When decluttering, we tend to focus on physical clutter. This is the clutter that everyone else sees. However, there’s another type of clutter that can have just as much of an impact on our lives - and that’s digital clutter.
Messy computer filing systems, overflowing email inboxes and desktops full of icons can all negatively affect our day-to-day productivity. Tackling these sources of clutter could help you to find information more easily and could bring a sense of structure to your digital life. Here are just a few ways in which you can go about digitally decluttering your devices.
Delete files you don’t need
The first step to digitally decluttering is to delete any files you don’t need. These could be unwanted photos, copies of files, old work/school documents or notes you no longer need. Purging these files could free up memory space and make your devices run faster.
Create a clear folder system
A messy folder system could also be a source of clutter that needs tackling. Try to first come up with clear folder categories – delete any folders that are empty and give names to any folders that are unnamed. If there are too many files in one folder and you have to spend time scrolling, consider adding sub-folders to divide up information. Make sure to also look stray files that may have been misplaced. The idea is to make finding information as easy as possible.
Uninstall unused programs/apps
Consider whether there are any programs and apps on your devices that you don’t use. Uninstalling them could free up memory and improve your devices’ performance. In the case of PCs, don’t just delete icons as this may not actually uninstall the program. Using an uninstaller could help to ensure that programs are successfully removed – you can download free and reliable uninstallers via sites like https://www.revouninstaller.com/downloads/.
Integrate your devices
Want to be able to access the same data on every device? Perhaps you’d like to be able to view all your phone’s photos on your PC or view a document from your PC on your tablet? This could make life easier than having to switch between each device. If you’re using the same brand such as two different Apple devices, there may be easy ways of syncing your devices. However, with different brands, integrating your devices may be a little more difficult. Sites like https://setapp.com/how-to/transfer-files-between-android-and-mac offer information on transferring files between different brands of device. Using the cloud is one of the most popular methods – the likes of DropBox and Google Cloud are popular examples.
Organize your inbox
When it comes to emails, many of us struggle to keep on top of our inboxes – particularly when it comes to work emails. Creating an inbox organization system could help you to get through your emails more efficiently. The five folder system is one of the most effective ways to do this – this site https://www.fastcompany.com/3067012/the-only-five-email-folders-your-inbox-will-ever-need offers an in-depth look into this system. This approach basically involves filing emails by priority such as ‘reply today’ or ‘reply this week’ so that you know which emails to respond to straight away and which emails to delay a response on.
Unsubscribe from unwanted mailing lists
It’s worth also unsubscribing from mailing lists that you aren’t interested in. This will minimize the amount of emails you get each day so that you can sort through your emails more quickly. Most emails will have an unsubscribe button or link at the bottom. If not, you can email the contact that is mailing you and tell them to remove you from their mailing list. You may also be able to do this with SMS texts and Google notifications. There are also unsubscriber tools that you can use.
Unfriend and unfollow social media contacts/pages
You should also consider whether your social media accounts need decluttering. There may be people who you are friends with or who you follow that you never interact with – unfriending and unfollowing these people could ensure that you only get interesting content appearing on your feeds. You may want to do the same with Facebook interest pages that you follow that you’re not really interested in.
Delete phone contacts you don’t need
It’s worth also checking your phone contact list for contacts you don’t need. If you can’t put a face to the contact or you met them once and are unlikely to meet them again, it could be worth deleting these contacts. Also consider the names you give contacts – if you have multiple contacts called John it could be worth differentiating them by adding a second initial or nickname so that you know who is who.
Defrag your devices
Defragmentation is a necessary process for PCs that can help to re-sort data that has been stored in the wrong place. Regularly defragging your computer ensures that data is stored in an organized fashion – this will increase the rate at which it loads by making it easier to locate. Many modern PCs automatically defrag, but may only do this when you shut down your PC (if you regularly leave your PC on standby, it may never get a chance to run this defragmentation process).
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.