Happy Spring! Today is the first day of spring, the vernal equinox when the sun’s rays shine directly on the equator, and our days begin to get longer.
Spring cleaning is in the air, and this year we are focusing not only on de-cluttering our home offices and workstations but also focusing on our digital clutter and noise!
Multi-version files, copies from years ago, duplicate images, a multitude of apps, and incessant notifications lead to not only a cluttered digital space, but also to a cluttered mind leading to distraction and reduced productivity.
Below are several tips to help you with your digital spring cleaning:
Managing your smartphone
Moving all apps into a folder, alphabetizing and deleting those no longer in use is scary, yet liberating. In his article Beautilty, Jason Stirman describes the step by step to do this task.
If you aren’t already using proper naming conventions, start now. It’s too easy to get bogged down with multiple file versions with slightly different names. Choose a file naming convention process and stick with it. Whether you start with the name or date, stay true to it and implement it across your team or department.
If things have gotten out of hand, manual intervention may not be possible. In this case, duplicate file management apps like Gemini or a variety of version control options such as Git, SVN, and others will solve your problem. If you are a creative, use Adobe Bridge or DAM to manage those assets on an ongoing basis.
Backup and Delete
Once your files are organized, then back them up to the cloud, or to a drive. Back it up and have the peace of mind that you can always find that one elusive file. Delete all non-current files as well.
Turning off notifications, and unsubscribing from emails and newsletters that are overflowing your inbox will give some breathing space. Whether you change the frequency of newsletters or divert them to their own folder, change this flow of digital noise to something that is both manageable and realistic for you. You can use Unroll.me to batch unsubscribe and remove email subscriptions you no longer need.
It’s hard to start, however, once you achieve inbox zero, you’ll never want to go back. A few easy steps can get you organized and help build a workflow so you can get to inbox zero. Tools like Sanebox help manage all those LinkedIn invites, or Basecamp notifications.