Digital clutter slows down your computer over time and leaves you with little space to store your files and personal data, which is why a routine e-clean up is necessary for top performance. But this clutter is also a huge, often invisible productivity-killer.
The way you set up your desktop, browser, and file folders can easily be distracting you and weakening your productivity; if you’ve always had the same setup, you may not even realize how the clutter affects you.
Below are 10 digital decluttering projects to streamline your virtual workspace. No, I’m not one of those people who insists you delete your social media accounts or stop reading online news in order to reduce digital clutter.
Instead, these are some practical tasks that don’t just declutter but keep you better organized, keep your files safe, and reduce the noise to get the best out of your time online.
Digital decluttering: what is it and how is it done?
Clean, clean, clean! Are you the type of person who keeps a spotless home? Can you eat off the floor and perform surgical operations in your bedroom? What a stunner! If this is the case, then you probably want to know how to keep your computer or smartphone as clean as a whistle.
Believe it or not, a computer or a smartphone can also be cleaned. There can be grease stains or layers of dust on the screen—inside or on the surface—that could make it work unsatisfactorily.
However, this is not what we mean with the term “digital decluttering”.
Digital decluttering includes all the operations we carry out to arrange the content on our devices, accounts, etc., and to delete everything we do not need or use anymore.
Let’s explore all the available options with some useful examples. In fact, this list might give you some ideas on how to carry out adequate digital decluttering.
6 tips for an efficient digital decluttering
Delete files you don’t use anymore and organize the rest.
Is your hard drive full of videos of dogs doing funny tricks that you’ve watched so often you don’t even find them amusing anymore?
Is your smartphone jammed with thousands of pictures and videos downloaded automatically from a chat group about crochet you don’t even care about?
So, why on earth do you keep all that useless content?
We tend to store files on our devices’ hard drives that we don’t need or care for. Get rid of all that stuff, or if you want to keep it, store it in a more logical place (for example, an external hard drive).
In addition, keep in mind that you need not only to delete content but also to classify and arrange it. Think of a more rational way to organize all your materials on the hard disk; it will help you work faster and more comfortably.
-Clean your desktop.
A desktop with hundreds of icons can be more troublesome than you think. It will slow down your device’s performance and make you lose precious time when you need to find something on the screen.
Ponder what use you make of them and keep only that which really needs to be their insight. If you want to know about more concrete ways to achieve this, we recommend you read this article, which contains helpful ideas and tips on this topic.
Once you do this, you will notice that your computer/smatphone and your eyesight will really appreciate it.
-Don’t forget to clean up the software.
Do you have lots of software installed on your device that you don’t use? As years go by, you might even forget you had it all together!
Installed programs, such as games and apps, can take up quite some space on your hard disk, and some of them could even be working “incognito,” thus slowing down your device’s performance. Make a good estimate of what you will keep using and what you don’t need.
-Order your storage accounts online.
Do you have some content stored in the cloud? You probably use applications such as Google Drive or Dropbox. If that’s the case, much of what we mentioned about storage in physical devices (such as hard drives) can be applied here. Do you really need the 1,729 pictures you took on your last trip?
Order and examine your content. It might be useful to store all those files somewhere else (for example, an external hard drive). Act wisely: you will save yourself a lot of time and your accounts will be more pleasant to use.
-Clean up your email.
This happens quite frequently: hundreds of irrelevant messages (especially spam and subscriptions) pile up in our inbox and other sections, taking up all the space and making it harder to find and select the messages we do need.
Even tho in recent years, email systems have significantly improved and are better at tackling spam, some of those annoying and useless messages can still find their way thru.
Get rid of them, and remember to unsubscribe from all those newsletters you don’t even know how you started receiving and have never read.
-Manage your other accounts.
Only you know which active accounts you have! That’s why you are the only one who can detect which ones you need to close, keep or manage better. Social networks, paying subscriptions (some of which you might not use), a blog where you haven’t posted anything in years…
You might have a web presence in pages you didn’t remember, so this might be the ideal time to put everything in order.
All that has been mentioned previously can help you declutter your digital devices, but remember you can always back up all the material you don’t want to lose. There are many cheap ways to do this, such as using an external hard drive.
In addition, you can take the time to save all the content you find especially valuable and would rather have duplicated. Another reason to make a backup