7 Days of Digital Spring Cleaning

Anyone these days could benefit from a digital declutter, but the problems are often worse for small business owners and entrepreneurs. With multiple devices, multiple email addresses, and multiple programs, a digital spring clean can help you stay organized. In just one week, you can greatly simplify your email, computer, and phone to help you unclutter your digital life.

Day 1: Unsubscribe to emails

It’s self-explanatory. Everyone is suffering from email overload, but if you have multiple email addresses – like work and personal – the problem is multiplied. On day 1 of your digital declutter, unsubscribe on all your accounts to any unneeded newsletters, especially to online shopping sites. Many ecommerce stores now let you opt to receive only a certain number of emails per week, which is helpful if you don’t want to completely unsubscribe.

Day 2: Clear out your inbox

Now that you’re getting fewer emails each day, it’ll be easier to manage your inbox. While “inbox zero” may not be completely achievable, consider using folders to organize emails, keeping only emails that still need a response in your inbox. This makes finding old emails easier, as well as makes your inbox a digital “to-do” list of tasks and responses that still need done.

Day 4: Delete old files

Clear out some space on your computer! Many of us have hundreds of old files. Notes, drafts, old projects – DELETE. It’ll make finding the files you need easier and frees up storage space.

Day 5: Organize files and folders

Now that you have fewer files to deal with, it’s time to organize what’s left. Use levels to make things easy. For example, Work>Financials>2018 is clear direction for finding last year’s expenses.

While you’re at it, consider using some file naming conventions in the future, especially if you have employees whom you share files with. Dates and employee initials are great for version control, and keeping naming consistent for monthly/annual files makes comparisons easy.

Day 6: Delete unused apps

Next up is your phone. How many apps do you have? How many of them do you use? If you still have Candy Crush, it’s time to delete. Removing unused apps makes it easier to find the app you need, frees up precious phone storage space, and could even help your phone run faster.

Day 7: Organize apps

On our last day, we’ll finish with our phone apps. Apps can be life-savers and game-changers for our work and personal lives – like how NetLines gives you a second business number on your personal cell phone – but they can also be space suckers and visually overwhelming. Move most-used apps to the front page. For any apps that you don’t use often, consider creating folders to keep them organized. For example, a Travel folder can keep all of your airline apps in one easy place.

That’s it!

Seven days might not be enough time for every digital to-do, but these basics will help you get more organized so you are ready to tackle each day. When your digital life is more streamlined, you’ll save time and frustration with all of the emails, calls, and files that are part of the modern working life.

Categories: Small Business

Coworking: Is it Right For You?

Picture this: you’re stuck at home, working, losing track of time, not getting enough done. The isolation of at-home work is taking its toll. You don’t know where to find new motivation. Enter: Coworking. Coworking spaces are affordable, rentable office spaces designed for independent employees, small businesses, and remote workers.

As the gig economy and remote work options have increased, so has the need for new office concepts. And the proof is in the numbers: in 2010, the US had only 283 coworking spaces. In 2019, that number is 5,026 and will continue to grow. Every coworking concept is different, but the basics are a combination of offices or common space plus meeting areas or conference rooms that are available for daily, monthly, or yearly rates.

So, how do you know if coworking is right for you? Let’s dive into the benefits and types of coworking spaces so you can see if coworking could help you and your business.

Benefits of Coworking

Coworking has tons of benefits, but one of the biggest is the ability to separate your work and personal life. As anyone who operates out of a home office knows, it can be hard to “turn off” at the end of the work day. Coworking gives you a separate space to work, and if you go for a private office or desk, you can even keep all of your work supplies and papers out of your home.

Coworking also gives you an opportunity to enhance the professionalism of your business. You can host clients at the building rather than a public spot or in your home. Some coworking sites may also give you a mailing address to use on business cards and your website.

Another benefit of coworking is the potential networking opportunities. Working from home can be isolating; coworking spaces give you an opportunity to meet other people. Industry colleagues, vendors, potential clients –  either through water cooler chat or formal networking events, coworking expands your professional and personal network.

As coworking evolves, some are even expanding to offer other services. Gyms, fitness classes, food delivery, and childcare are all popping up as add-on services.

Another way to elevate your business? NetLines business phone service. NetLines gives you a separate business number on your personal smartphone with advanced business features such as an auto attendant and dial-by-name directory, so you can increase professionalism and keep your work and personal life separate. 

Types of Coworking Spaces

Every coworking space is unique and has a unique feel, so there’s nothing like researching and visiting the options in the area. However, there are some common types of memberships or spaces to understand when searching for your business’ new home:  

Dedicated Office

The ultimate in privacy: A dedicated office space will give you the option to shut the door and get your work done. You may be able to have multiple employees in one office or enough space for clients or customers to visit.  

Dedicated Desk

A dedicated desk is like having your own cubicle. It’s not as private as a dedicated office, but you’ll have an open spot every time you come to work. Many dedicated desks also have storage options or let you leave a monitor or computer at your desk, so you don’t have to lug equipment and papers back and forth each day. 

Common Area

Most coworking spaces have a combo of dedicated desks and offices as well as common areas. Meant to mimic a coffee shop or a library, these are often the most affordable memberships. You simply come in, grab a seat at a big table, and get to work on your laptop.

Minimal

Minimal coworking spaces are even more basic. Often founded by coworkers themselves, they have just the essentials – like tables and a coffee maker. These spaces are ultimately dependent on the owner’s vision, and may serve a specific market, like developers.

Is Coworking Right For You?

If you like the idea of a home away from home to get your work done, research the options near you and make sure to consider how you like to work. Coworking spaces aren’t a “must have”, but, they are a great way to elevate your professionalism while offering a number of other benefits. It could be the thing that takes your business to the next level!

Categories: Remote Working

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