Let's Declutter Your Digital Life

Feb 3

Does your digital life need decluttering? Oh my goodness. It can get to be a mess, right? So the first thing is email, oh my gosh email. I don’t know how many emails you can get in a day, but it can be a lot. If you don’t stay on top of it, it can get to be overwhelming and you want to give up on trying to organize your email at all. 
So I've got some tips and tricks that may help. I go through my emails and there are those companies that I've signed up for by purchasing something or maybe I wanted a freebie or I got a coupon and now they send me regular emails. But, it's not something that I need to get because I can just go to the website if I want to purchase from them again, for example. So what you can do is open up the email scroll all the way down and unsubscribe. Now, I used to think that unsubscribing from email actually validated your email so they knew it was okay to send emails to that address. I had read that somewhere. But, the unsubscribe function does work. They are required to take you off their mailing list if you request to be unsubscribed. After you do this for a while, you’ll see that you get fewer and fewer emails in your inbox.
The other thing you can do is filter emails from the same company or the same type of email. Perhaps it’s a craft store and you want the coupons, but you aren’t going to use them right away. So, on GMail you can filter it to “skip the inbox” and move it to a label (GMail’s folders). Name it something you’ll recognize like Shopping. So once you've cleaned all of that up, you can continue to search for things that you commonly get emails for until your inbox email box is somewhat cleaned up because I know it can get overwhelming. 

So the next thing is photos. Oh my goodness. So, I have tons of photos on my phone, and the phones are a place where I may create something in Canva and save it to my Google Drive so when I want to upload it to post it on social media which is helpful. To save space on your phone, you can go through and delete the blurred pictures, the pictures that you have maybe 15 of because you know you wanted to get that right shot, photos that really don't apply anymore, that you were just practicing and you got the one that you needed. Maybe you use an app to add headlines to your photos or save a story to post somewhere else. You can clean these up and remove them once they are posted.  So once you've done all of that, then it's a good idea to take your photos and back them up to Google Photos or Dropbox. I save personal photos to the OneDrive so I can share them with my husband and vice versa. You can make yourself a schedule and do it on this on a regular basis so you know you have an extra copy of your photos. I like to then sort them and put them into folders - i.e. birthday, vacations, etc.  You can also create folders for photos (albums) on your phone so you can easily find commonly used photos.

Next, you want to use a cloud storage service or an external hard drive to back up your documents and photos in case your computer crashes and you lose access to everything. I’ve actually had this happen to me and I had things saved to the cloud so I just needed to upload all my files. All right, the next thing we want to talk about is Google Drive and Dropbox. A hint if they send you a message that says you’ve reached your storage limit and you need to upgrade. This happened to me with DropBox and I didn’t want to upgrade to a monthly plan as I already have Google Suite with unlimited storage. So, you can delete things you don’t need anymore, that have served their purpose, so you free up space so you don't have to pay for the upgrade, which saves you a bit of money.

The next big thing that I worked on that's been really helpful in productivity and organizing is cleaning up your browser. You can do this on your devices, but best on your laptop.  Can you relate? You bookmark a lot of pages and then go back and think, oh my goodness I bookmark that a long time ago I don't need it anymore. So you can go to the Bookmark Manager and delete all the bookmarks that you have that you don't need anymore.  You can also prioritize your list of bookmarks for the “Bookmarks Bar” and put items within the same topic or category into folders for easier access and save space on the bookmark bar so you have all the programs you use right at your fingertips.

These are some things that you can add to your decluttering list. It’s good to do this every once in a while. It feels good to clean up your computer and also helps make your devices run faster. It also can make your phone run faster if you get rid of some of the photos and things that you don't need. 
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