media as well as my year’s tax return. Having a desktop full of files can slow down your computer’s startup time, depending on your computer and operating system. So now might be a great time to sort the files on your desktop into document folders and subfolders or to delete any files you no longer need. 
  4. Delete those downloads. Similarly, I find my downloads folder fills up with downloads from the internet and from my email. I love knowing where to find all those things, but this general, all-purpose folder shouldn’t be the permanent home for all these different files. Regularly sort through your downloads, moving files into your Documents folders and deleting files like zips and installers that you definitely no longer need. 
  5. Corral those accounts. That Doritos Chips Guardians of the Galaxy promotion was fun, but it also took place years ago. You might have more accounts on sites than you realize. All those “sign up for the latest promotion!” moments seemed great at the time, but your personal information still lives on those sites. And if those sites get hacked, it puts you at risk. Go through your internet history or account signups email folder and delete your account from any websites you no longer need in your life. 
  6. App audit. Regularly check your phone, tablet, and computer for any apps or programs you no longer need or use and delete them to free up space for those you do need. 
  7. Get rid of temporary items and trash. Files can build up in your temporary, cache, and digital trash folders, so figure out a good plan for getting rid of that. In some cases, you might be able to change the settings to delete files automatically after 30 days, or whatever time frame is best for you. Deleting your browser cache regularly keeps sites fresh and your computer running faster, though the first time you load a page after clearing your cache might be a few seconds slower than normal. 

While you’re here, I also have a non-tidying reminder for you: back up your phone and computer. Set up a cloud account where your phone data backs up automatically or create a backup schedule you can stick to so you don’t lose precious photos or contacts. Back up your computer to an external hard drive or to a cloud backup service; it’s great when this is set up to be automatic and ongoing. I highly recommend BackBlaze, which saved my butt last year when my laptop’s hard drive and processor died simultaneously. Knowing my files were safe brought me peace of mind, and their restoration process went smoother than I could have hoped for.

How do you keep your digital world neat and tidy?

Photo by on Unsplash

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