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.
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.