Clutter in our technology is not that
different from the clutter we maintain in our home. The more unorganized we
get, the more overwhelmed we are, and the more ineffective technology becomes
It doesn’t take long for our devices
to be stuffed with unused apps. Photos, emails, and files are strewn, without
order or a system, in various places. Once it becomes apparent we are lost, we
don’t even know how to clean it all up. Here are some tips to help avoid
Many of us are guilty of maintaining
thousands of emails in our Inbox. Your Inbox isn’t a storage bin. Treat it like
your mailbox at home. Likewise, your Inbox should only have the new email that
hasn’t been read or processed.
The best way to avoid having an
overflowing Inbox is to empty it every day. Make it a habit. It’s best practice
to review email and then either respond to it, delete it, or move it to the
appropriate folder for future reference.
Email providers give you the option
to create folders to help keep your space organized. Use this feature! You can
create folders by a person’s name, a topic, or an entity.
If your Inbox is already overflowing,
start the clean-up process by bulk deleting emails, especially junk, to take
control of your email situation.
On any device you can select all or remove multiple emails all at once. This will help you get back to zero, or at least a manageable number.
If it’s crazy, search the Inbox by a
sender’s name, and then delete the bunch. Devote half an hour, once a week, to
the cleaning up process and stay out of overwhelm.
When it comes to email, like with
snail mail, junk mail is unavoidable. Fortunately, the spam filter can catch a
lot of the garbage, so you don’t have to deal with it. To get the most out of
the spam filter, you must train it.
If an email in the Inbox is spam,
don’t just delete it, mark it as junk. It is also good to get in the habit to
check your junk/spam folder once a week to make sure relevant emails are not
accidentally caught by the spam filter.
Once you have cleaned up your junk
email, start unsubscribing as new unwanted emails come in. Or use a free
service like Unroll.Me that helps you to unsubscribe from newsletters or
organize them into one email delivered daily or weekly.
One of the most significant benefits
of having a smartphone is that you have a camera everywhere you go, so you
don’t miss out on life’s little moments.
The downside is that you have photos
of every moment, and if you are like me, you have multiple shots of the
same thing to ensure you got the perfect one.
The technology running our phones has dramatically improved. On most phones, you can search by person, place, or categories (i.e., dogs, Manhattan, or beach) to find a photo, but that doesn’t mean you should let your photos get out of control. There are a few things you can do to stay organized.
Sift Through the Bulk
Take some time after a vacation or
special event to go through the photos and delete the non-essential images.
Only keep the best pictures.
Use Special Recognition Filters
Facial recognition is a technology
that makes organizing photos easier. With Apple or Google Photos and multiple
other apps, you can assign faces to named people. Your photos are automatically
sorted into albums by names. All it takes is a little time to get it organized
and set up.
Get Cloud Storage
Cloud storage has gotten very
affordable and easy to use. It is best to back-up your photos to a cloud
service in case something happens to your device.
Some of the more reliable options are
Apple iCloud, Google Photos, and Amazon Photos. Once you choose which service
you prefer, make sure it is set-up to sync with your device automatically.
Organization is vital to file
management and being able to retrieve things when you need them. The search
function on your device or computer can be handy to find files, but you
shouldn’t merely rely on that. Having a few critical systems in place will make
your digital life much more functional.
up a naming method for your files that is detailed and consistent.
dates and keywords in file names.
folder structures for high-level categories such as Kids, Finances, Home, or
Medical. Don’t make it overly complicated.
digital files in the appropriate folders quickly when saving.
Make it a practice every few months
to clean up your device. Get rid of every app, game, and file you haven’t used
in 90 days. Ask yourself: do I really need this? If not, delete it!
your biggest frustration with keeping files, photos, or emails organized? What
is the best tip you know of for getting organized? We would love to hear from